Creating a DevRel Evaluation Framework

For developer relations (DevRel) teams to benchmark and improve their performance, they require an objective methodology for evaluation. This allows them to identify strengths, expose areas needing work, facilitate comparisons, and inform resourcing and strategy.

This article outlines how to construct a data-driven framework for grading DevRel across key metrics indicative of impact and health.

Establishing an Effective Metrics Hierarchy

The foundation of any performance evaluation model is the metrics hierarchy used to define success. Be sure to incorporate metrics spanning:

Outcomes: These tie back to business goals around growth, product adoption, revenue, reputation etc. They indicate the tangible impact of DevRel.

Outputs: These capture volume and efficiency measures like users supported, content produced, events hosted. Outputs help drive outcomes.

Activities: These include specific tasks and projects like launching a forum, organizing a conference, or publishing APIs. Activities are required to deliver outputs.

A good metric framework mixes outcome and output key performance indicators (KPIs) to connect operational efficiency to overall influence.

Grading Methodology

With a metrics hierarchy set, establish a consistent grading methodology. The goal is to standardize assessments as much as possible for comparability.

1-5 Rating Scale: Assign each metric a score from 1 to 5, with 1 being “Needs Improvement” and 5 representing “Excellent” performance.

Rubric definitions: Provide clear descriptions for what constitutes each rating number based on reasonable expectations.

Evidence-based: Scoring should derive directly from available data points or user studies associated with each metric.

Weighting (Optional): If some metrics have outsized business impact, consider weighting them more heavily.

Overall Grade: DevRel’s overall grade is the mathematical average across all metric scores.

Sample Metrics and Grading

Community Growth & Engagement

Measures size and activity within owned communities.

1: Declines quarter over quarter
3: 5% QoQ growth
5: 15%+ QoQ growth

Content & Assets

Tracks creation of learning resources.

1: No new assets published
3: 4 new pieces per month
5: 8+ new pieces per month

Event Attendance

Captures community participation.

1: Decrease in attendees YoY
3: 5% increase YoY
5: 15%+ increase YoY

Evaluating Results

Once scoring is complete, analyzing the distribution of grades offers insights into DevRel performance:

Overall grade provides high-level performance snapshot
Distribution shows where strengths and weaknesses lie
Metric trends demonstrate progress over time
Comparisons to other teams inspire improvement

Teams can then strategize around upgrading lagging metrics, maintaining strengths, and replicating best practices. Rinse and repeat evaluations on a quarterly basis to continually optimize.

Ongoing, Consistent Evaluation Enables Progress

By implementing a standardized grading framework tied to well-considered metrics, DevRel teams and leaders can better evaluate performance, address weaknesses, and validate strengths. Consistent quarterly reviews ensure continuity in maximizing impact through continuous improvement. With developer experience playing an ever more vital role in company success, having an evaluation framework provides the basis for Developer Relations excellence.


Now that you have a methodology for objectively grading DevRel impact, leverage our team’s experience running top-tier developer programs globally to evaluate your current operations. We can apply this rubric through interviews, data analysis, and research to uncover strengths, weaknesses, and improvement areas to inform your strategy and resourcing.