DevRel != Community

There was this discussion on our Twitter community a while back (started by @simon_tomes) who was curious about the reasoning of targeting DevRel.

CleanShot 2022-07-04 at 19.32.54@2x

I thought I’d put it down here as I found a couple of other posts kind of related to this overall topic.

I think, at least for me, there is this confusion between DevRel and community. There are intersections or crossovers with DevRel, but it is not necessarily community.

Perhaps there will be even more confusion as we go forward as some are now referring to it at Developer Experience.

DevRel as we knew it is dead…The power now lies with the content creators.

The above link was found via Developer Experience is Dead.

And I put this related question out on Twitter a while back:

I find DevRel / DX interesting. I think there is good work going on there.

My concern: tool companies designing and creating products designed for DevRel and forgetting that there are many ways to build community. By focusing on DevRel, many community things will get missed.

Anyways…just posting some initial thoughts as it always muddles with my mind.

How is DevRel like community building? How is it not? And vice versa.


I think there are a handful of platform vendors who come from a devrel background, or who see devrel as a practical first step because the interactions have easier metrics to access.

If your measure of community engagement is the number of issues resolved or contributions within a GitHub repo, that’ll be a lot easier to track than, say, relationships between members or an individual’s sense of group belonging.

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This is a highly relevant podcast episode for this discussion: 🔓 60: Just a couple lines of code — In Before The Lock Podcast

Very brief summary: Developers are essentially one community persona, so devrel == a sub-section of community.


I’d say that “a DevRel community” is most definitely “a community”, in the same way that a CoP is, or an education support community is, or a product support community is.

Building out tooling to support different community use cases makes complete sense.