Show of hands who’s seen 36 Chambers of Shaolin? Based on a true story. San Te lived in oppressive empire in imperial Manchu china who cracked down on some activists. His family was killed and he convinced the isolationist Shaolin Temple to take him in for monk training, a mental and physical endeavor. Just like SE. The Shaolin Temple taught monks 35 rigorous lessons or ‘chambers’ . Things like walking on water and building your tchi energy in your neck such that you can fall on a spear unharmed. If you pass these, you become a full fledged monk.San Te did this. He excelled so well that he was able to gain political momentum and add another chamber to Shaolin. What do you suppose this was?Giving back. Teaching the world. The temple isn’t truly isolated as much as it wishes it were. To me this is the pinnacle of any profession.
Often we must fight for what’s right. The fight is better fought together. I’ve seen some things. The Engineer is a unique breed. Honed in his own version of the 36 chambers, most have very strong individualized world views. Demos, derived from the great Athenien orator Demosthenes, from a sense of to demonstrate or to argue, demos or arguments are not traditionally the strong suit of your basic coffee drinking, shower skipping coder. But times and technology have changed. Blogs, tweets, wikis, tweets, forums. Who better to control the flow of communication to achieve unity then a tech savvy modern day James Bond?DEVELOPER EVANGELISTS EXIST AND ARE GAINFULLY EMPLOYED. They in theory would organize this fight for us. <click>DEVangelists, a term I coined,reappropriate professional developer evangelists’ efforts, and empower themselves as engineers.
I repeat, developer evangelists are a thing. They exist. <CLICK> See? <wait>Here’s the pitch:Why do you need developer evangelists?Every day millions of dollars are wasted in companies because non-tech people and tech people either don't communicate at all or completely miss each other's points.Even more money is then spent on internal promotion of your products or external communication and advertising to get people excited about your new product.A developer evangelist is a spokesperson, mediator and translator between a company and both its technical staff and outside developers.If you think this would be a good role for you, here's the developer evangelist handbook which gives you some great tips on how to do this job.Developer evangelist is a role that is a change for developers, not for people coming from HR, PR or marketing. Your main job is still to code – but this time examples, training materials and explanatory demos rather than live products.As a Software Engineer, the following really sells me on learning some of these skills. Using the handbook you'll learn how to:Find great web content and promote it.Write for the web and create engaging code examples.Use the web and the social web to your advantage to reach, research and promote.Prepare and deliver great presentations.Imagine the power?
“You can make geeks find solutions for almost anything – if you speak their language. If you don't then they will most likely appear as weird, non-communicative and in general not as excited about working for the company as – for example – the marketing department is.One very crucial part to becoming a successful developer evangelist is to remove the brand from your thinking.Yes, you work for a certain company that builds a lot of products, some of them cool – some of them terrible. The point of developer evangelism is not to get people excited about the brand or the company behind it though.Instead it is about the products the company releases and even more specifically about getting developers excited about playing with them.”The handbook contains this opinion which seems highly informed, about how the loudest people (see tweeters, marketers,salespeople), are not the best to motivate an engineer. It covers some of these nuances and more.Internally, when we built cookie free pipeline, it was a good example of sexifying the code base, from a product perspective. Really, we just took a whole lot of data storage locally, but it was advertised and as such built strong communication and motivation. This and other sections dedicated to reputation, which is ever important and should not be compromised. If Rocket Fuel has a better solution than us for some problem, and Stanley dances around this fact, he loses esteem to me as a truthteller, and being worthwhile. In avoiding brand as gospel mentality, techies will rejoice. An executive saying ‘we have great people’ is not nearly as reassuring to an engineer as seeing these great people in action discussing solutions. Product, solution focus adds one more expansive and flexible and reasonable since it is on a foundation of technology rather than marketerspeak.
You have a voice!Tech talks, meetups, scrum philosophy blog posts.Putting your ideas out in public will make you refine them one more step. Maybe the open source guru should have be encouraged, helped to write a guest post on the company blog? That would be a tangible expression by the company that he’s valued.Be known as an outward channelmore communication…As a lot of people talk about the company to the world on different levels it is a good plan to tell the company about your outward communication channels. This ensures that you are not approaching the same people in parallel and possibly give mixed messages effectively undermining your and your company's credibilityTip: A lot of this will tie in nicely with communication channels that PR and marketing already use. Ask them for help instead of doing your own thing and creating confusion and trespass on their territory.Make the company aware of the communication channels to the outside world. Say that the blog you have is successful and that you are very happy to publish in-depth blog posts about current work and best practices used in the company. Then offer help with writing those.“in my current job I had great success by using both and then helping marketing to set up blogs and HR to use Twitter. This creates an amazing amount of goodwill with these departments and it is an easy step for you as you are already excited and knowledgeable”
The proper medium.Steve Yegge gave me this insight into blogging as a refined way of leaving thoughts for discovery:You can save work by blogging. Many people have figured out that this is true of Wiki: rather than explaining the same thing over and over, you put your explanation in Wiki once, and you're done.But Wiki doesn't feel like the right medium for the kinds of things that go into blogs. Blogs are often more spontaneous, more exploratory, and people have different expectations about them. Great BLOG POST ^^^With regards to techniques:“Simple is not stupidWriting very simple texts is hard work. Writing stupid texts is less hard. Consider the following traits of simple texts:1Writing in simple terms takes a lot of work and thorough understanding of the subject matter. You need to be very familiar with the topic to be able to explain it in very easy terms.2 If you explain things in as easy as possible terms you make sure that you reach the largest amount of readers.3 Simple wording allows non-native speakers to get a chance to understand what the whole thing is about and maybe spend some time with a translation tool to make it work for them.“Also, here <CLICK>, one more lesson. What is this shot? What does it tell you about titling a blog post?Does your headline both tell the reader what is going on and entices them to click it?
Another interesting part was when he said:“My rule of thumb is – the more technical the audience, the less you should use powerpoint or keynote. Show how you can code with the product, not how shiny it is or what its workflow isHe once had to give a talk about Yahoo BOSS to a search engine optimisation crowd. They loved that Yahoo's search index is open for remixing but also were very aware that in the country I gave the talk Yahoo only had 5% of the search market. I worked around this by building Keywordfinder, thus giving them a cool tool to get keywords related to certain topics and showing them how versatile BOSS is.“
He says:Have all the links in a presentation as a tag on delicious (or any other social bookmarking site). got a lot of good feedback and high viewing figures on SlideShare for my slides which can be an indicator that I am doing the right thing.I have the information in a highly portable format for people to read afterwards – by converting it to HTML later on or blogging these notes.You can mention this before your presentation and give them the URL. This relaxes audiences immensly as the first question at every conference I get is whether the slides will be available or not.Screenshots are amazingly powerful. Instead of just pointing out a resource on the web your audience can check later, make a screenshot of the web site and overlay the URL on the slidecreating screen shots I use Skitch, which is not only terribly easy to use, but also allows me immediately to add some arrows and explanations and upload the final product to Flickr.
Developer Evangelism and Self
Often one has to be her own