Transforming Training and Certification into a Strategic DevRel Priority

Developer training and certification programs provide tremendous value by increasing technical proficiency. But they often lack integration with strategic company priorities besides generic developer success. This article outlines an approach to transform skills building into a mission-critical enabler helping drive business growth, retention, and innovation.

Assessing Needs and Opportunities

The first phase focuses research on establishing the case for training and certifications as a strategic priority:

Skills Analysis: Survey developers on key gaps impacting productivity or advancement. Monitor forums and support tickets to identify recurring issues stemming from lack of expertise.

Stakeholder Input: Interview sales teams, customer success managers, product managers on use cases where lack of technical enablement impacts metrics like deal progression, churn, feature discovery. Document specific examples.

Competitive Benchmarking: Analyze technical training and certification offerings within the industry for differentiation opportunities. Look at job posts to determine in-demand skills.

Business Goal Alignment: Identify connections between establishing expertise and company OKRs around revenue growth, platform adoption, retention, or partnerships.

This grounded needs assessment spotlights areas where DevRel-led training and certifications can provide disproportionate strategic value.

Crafting Value Propositions

With priority skill and persona gaps understood, the next phase involves defining value propositions positioning learning programs as enablers of specific business outcomes:

Support Enterprise Deals: Getting Services Certified in Platform Training to Meet Procurement Gates

Reduce Churn: New Admin Certification Pathway Improves Troubleshooting and Product Mastery

Accelerate Releases: Architecture Certification Unlocks Effective Utilization of New Platform Capabilities

These statements connect technical enablement directly to revenue, retention, innovation, or other goals stakeholders care about.

Structuring Programs Strategically

Training and certs now emerge not just as a decentralized nice-to-have, but instead a centralized, mission-critical capability underpinning organizational success measures.

With executive backing, DevRel can invest in robust infrastructure for learning programs tightly aligned to corporate objectives:

  • Learning tracks tailored to persona journey stages
  • Blended modalities combining various formats
  • Case studies and demos grounded in customer success
  • Assessment-based credentialing pathways
  • Incentives and recognition for participation

This transforms technical enablement from an ad hoc function into a strategic capability.

Promoting for Impact

Once built, promotion should continuously reinforce tying program objectives to business priorities:

  • Produce collateral clearly stating value propositions
  • Recruit developer advocates to share firsthand impact stories
  • Offer rewards for participation as initial catalyst for word-of-mouth
  • Activate internal channels – email, Slack, town halls – to drive awareness

This branding strengthens positioning learning as an indispensable growth lever, not just feel-good community initiative.

Sustaining Momentum

Ongoing success requires relentless focus on business contribution through training and certifications:

  • Survey participants on applied outcomes from program
  • Collect case studies on deals won, churn prevented, products built
  • Share metrics updates in exec meetings showing impact
  • Support managers to sponsor team enrollment
  • Showcase certified developers in external marketing
  • Launch new specialty credentials on emerging priorities

The emphasis on alignments to corporate goals must persist, not just at launch.

Positioning Enablement as Imperative

Developer relations organizations seeking to maximize impact should evaluate shifting technical training and certifications from the domain of individual betterment toward instrumental programs underpinning strategic success.

This requires understanding precisely where skills gaps intersect with business priorities combined with articulate value propositions. Initiatives must build ongoing reinforcement of corporate benefit into the very fabric of learning programs through promotion, incentives, metrics, and case studies.

The payoff? Developers gain proficiency en masse. And organizations accelerate key objectives through large-scale capability building and enhancement. Aligned training initiatives become force multipliers, providing individual improvement at scale while propelling products to market, deals to close, churn to lower, and revenue to climb.


If this vision of strategic technical enablement resonates with you as a potential game-changer, we have hands-on experience executing sophisticated training programs and credentialing pathways tightly aligned to core business objectives. Let’s explore where skilling initiatives could unlock outcomes around revenue, retention, or adoption in your organization specifically. Our team can guide you in research, design strategy, and even tactical implementation support powered by proven learning frameworks.