Listen to the Episode on Soundcloud -
Brief overview of Shri's background
Lived in NYC - discovered Kimono through his network
Went to MIT
director of growth
What does a dev evangelist do?
Different at every company
At Kimono it’s about making customers happy - best way for them is to interact in a face-to-face manner
User you meet in person is more loyal than someone you meet online.
Also face-to-face means they have better support channels
We want to help customers promote what they built with Kimono
Hosting a meetup, going to a meetup, or going to an office or school environment are all part of a dev evangelist’s job
Developer events like hackathons or conferences - it’s about being a member of the community and helping out
Dev Evangelism is perfect storm between being technical and being a good communicator
Evangelism isn’t as hard as the relationship management
Evangelism has a focus on ‘soft skills’ but you need to be as data driven as possible
Good part of going to events is the opportunity to work with other companies
Direct Response event strategy - if you signup through a hackathon channel on Kimono’s site you’ll get more benefits. Kimono is able to determine the value of their attending events
What did you work on before you became a dev evangelist?
When he joined Kimono he wanted it to be a learning experience. At Flightcar Shri was CTO, wanted next role to be more involved in the community.
wanted to get more into the developer community
dev evangelism is a ‘soft field’ - need a way to evaluate yourself and what you’re doing
in person meetups - you get opportunities to work with other companies
incentive people to go through a specialized route w/ discount codes…
kimono has special URL where you get priority support
How long have you been running your Dev Evangelism program
Always had dev evangelism, even before Shri
Shri joined in June - it really ramped up then
Honestly at this point it’s unclear what works and what doesn’t
Y combinator companies are doing dev evangelism well - it’s a large and well funded network so they have the luxury
What is an API or product (not your own) that you love?
Parse - makes building fast
Vessel - A/B testing for mobile
RJ metrics - business intelligence on DB
What is your favorite hackathon format?
YC hacks - Competitive and Collaborative - combo
Science Fair expo is invaluable because it allows you to talk to teams without interrupting
prize - AR drone for best product
Tell me about a great event you’ve been to in the past year
Comedy Hack day is great
series of hackathons - Comedy Hack Day
Throw a hackathon vs sponsor one - Which choice is better for a company who wants to get involved?
It makes sense to get involved in an existing event at first
Kimono wants to throw one, but isn’t ready yet. Need to build the community first.
Do you think hackathons will play a role in the future of education?
some professors have begun accepting hackathon attendence instead of doing homework
Shri himself likes to learn via projects or hacking on things
Hackathons are a great place to get opportunities - many people have been able to drop out due to their hackathon attendance
Future of hiring may be hackathons
Recruitment at hackathons is very similar to evangelism at hackathons -
looking for someone who is passionate about your product
you get to know people at the events. they will either intern or as the company grows get hired
ROI at hackathons is hard to determine, but sponsoring is almost always cheaper than getting candidates through a recruiter, and quality of hire is higher
Recruiters are usually trash, they don’t know anything about engineering. (except Hired.com, they are all engineers)
Where do the you see the dev evangelism scene evolving to?
Sendgrid and Twilio were the Dev Evangelism innovators
It’s finally a title at companies… originally MSFT and only a few others had them. Now every company seems to be hiring for one.
big problem to be tackled will be measuring ROI. Someone needs to nail down how to do this
Another possibility is changing the sponsorship models at hackathons. More will flood in once it’s measurable.
Pay per hack - (team which uses your API) or pay per head (people you meet)... problem with flat fee is that only big companies are able to realize returns
Direct Response vs Brand Advertising
Anything (product, API, idea) you want to plug?
Kimono labs - let you turn any website into an API using point and click interface
search for other API’s created
side projects - can turn API into an app w/o programming
Is there anything I forgot to ask that I should have?