News

GoLand is looking for Developer Advocate and Technical Content Creator

Introduction

The GoLand team has opened two positions: Developer Advocate and Technical Content Creator. Please refer to the position descriptions for the requirements and expectations, and be sure to check out this blog post to find out what it’s like to be a developer advocate at JetBrains. Even though it was written in the pre-COVID era, many of the points are still true. In this post, I’d like to focus on why we need these roles on our team and the key differences between them. The post might be interesting to those who want to apply for these positions or are just curious about how things work inside JetBrains.

Developer Advocate

Developers who work on IDEs have the advantage of using the very products they develop. This allows them to draw on personal experience to create a product that best fits the customers’ needs. Many features can be used universally across different languages, including typing in the editor, navigating the code base, and integrating with version control systems. At the same time, many things are relevant only to a specific language, for instance, pair braces insertion, accessor generation, and code inspections, to name a few.

It’s a little-known fact that about a half of GoLand is open-source, as it’s built on top of the IntelliJ Platform. Java and Kotlin are the dominant languages of the platform, meaning that you have to be a Java/Kotlin developer to work on the IDE. Even though the team knows the Go language rather well, their knowledge of the ecosystem is no substitute for that of professional Go developers. The developer advocate role fills this blind spot.

In GoLand, the main requirement for a developer advocate is to be a bridge between the team and the Go community. We expect this person to both be an experienced Go developer and have an awareness of the ecosystem. Being an active community member often helps with the latter. We’d like to have a person on the team who can tell us how people write code in Go, what its best practices are, and what the do’s and don’ts are. Their most important task will be advocating for users.

At JetBrains, we strongly believe in dogfooding. We’re confident that using our own products is the best way for us to deliver the best user experience. That’s why writing Go in GoLand will be a significant part of the new developer advocate’s routine. It would be ideal if the new team member could even contribute to one of the popular OSS projects. In doing so, they would create their own added value while gaining insight into how developers work. Alternatively, the new team member could also work on an internal tool or a demo project written in Go and accompanied by technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, and SQL.

The last big part of the advocate’s job is making users awesome. An advocate does this by creating content that educates developers. This might be a conference talk that takes a deep dive into a particular technology or a series of blog posts that guide users through the process of creating an application. YouTube videos are becoming more and more popular among developers nowadays. The most important factor is that the content is built around technology. The IDE is intended to act almost as an extension of the developer themselves and simplify their routine.

To summarize, a developer advocate:

  • Provides the GoLand team with insight into the Go ecosystem.
  • Writes Go regularly, preferably by working on an OSS.
  • Creates content that helps developers learn or use Go.

Each of these tasks requires a unique set of skills. A candidate doesn’t have to have all of them to apply, but they should be passionate about the job and be ready to learn on the go. There are a couple dozen developer advocates at JetBrains who would be glad to help and teach.

Technical Content Creator

Creating content is a time-consuming task. Even writing an average-length blog post takes a significant amount of time, let alone producing a series of videos. That’s why we believe this task deserves a separate role on the team: technical content creator. Their job is to produce content in written, audio, and video formats. Although it’s very similar to what a developer advocate does, there are a few key differences.

Both a developer advocate and a technical content creator have the same target audience: Go developers, since they are the primary GoLand users. But while the advocate’s main goal is to help them learn the language, a content creator focuses on how to make them more productive with the IDE. GoLand is a complex piece of software, and some users need a little coaching to unlock the full potential of certain features. The creator’s task is to help people learn about the tool so that they can integrate it into their workflows.

The skill set is also different from the one an advocate should have. For instance, the person hired for this position is not required to be a Go developer or know GoLand, although it would be a plus. We’ll help you learn the language and the IDE. At the same time, experience in technical writing is crucial for the job. Having a personal blog or vlog would be an advantage, but unlike a developer advocate, you don’t need to be a public figure or have a personal brand. The job also doesn’t require you to attend conferences.

To summarize, a content creator:

  • Writes technical blog posts and produces video materials.
  • Focuses on telling people about how cool GoLand is.

Currently, we use the following platforms to publish content: the JetBrains blog, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. As soon as we have a stream of quality content, we’ll be ready to expand so that we can reach a broader audience.

The GoLand Team

Although organizationally the developer advocate and technical content creator belong to different departments, both roles collaborate closely with the product team. Everyone on the team, no matter the role, has access to GoLand-related Slack channels and attends a weekly stand-up. Team members are encouraged to provide and collect feedback that helps us achieve better quality and, consequently, a better user experience. We are passionate about what we do and strive to make writing Go an even more enjoyable experience.

We have teammates working both on site in our European offices and remotely. Because the team has always been spread across the continent, we were remote-friendly even before the pandemic. Over time, not much has changed in this regard, so we still communicate over Slack and Google Meet fairly often. We used to have occasional in-person gatherings and are looking forward to having them again.

Conclusion

If after reading the post you feel that one of the positions (Developer Advocate, Technical Content Creator) could be a good fit for you, please don’t hesitate to apply. We’d love to have a chat with you to find out how we can make GoLand the best Go IDE out there together.

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