DevRelCon Yokohama was all about meeting amazing people, a lot of learnings, some “this is my first time doing it” and a lot of FUN!

This was my first time speaking in a in-person international conference, I was excited and nervous at the same time. It was a two day conference, happening in Yokohama, Japan. I have been friends with the DevRelCon Tokyo/Yokohama organising team since 2020, I was a speaker for the online edition (also a major reason why I chose my career in DevRel).

Day 1

It was a 7 day trip for me. I arrived two days before the conference, the first day was all about recovering from travel and getting used to the timezone and also, failing badly at eating with a chopstick (What you see in the picture is a baby fork) ๐Ÿ‘‡

Image description

Did I mention about meeting Diana? We have been friends for a long time, and this is us meeting for the first time ๐Ÿ‘‡

Day 2

Day 2 started with the jet lag hitting hard, and some surprise meetings! ๐Ÿ‘‡

Spent the rest of the day exploring the city, preparing for my talk, and also wrapping up some work.

The day ended with and unofficial speaker dinner and making some takoyaki!

Day 1 of the conference

It was a Friday, thus the conference began mid-day. I took a quick de-tour to the Yokohama station to try the famous “Daifuku” aka “Mochi”

Image description

  • The conference began with a keynote by Jun Fujita, who explained how the Japanese market works. It was very insightful to learn about the different strategies one can follow to cater to the Japanese market.

Image description

  • The next talk was by Joel Lord on the topic “Your Job Doesn’t Start or End with Your Talk”, he mentioned how we (DevRel professionals) can bring back value to our employer. He also talked about the “Pac-man rule”, which states to create an empty spot when talking in a group, so that others can join the conversation and feel inclusive. He also mentioned about how important it is for us to take time for self-recharge during conferences.

Image description

  • The third talk was by Harshil Agarwal, on “Employer Branding 101: DevRel Version”, he talked about internal advocacy, how internal processes like dogfooding and speaker’s program can help.

  • The next talk was by Kim Maida on “How to Measure (and Communicate) the Business Value of Developer Relations, it was a great talk, super helpful for team leads, you can find it here

  • The second last talk of the day was by Marino Vijay on “The Path to DevRel”, he spoke about public learning, how creating content and being consistent at it, is the secret of being good at it.

Image description

  • The last talk was by Diana Pham, she spoke about how women in tech are treated (demeaning and unsolicited messages that women receive) and how we can make it stop.

Image description

Day 1 of the conference ended with the speaker’s dinner

Day 2 of the conference

Day 2 was full-day conference with three tracks and a great speaker line-up.

It started with Takuo Suzuki talking about Developer Ecosystem in Japan, followed by a cool demo on GitHub Copilot, by Damien. We also learnt how Engineer Cafe is fostering Fukuoka’s Developer Community.

After lunch, there were power-packed back-to-back sessions, it was hard to decide which one to attend.

The first session I attended was by Caroline Lewko on “Optimizing DX on the Developer Journey Map”, the talk was part of her book “Developer Relations” and I was lucky enough to win the book from her through a giveaway.

Thereafter I attended 7 sessions, got to learn about building a community, how to shape an entire DevRel team from scratch, how to create content and more.

The day ended with my talk on “Creating Massive Communities”

Day 5 in Tokyo

On the fifth day, we had an Appwrite meetup in Tokyo where Aditya Oberai from Appwrite and Diana Pham, who is an Appwrite hero, co-presented on building a phone authentication app with Appwrite and Vonage.

Post the meetup, I explored Tokyo along with Joel. We immersed ourselves in the local culture by dining on authentic Japanese cuisine, while sitting in the traditional seating arrangement.

Image description

Day 6 in Tokyo

Out of all the days spent in Japan, the last one was the most unforgettable. Our Appwrite team gathered for a mini meetup and spent the day exploring Disney Sea. The park’s enchanting beauty made us feel as if we had stepped into a Disney movie.

Image description

Takeaways from the conference

DevRelCon offers an exceptional opportunity to expand one’s knowledge and network. Whether you are early in your career or an experienced professional, the conference provides valuable insights for everyone. Learning from experienced peers in your field is a pleasure that cannot be overstated. Personally, I gained a deeper understanding of the role, its variations across different companies and geographies, as well as strategies for building effective content.