Head of Developer Relations

Lee Robinson

Lee Robinson / May 19, 2021

4 min read––– views

Last year, I joined Vercel on a mission to grow the Next.js community. Today, I'm excited to announce I've been promoted to Head of Developer Relations at Vercel. I want to share how I got here, my plans for the future, and invite you to join the team.

My Path Towards Developer Relations

I've always enjoyed the intersection of design, development, product management, marketing, and even sales. It stems from entrepreneurial roots. However, this desire to work across many parts of the business often came across as indecisiveness in my career.

That was three years ago – around the same time I began using Next.js. I didn't know what Developer Relations was at the time. However, I did know I wanted to create. I wanted to write, record, stream, post, tweet, and grow a community. I wanted to help others learn and progress in their careers. This realization led to me becoming a creator and helping others learn to program.

After teaching over 100,000 developers from around the world, I joined the team at Vercel.

Big news – I'm joining the incredible team at ▲ @Vercel I'm thrilled to help grow the Next.js community and continue building the optimal workflow for front-end developers 🥳

It’s all about community. In realtime.

At Vercel, we're relentlessly focused on improving the Developer Experience of building for the web. This means changes like making next dev start 24% faster, refreshing changes 200ms quicker, and including zero-config solutions to improve performance.

Next.js 10.2 ◆ Faster Builds, Refresh, and Startup ◆ Improved Accessibility ◆ Improved Redirects and Rewrites ◆ Automatic Webfont Optimization

We want to make development a collaborative, real-time experience accessible to everyone. By providing close integrations to your database, CMS, or other services, we aim to make it as easy as possible to build modern web apps.

Next.js is growing quickly with over 1.3 million installations per week. Recent releases 10.0, 10.1, and 10.2 have added features to help improve performance, while simplifying and speeding up the development process. But we're just getting started.

Yesterday, we announced a special edition of Next.js Conf on June 15th, where we'll be unveiling some new features you don't want to miss. If you were one of the 40,000 attendees last year, you'll have the option to select an exclusive silver ticket. There's also one more VIP gold ticket which I won't explain just yet 🤐

That was… a bit like actually being at a conference 😀. Really cool @vercel.
That was… a bit like actually being at a conference 😀. Really cool @vercel. https://t.co/8inRrIe8hS

Join Me

I'm equally excited to announce we're growing our team with three roles:

  • Developer Advocate – Educate on the latest Next.js features, craft high-quality examples and demos, engage with our community, write documentation, and advocate for a faster web. This role will work closely with myself, Marketing, Product, and our CEO.
  • Field Engineer / Solutions Architect – Work with our sales team to provide solutions to customer's needs. You have a deep understanding of building large-scale applications, understanding technical requirements, and discussing tradeoffs. USA only (UTC −4 to -8). This was my previous role, highly recommended. Send me a message if you want to learn more.
  • Community Manager – Engage our community across platforms like GitHub, Twitter, Discord, StackOverflow, and more! Ensure our user's needs are met and help gather customer feedback.

I’m the most energized and optimistic I’ve ever been in my 10 years as a developer. We're building a truly world-class team of folks at Vercel. If you want to join a high-growth startup, scale a community with millions of developers, and transform the way we build the web – join me!

Thank you to everyone who has supported me. To say I am humbled and grateful would be an understatement. I'd also like to thank the 1,500+ open-source contributors and the incredible work of the Next.js core team, as well as our partners on the Google Chrome team and the React team at Facebook for helping improve Next.js.

Next.js Contributors

Finally, I want to thank Kevin and Hank for helping me grow in my role at Vercel – and Guillermo for steering the ship with impressive attention to detail and quality.

Subscribe to the newsletter

Get emails from me about web development, tech, and early access to new articles.

- subscribers – 31 issues