I’m Sven, and I’m the first Developer Advocate here at Manfred. To be fair: Manfred has always been doing developer advocacy, with David being THE brand ambassador and creating a lot of noise in the community. Actually, everyone at Manfred is an advocate for developers, and that’s also a big reason why I joined.
What is a Developer Advocate doing and why does Manfred need one?
Developer Advocates are building relations with tech communities. They're mainly helping engineers to work with a specific technology or service, collect feedback from users, raise awareness, and be the face of the company.
So is it developer marketing? Yes and no. Web developers are often questioning bold marketing messages. We want to try the product or technology ourselves. So here is where Developer Advocates are coming in: They help developers discover the value of a product. They write tutorials, give presentations, and bring the feedback from users back to their developers.
For Manfred, it is explaining what it means when we say “Recruiting is broken, and it needs to be fixed”, what value our recently launched online CV offers and helping developers figure out what their next career steps might be.
It’s true; Manfred is already very well known in the Spanish developer community. My job will be to take the Manfred message to an international audience.
Why did you join a startup after working for Atlassian and MongoDB?
I want to help developers finding their dream job. During my career, I had a lot of different roles: Developer, project lead, and team lead before I found my destiny in Developer Relations at Atlassian in 2011. I also tried to be a VP of Marketing for a while but returned to dev advocacy at MongoDB. Or with other words: I found the role that I love and that I'm passionate about.
As a developer advocate, you talk to a lot of people in tech. What I hear is that engineers love to solve real-world problems, create solutions for their users, work in a great team, and admire a healthy engineering culture. But the actual work environment often looks different. Even though some of them are not happy with their current situation, they are often afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone. They’re stuck in their daily routines, don’t know how much salary they can ask for, and are not sure how to look for the next step in their career.
Helping those developers brought me to Manfred. For 10 years I’m speaking at conferences around the world about great coding cultures, how to create a world-class team, and how to do kick a$$ software development. Basically, how to be happy in your job. This resonates greatly with Manfred's mission of helping developers to find the job they’ll love.
Working at larger tech companies like Atlassian and MongoDB was great and has taught me a lot. But here at Manfred, my work can have much bigger impact. Developer Relations here is still an area that needs to be designed and developed. This excites me.
But who are you and how did you discover Manfred?
I live in the very north of Germany and love cycling, running, traveling, and spending time with my family. The last 2 months before joining Manfred, I took some time off from work to recharge my batteries. I traveled to a few cycling locations, visited old friends, enjoyed the time reading 5 books, and binge-watched a few Netflix shows.
I know David, our founder, from our time at Atlassian, and he convinced me to join his 🚀 startup. The story is actually a bit longer, but hit me up at the next conference, and I’ll tell you over a beer.