What are the most efficient ways to recruit developer advocates?

Michael Ludden / November, 2017


Michael Ludden is the Director of Product at IBM’s Watson Developer Labs & AR/VR Labs. Previous to that he worked with product and developer marketing at Google, Samsung and at HTC. In this video, Michael explains how you can recruit the best developer advocates.

Video transcript:

What are the most efficient ways to recruit developer advocates?

We are undergoing a process of recruiting, hiring, developer advocates worldwide really. It’s an interesting exercise in the company of this scale. Because there are a lot of pre-existing ‘developer advocates’, and I put it in quotes because some of them are and some of them I consider aren’t. So you have people internally who’s job functions are changing, you have people externally.

I think in this area in San Francisco, it really is like finding a unicorn. Like finding a unicorn and the sword in the stone at the same time. Because everybody here is so over recruited that if they don’t already have a job usually something is wrong. With that said there are other markets in the world that has a lot of talent. They are talent rich and they are underserved. I think you can really find some hidden gems in terms of developer advocates.

We are focusing on some of our satellite cities to pick up some really good talent and kind of have a ground game, for lack of a better term, they can service that area, service community leaders in the area, get to know the local developer communities. If they don’t already. Ideally, they would already.

That is how we are approaching it. I think that if you are approaching and addressing the right audience of potentially good candidates for developer advocates, then if you go to them with the right exciting message about how they can be part of a seed change at a company like IBM. In our case becoming a developer first or something like that and that they can be empowered to kind of have a somewhat creative job with a lot of agency and some travel. They get to go to conferences and caucus with other developers from other companies, game plan, come up with demos, share that. It becomes an easier pitch. If you go at it like ‘hey, come and work for a big company, you’ll get a regular paycheck, and you get to talk to developers’ that is not how you want to do it.



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