Hack the Hacker: Be as Indispensable as Mountain Dew

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Some tips on how to foster and grow your developer community

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  • One huge mistake API companies make is forcing developers to understand every design decision they made inside.\n
  • Everyone says you don’t need good documentation. That’s only true if what you’re doing is stupid simple or completely sucks.\n
  • The most likely thing you’ll leave out is all the important shit. And that’s all the stuff you assume everyone knows.\n
  • Write every sample widget or application you can think of. Make them open source.\n
  • There’s never enough ways to give examples. Put them on your site, make gists, write articles.\n
  • Make sure you’ve got as many ways possible to communicate with your developers - email, web, groups, irc - all of them work.\n
  • There’s nothing better than making people “Ooh and Ahh” at the awesome stuff your API can do. Figure out how to show that off in 5 minutes. Double rainbows for audience participation.\n
  • There’s a ton of competition for developers these days - you won’t make friends sitting at home on the weekends. Sponsor as many as you possibly can - money or time are both great.\n
  • Everyone loves a little experimentation - sometimes you have to pay for it. When there’s 200 APIs to choose from, you’ve got to stand out (and your API may not be enough, gasp).\n
  • Tell everyone about them. Write blog posts, do videos, invite them to speak on your behalf.\n
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  • Hack the Hacker: Be as Indispensable as Mountain Dew

    1. 1. Hack the Hack0rbe as indispensable as mountain dewby Gregarious Narain <gregarious@getchute.com>
    2. 2. build scaffoldsno one cares how it works inside, just outside Photo Credit: Olivier Jeannin
    3. 3. RTFMcontrary to popular belief, it freaking matters A LOT Photo Credit: Timitrius
    4. 4. do i look psychic?take everything for granted - you’re the dumb one Photo Credit: mtsofan
    5. 5. everyone’s a skaterbuild the ramp that lets people go F A S T Photo Credit: OstentatiousHumility
    6. 6. speak and spellteach me how to code Photo Credit:Yusuf C
    7. 7. handle exceptionsthe error is always between the screen and keyboard - YOURS Photo Credit: Landahlauts
    8. 8. double rainbowhave an AMAZING demo you can do in 5 mins Photo Credit: Stuck in Customs
    9. 9. enter the matrixget involved with the community or get lost Photo Credit: Kevin Coppock
    10. 10. stuff the mattressa free prize goes a long, long way Photo Credit: we-make-money-not-art
    11. 11. be a pimpyou’re no good if you’re not proud Photo Credit: Todd Mecklem
    12. 12. </end>I’m Gregarious. More at http://about.me/gregarious.

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