On Tuesday, March 8th I will speaking at the Evans Data Developer Relations Conference in Santa Clara, California. I will talk about the work that we did at Amazon to set up our developer relations program — creating SDKs, communicating with developers, forging partnerships, and supporting developers.
Developer relations is a very important yet somewhat neglected topic in the software business, something that the early folks in the PC software business — companies like Apple and Microsoft — really got right. In the early days, being a member of Apple’s Developer Program was the avenue to some truly first-class treatment. Every month they would sent every developer in the program a care package full of information: printed documentation, technical notes (including the famous dogcow), posters, floppies full of software, and the occasional T-shirt. The program also included access to and discounts on Apple hardware and software. They really made their developers feel special, and they did not ask for a dime.
Similarly, Microsoft has always done a great job of getting the word out. A subscription to MSDN was an invitation for Microsoft to flood you with CD’s, first dozens and later what seemed like hundreds every quarter. Anyone who accuses Microsoft of holding back on information has never been situated at the business end of the MSDN firehose.
Anyway, the conference schedule looks great and I am looking forward to attending, presenting, and to learning from the other speakers.