It Takes A Team Of Evangelists To Raise An API
17 Jul 2014
There are a lot of lessons to be learned from the leaders of the API space, pioneers like Amazon, Twilio and SendGrid, when it comes to running our own API programs. Fortunately for the community, most of the leading API providers are willing to share their experience and wisdom with us, such as SendGrid, with their latest series Tips and Tricks for a Beginner Developer Evangelist.
The blog series delivers some great API evangelism wisdom, from the mouths of evangelists, who are in the trenches, getting the word out about the email API platform, and supporting its large ecosystem of application developers. I'll let you read the tips from the SendGrid team, what I thought was interesting, was the makeup of their evangelist team.
You have two managers leading the charge:
|Tim Falls @timfalls) - Director of Developer Relations|
|Brandon West (@bwest) - Manager of Developer Relations|
Then 8 developer evangelists, making up the evangelist team:
|Nick Quinlan (@YayNickQ) - Developer Evangelist|
|Scott Motte (@scottmotte) - Developer Evangelist|
|Martyn Davies (@martynd) - Developer Evangelist|
|Robin Johnson (@rbin) - Developer Evangelist|
|Kunal Batra (@kunal732) - Developer Evangelist|
|Yamil Asusta (@elbuo8) - Developer Evangelist|
|Heitor (Burger) Sergent (@heitorburger) - Developer Evangelist|
|Eddie Zaneski (@eddiezane) - Developer Evangelist|
|Will Smidlein (@ws) - Developer Evangelist|
And one distinguised hacker in residence:
|Elmer Thomas (@thinkingserious) - Hacker in Residence|
You can check out their full team here.
I think the blog series from SendGrid is a look into, what it takes to run a successful API evangelism campaign. I’ve had multiple conversations in the last couple days with API providers who are just now beginning to build their API teams, and were looking for on advice on who to hire, and how to grow and train their evangelists.
To anyone who is just now constructing their API team, follow the SendGrid blog and Twitter account, then follow each of the SendGrid evangelist team on Twitter—they produce a lot of great content, that will help you understand what API evangelism success will look like. You can also follow the lead of Tim and Brandon, in how they have developed the team of evangelists, and the amount of resources they are investing in the success of the SendGrid API.
There is not a single API program I know of that is doing evangelism perfectly, but when you pay attention to the leading providers, there are endless things you can pick up, by watching them in action—both good and bad.
P.S. - Every API provider should consider diversity diversity when organizing their teams.