Ranking DevRel Activities by Expected Community Impact

Developer relations teams have countless options for activities to build community – from events and content production to incentive programs and support forums. With limited resources, where should they focus to drive growth and engagement?

This article summarizes a data-backed methodology for ranking the expected impact from 25 common DevRel activities specifically on attracting, energizing and retaining community members.

Scoring Model

To enable comparisons, each activity receives a categorical score as a consistent grading mechanism:

  • Highly Impactful
  • Moderately Impactful
  • Impactful
  • Low Impact

While no activity is completely ineffective, this scale identifies where teams should prioritize spending based on potential influence on developer community health and growth.

Key Determinants of Impact

The rankings derive from assessing each activity against a set of determining factors indicative of ability to create connections and provide value:

  • Depth of engagement
  • Developer contribution and participation levels
  • Applicability to personas across the journey
  • Lasting utility beyond one-off interactions

This focuses impact assessment specifically on community-building metrics beyond general awareness.

Highly Impactful Activities

Of 25 common activities, 8 emerge as highly impactful based on their strong performance against the key determinants:

Workshops & Hackathons – Hands-on learning builds relationships; participants directly give back by creating demos.

Event Sponsorships – Visibility and credibility from integration into external developer communities.

1:1 Technical Support – High-touch guidance that builds loyalty and meets key user needs.

Open Source Projects – Provides tangible value to developers; contributor community engagement.

Free Tiers – Low barrier to entry increases reach, enables testing and learning.

Challenges & Bounties – Rewards contributions, incentivizes participation beyond passive users.

Partnerships – Extend reach by leveraging partners’ developer audiences and relationships.

Surveys – Direct needs assessment and feedback from community members.


The common thread across highly impactful activities is they provide layered, multifaceted value – education plus networking, visibility plus contribution opportunities, access plus incentives – driving deeper connections.

Moderately and Least Impactful

No activity lacks merit, but those relying primarily on passive participation or one-off contribution fall lower in expected influence on ongoing community growth and retention. For example:

  • Webinars (scale limitations)
  • Documentation (utilitarian)
  • Transactional bounties

Still, these activities play useful roles in a balanced program.

Optimizing Activities Mix

Given constrained resources, DevRel teams should emphasize highly impactful areas as primary growth levers while utilizing moderate and low activities to round out and support the program.

However, teams can enhance impact through strong execution, strategic bundling, and continuous optimization informed by user feedback and data. For example, combining high production value webinars with interactive forums and incentivized challenges to boost engagement.

The framework provides a starting point for consideration based on typical results. Teams can further tailor and validate through experimentation with their communities. But focusing on depth of engagement stands out as the key determinant for developer relations impact.


As experts in building highly engaged developer communities for leading tech companies, we can conduct an assessment of your existing developer program activities through this evaluation lens. Let us research and grade the initiatives you have in flight today across content, events, support, and incentives. We’ll identify what’s working well and where to adjust strategy for maximum community impact.