DevRel 2023 Review and 2024 Outlook

2023 DevRel Review

2023 saw developer relations continue maturing into a strategic capability, though not without some lingering pandemic impacts.

Many teams settled into hybrid engagement models balancing offline and virtual experiences. In-person events reemerged, but digital reach expanded through live streams and recordings. Omnichannel strategies became the norm.

Developer recruitment and retention was more critical than ever amidst the ongoing talent shortage. DevRel played a key role nurturing talent pipelines through community building and education initiatives.

Developer experience excellence emerged as a competitive differentiator. DevRel’s insights into developer needs shaped product improvements and premium DX offerings.

Despite some economic uncertainty, most companies sustained or expanded DevRel capacity, recognizing its ability to boost efficiency and leverage community. Automation assisted some teams in “doing more with less”.

In 2023, DevRel solidified as a valued strategic capability bringing the voice of developer into critical decisions.

2024 DevRel Outlook

In 2024 and beyond, five key trends will influence DevRel:

  1. Deeper analytics rigor: With tighter budgets looming, DevRel will need to showcase hard ROI through goal setting, attribution modeling, and reporting.
  2. Greater focus on monetization: Conversion to paid offerings, monitored usage tiers, and commercial partnerships will help monetize high-value community members.
  3. Expanded educational products: As recruiting talent gets costlier, DevRel will develop educational products, certifications and accreditations to cultivate talent pipelines.
  4. Localization and personalization: More segmentation and translation will aim to boost relevance for distinct global personas and sub-communities.
  5. Multi-channel journeys: Individual channels will integrate into full lifecycle journeys with coordinated messaging and progressive levels of engagement.

Underlying these shifts, empathy, creativity and technical advocacy remain DevRel’s purpose. But increased rigor and monetization will propel the function to deliver greater strategic business impact.

Beyond Tactics: Culture and Mindset

As always, culture and mindset are ultimately more important than tactical trends for exemplary DevRel:

  • Stay member-focused – help developers achieve their goals, not vanity metrics.
  • Build authentic human connections through care and listening.
  • Advocate internally for the needs of community members.
  • Exhibit grit and passion, especially in challenging times.
  • Take creative risks to delight community members.

Keeping these timeless principles central will help DevRel teams continue providing value in 2024 and beyond, regardless of technological and economic fluctuations.