From the Pulpit to DevRel: Lessons Learned Along the Way

A presentation at DevRelCon San Francisco 2019 in in San Francisco, CA, USA by Ben Greenberg

The field of developer relations is fortunate to have professionals from a plethora of diverse backgrounds and professional experiences, from former actors to journalists to athletes, and yes, also former clergy. The profession of the clergy is, perhaps, most similar to developer relations. Clergy are responsible for a wide array of job duties. Clergy amplify the voices of their communities, cultivate and build their communities, teach and share new ideas and best practices and are there for their people in the good times and the challenging times. There is so much the work of technical community building can learn from the work of spiritual community building.

As someone who has crossed over into developer relations from the clergy, Ben will share insights he gained from a decade long career in communal service. He feels privileged to have worked in diverse places and settings, from the college campus to social justice work and congregational life. Specifically, there are two topics he will focus on: models of leadership and problem-solving.

Developer relations professionals are often seen as leaders in their companies and their fields, due to their vocal presence. What kind of leadership should dev rel people aspire to? What construct of leadership presents a path forward that is inclusive and dynamic? Similarly, when issues arise, developer relations professionals are often the first address people go to. How should dev rel professionals approach problem-solving?

Ben will detail those two specific areas and offer concrete takeaways that can be used in day to day work.