I can’t believe it, but I’ve now been working for Pusher for a year. It’s been an exciting year both in life and in business – and it’s great when you spend a lot of the time working on something you are really interested in. So, I thought I’d push out a post covering the things that I’ve done this year along with a few thoughts.
A Developer Evangelist?
I’m a strong believer that we are much more than a job title and that each person has their own strengths, weaknesses and interests so they should get to work on the things that will most benefit them and through that benefit the company they work for.
But, the job title of “Developer Evangelist”, “Technical Evangelist” or “Developer Advocate” does generally mean you do a few things:
- Write blog posts about technology. This could be your product or just interesting technology in general.
- Attend events: tech meetups, hack days, hack weekends and conferences.
- Talk at events: as above.
- Generally use social media to interact with other developers. Blogging is part of this but also Twitter, Google+, irc, StackOverflow and various other channels. It’s not an all or nothing thing though.
- Keep up to speed with relevant technologies.
There will be other responsibilities based on the role and the person. I spend quite a bit of time handling support queries. This is a great way of understanding how people are using Pusher and ways in which we could make our service better.
For me the job covers customer support (communication and tech support), marketing, a bit of product strategy and of course development. And probably a bunch of other things from time to time.
Interestingly enough I’ve never been very keen on public speaking. Yet, it’s actually pretty core to this job. So, I’m having to do it even though I’m not sure if I really want to do it or not, I just understand the importance of doing it. In any job you have to try new things and test yourself – this is the biggest test for me.
If you like the sound of this job, we are looking to hire another Developer Evangelist
Finally, I highly recommend Christian Heilmann’s Developer Evangelist handbook. It’s one of the things that made me realised that this is what I wanted to do.
A year in review
Here’s a list of things that I’ve done over the past year. But for faster consumption, my highlights have been:
- Tutorial published in .net magazine. It was really cool so see an article I’d written in print on the shelves of places like WHSmith.
- Being on a panel at the Local Social Summit. It was really fulfilling to think about social and business aspects of the realtime web.
- Talking at Tech Meetup Edinburgh. I’ve been to techmeetup a few times so it felt really good, after the event, to have spoken and my talk seemed to have gone down well.
- Getting involved in Code Africa at News International. It was great to be part of a team that produced something really usable and with a real application in such a short space of time.
- Tutorial published in Smashing Magazine
Read on for more details and additional links.
- Started at Pusher
- Attended Falsy Values in Warsaw
- Wrote a “Building a realtime survey” tutorial article for .net magazine
- Spent quite a long time reviewing and updated the Pusher documentation
- Refactored Pusher .NET client library and created Silverlight library
- Created Realtime Web Technology Guide:
- Added functionality to a Pusher REST .NET library and packaged as a Nuget library
- First ASP.NET blog post on building a real-time stock level indicator
- Started planning for onGameStart
- What came before Websockets
- This one got a reasonable amount of coverage.
- Second ASP.NET tutorial – A Who’s online shopping widget:
- Article published in .net magazine. The article is now available online too.
- Coverage in Mozilla Hack Weekly
- Attended onGameStart in Warsaw
- Gave a talk on the Realtime Web at Dundee Web Standards
- Gave a talk on the Realtime Web to Aberdeen .NET User Group
- Helped organise and publicise the first Pusher Challenge
- Wrote a realtime charity thermometer widget tutorial for GiveCamp UK
- Attended GiveCamp UK (source)
- WebSocket article published in MSDN UK Flash newsletter
- Attended the Mozilla Festival
- Wrote a blog post about using Pusher at MozFest beforehand
- Ran a realtime web workshop at MozFest
- Attended the Local Social Summit and was on the Realtime Web panel discussion
- Gave a talk on the Realtime Web at Developer Developer Developer Dundee (DunDDD) with Gary Short
You have a some months where you look back and you’re not exactly sure what you were up to. December and January were two such months. That said, the following months were pretty busy so busy months obviously require a bit of preparation – I’m guessing
- As well as holidays I hit StackOverflow quite hard
- Made a start on new Pusher Tutorials
- HTML5 Realtime Push Notifications tutorial:
- Realtime Activity Streams tutorial
- Realtime Chat Widget tutorial:
- Gave a talk at Edinburgh TechMeetup “Web Browsers & the Realtime Web”
- Attended jQuery UK conference in Oxford
- Attended Guardian Hackday
- Photo by Dan Murphy from Pearson (Source)
- Gave a realtime web talk at the University of Dundee
- Attended Code Africa hack weekend at The Times
- Attended Hackathon London hack weekend:
- Ran a Realtime Web Workshop in Edinburgh (hosted at Skyscanner)
- Gave a Pusher talk at R/GA London
- Gave a Pusher talk to Pearson Future Technologies team in London
- Started writing a tutorial for Smashing Magazine
- Wrote Realtime Location-Aware Visitor Tracker article for Web Resources Depot
- Attended Culture Hack Scotland
- Great to see the winner of the ‘most fun’ category and overall winner of the event using Pusher. http://blog.pusher.com/2012/5/3/shakey-has-it-all-realtime-mobile-browser-and-user-audience-engagement
- How to Build a Realtime Commenting System tutorial published in Smashing Magazine
- Gave a realtime web talk at MRM Meteorite
- Hereford .NET User Group talk on the realtime web
- Travel to San Francisco
- Talking at HTML5DevConf
- Talk at San Francisco Telephony meetup:
- Talking at Fluent Conf
- Look out for other hack events to attend/speak at.
- Hopefully meet up with a number of current an potential Pusher customers.
- Organise Webinar Series with AT&T
- Agreed to be a technical reviewer on a realtime web book
- Agreed to submit an article to an HTML5 Hacks book
Finally I’d like to say thanks to Damien and Max, the co-founders of Pusher. They saw what I had done with Kwwika, and despite having to deal with the occasional massive email from me, have given me the opportunity to continue doing something I really believe in – helping others understand and use realtime web technologies.
Finally, finally – since I’m in San Francisco I get to publish this blog post whilst sitting in Yerba Buena Gardens. Pretty cool!