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Team spotlight - Developer relations

Developer relations team spotlight

Hello developers and welcome to the final installment of the Dev Blog's team spotlight series! In this final interview, we sat down with the developer relations team, also known as the DevRel team, to learn more about their role in the ICP community.

To kick things off, what is the purpose of the DevRel team?

DevRel is the abbreviation for Developer Relations. Our main goal is to nourish and grow a flourishing developer ecosystem.

What is the composition of the DevRel team?

We are a team of four engineers. Two of us are in Switzerland, one in Germany, and one in the US West Coast. We are part of the Growth team, and many activities are done in collaboration with the broader Growth team.

The goal of nourishing and growing the ICP ecosystem must include several different activities and tasks. More specifically, what is the DevRel team responsible for? How does it interact with the ICP developers and community?

We are at the pulse of the developer community, and this has many facets. Our goal is to attract new promising developers and teams to ICP, understand their needs and pain points, and help them build and be successful.

A main vehicle to support developers in the initial stages is the DFINITY Developer Grants program, which allows us to provide some financial support, but more importantly regular touch points with the teams to help them build and grow.

We are active on many communication platforms like the ICP Developer Discord and the DFINITY Forum, but also on (crypto) X, as well as OpenChat or new platforms like Farcaster. We run weekly Office Hours on Discord, are coordinating Technical Working Groups, organize Hackathons and Workshops, and create and aggregate resources for developers.

While interacting with the community in so many different ways, what are some of the challenges that the team faces?

The Internet Computer is a general purpose and powerful computing platform. Hence, the ecosystem and applications are wide ranging with many different needs and requirements.

Furthermore, the Internet Computer becomes ever more powerful as we are always adding new capabilities on top of it. This [past] year, e.g., the SNS, vetKeys (Phase 1) and ckETH was launched. Each of these capabilities are essentially products on their own, and we need to understand them well to help teams use them effectively.

These challenges are very exciting and fun but still, well, challenging. :)

What is something important about developing on ICP that new developers should know?

The Internet Computer is a powerful but very nascent computing platform. New developers often come with a specific frame of reference to the IC. Either they are coming from a blockchain platform like Ethereum or they come from a traditional web development background. So, don’t get frustrated too early, it’s definitely worth it.

You've mentioned that one responsibility of the DevRel team is to aggregate resources for developers. What are some of those resources that are available for the ICP community?

The main landing page for developers is which is the entry point to our developer documentation. In addition, we curate developer resources at Awesome Internet Computer, and with the ICP Hackathon Cheatsheet. Furthermore, we are currently working on an aggregation of all educational resources available in the ICP ecosystem, which should go live in January 2024.

How does the DevRel team work with other teams?

We work closely with the Product and R&D teams to help them understand and prioritize the pain points and requirements of the developer ecosystem. We collaborate with the Marketing & Global Adoption team on events and the creation of educational resources, and support the Partnerships team with the technical onboarding of new partners.

What primary project is the DevRel team currently working on?

We are working on a revamp of the Developer Grants program. First, we want to increase transparency and community involvement. Therefore, we start with making the grant proposals for micro grants (USD 5k) public in the Developer Forum, and invite experienced community members to contribute reviews of the proposals. Furthermore, we will put more emphasis on targeted Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and Bounties to focus the grants program in the most promising directions.

Developers can learn more about the DFINITY Developer Grants program here.

To wrap things up, what makes the DevRel team unique compared to some of the other teams at DFINITY?

We strive to be advocates for the community more than we are DFINITY employees.

As this blog series comes to a close, we hope you've enjoyed learning more about each team and what projects they've been working on! In a new, upcoming series, we'll interview individuals rather than entire teams to learn more about their role on ICP and the hand that they play in current and upcoming features, tools, research, and development. Be sure to stay tuned for that series!