Welcome to the blog. The traditional reverse-date-oriented feed of essays and such are below, but I've also started working on some material that kinda wants to be gathered together in a non-blog format--more like collections of written resources brought together. So, before wandering through the blog list, maybe you're looking for patterns reimagined or Speaker Tips? Or check out the "Sections" menu above for a list of some of my favorite blog posts over the years. Of course, the Archive has the complete chronological list, most-recent to oldest (2005!). Thanks for reading; at some point, I'll get comments (Disqus) turned on here again, but that's a TODO for now.

The Player/Coach Fallacy

Why the "player/coach" approach is a flawed premise and should be retired.

20 January 2023

tl;dr Many companies look to hire individuals who are both leader and individual contributor (IC) on the same team. These are often referred to as "Player/Coach" kinds of roles, and people in these roles often find a distinct lack of success over time.

The Full-Stack Developer Fallacy

Why the search for the "full stack developer" is a mistake based on a misnomer.

19 January 2023

tl;dr Lots of companies are spending exorbitant amounts of time trying to track down and hire "full stack" developers, and finding them difficult to find. This is probably because there is no such thing, and reveals a deep weakness in the hiring manager's thinking.

A DevRel Activity Ontology

A categorization and classification of various developer relations activities.

14 January 2023

tl;dr: Newcomers to Developer Relations are often curious as to what, exactly, makes up the range of activities that a Developer Advocate (and related individuals) undertake. In this post, I look to provide an ontology and means by which to examine what artifacts satisfy what needs, and how it isn't just about what artifacts a DevAd produces.

Where does DevRel fit on an org chart?

It's time to rethink DevRel's "home" in the organization.

08 January 2023

tl;dr: The Developer Relations org isn't exactly Engineering, but it's not entirely Marketing, and it often isn't really Sales. So if you're a company looking to find a home for your nascent (or currently-existing) DevRel team, where do you put it?

What I Want to Build

If I had a million dollars....

02 January 2023

tl;dr What would you do if you could do anything? Or, if you're a developer-manager-type, what would you build? Given that we're starting 2023, I thought it a reasonable time to take a stab at putting it out there into the universe.

You Want Modules, Not Microservices

Dissecting why everybody keeps talking about microservices.

02 January 2023

tl;dr Architecture is hard sometimes--people keep offering up some new idea that quickly becomes the mainstream "way to do it" without any context or nuance, and the industry, desperate to find ways to improve their architecture, snaps it up without hesitation. Microservices was the latest in the trend, and it's time we dissected the idea and got to the real root of what's going on.

Every Company Needs a Developer Relations Team

Why your company needs a DevRel team--regardless of what your company does--and how DevRel matches up to the company's needs.

31 December 2022

tl;dr: In my 2022 Tech Predictions, I asserted that more companies would be building DevRel teams, and I've repeated that in my 2023 Tech Predictions. I have reasons for that; I've been at many wildly-different companies, many of which with wildly different business models, and I've concluded that every company (that is in any way associated with software beyond a cursory level) in the post-2000 era has need of a Developer Relations department or organization. That said, DevRel is not the same at every company, and varies with the kind of things the company does to make money.

2023 Tech Predictions

Technology and related predictions for 2023.

29 December 2022

It's that time of the year again, when I make predictions for the upcoming year. As has become my tradition now for nigh-on a decade, I will first go back over last years' predictions, to see how well I called it (and keep me honest), then wax prophetic on what I think the new year has to offer us.

Of Cost Centers, and Competitive Advantages

How do you view your IT?

28 December 2022

tl;dr: The recent collapse of Southwest Airlines' operations that forced them to cancel 2/3 of all of their flights across the country, which current analysis suggests was due to "outdated IT systems" (specifically their employee-scheduling system), reminded me of a conversation over dinner with some speaker-friends a few years back. Companies can be classified into two categories: Those that view IT as a "cost center", and those that view IT as a "competitive advantage". How do you see the difference, and if you're a part of management, how do you influence the outcome?

Older posts are available in the archive.