The Art of Community Building With Postman's Head of Developer Relations, Joyce Lin
Joyce takes us through how to build an engaged community for your business and why it's so important to do so in this digital world.
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What does building an engaged community really mean for your business?
When we look at a company like Postman with over 20 million active users and one of the most passionate groups of evangelizers in tech, we find that Postman's story is really a story of community success. In fact, after product-market fit, community has become a must-have for any startup looking to survive. But community building is a tricky thing, so where and how do you start?
On this week's episode of Dev Interrupted, listen as Joyce Lin, Head of Developer Relations at Postman, shares the secrets and behind-the-scenes lessons learned from building one of the most successful communities in tech. Joyce is also an expert TikToker, diving into its algorithm, its relevance for developers, and whether or not engineering leaders should devote attention to building a community on the platform.
- (1:53) APIs are "table stakes"
- (7:29) How Postman's founders approach community
- (14:26) Day-to-day community building
- (17:03) Not mistakes, but lessons learned
- (20:34) The rise of TikTok
- (25:21) It takes 70 posts to find your niche
- (26:36) Joyce's community building advice
Conor: So if I'm an engineering leader, who's listening here, and maybe I'm building a dev tool, how would you approach kind of extending your user base into a true community and creating this moat to defend your work?
Joyce: Yeah, so this has changed over the years. In the early days, it was just listening, and having people try the user stories, and then watching them. And so every single channel, some teams will be like, well, we're understaffed, so, you know, let's funnel everything, no one channel, let's funnel everything to our support desk or something. And we decided very early on, no, people can say anything, wherever they're at open all channels, and we'll take the onus and aggregate it that way. We're meeting people, developers, testers, whoever, where they're at, and then it's like, really burdensome, but like, then you get a lot more feedback.
Conor: I was just gonna ask what the approach has been to that aggregation, because it does sound really challenging.
Joyce: It does. And I can't say that we're the most data-driven. We do have a couple systems that we use, like, just really like manual systems that we use, but it's also like talking to humans, like if you talk to 50 humans, and yet you have all this data behind you to support it. Talking to humans is going to be a lot more enlightening than when like only relying on the data, let that enrich your data set.
Conor: I think that's a really wonderful perspective. And I see that a lot with tools in modern spaces where we tend to over rely on data instead of saying data should guide us to then have these person-to-person conversations with customers, with users, and then take that to figure out how to approach whatever problems that you have. And I know that's guided a lot of Postman's development and also the decision-making, it seems like.
Published at DZone with permission of Conor Bronsdon. See the original article here.
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