Technical Evangelist – who is that?

Yesterday I have met a colleague from the improv class I took a couple of years back. He just became a Cloud Evangelist in Orange, a known telecommunication company. As excited as he was about the new job, his job description or requirements were blurry.

Step by step I kept explaining how it worked at Microsoft when I was working there and I could have noticed his face brightening up with an actual understanding. It was a pleasant feeling so it though ‘hey, I can just write about it and maybe someone else will understand!’, so here I am.

My job was focusing on promoting Azure among Developers and technical people. Another name often used for this position is Developer Relations.

There are 3 types of “Evangelists” that I recognize:

  1. Broad Evangelist — a person that is working to promote the idea as widely as possible and often just encourage people to get excited and try new products/services (that was my role).
  2. Deep Dive Evangelist — a person with deep technical knowledge working more closely with clients or prospects, educating teams and advising on architecture on particular projects.
  3. Technical-Business Evangelist (it was called Business Development Manager back in the day, now I have no idea)- a person that understands technology more or less but his/her job is to encourage Business Decision Makers to try new products.

In smaller companies, there is no division and one has to do all the three, but I believe it’s valuable to distinct this in order to understand what are the real expectations of the role and how to divide the time spent on activities accordingly.

What is important is that all these roles are at the beginning of the funnel. There are no Technical Evangelists focusing on IaaS, it’s a role that focuses on the Innovators and Early Adopters.

Source: https://www.business-to-you.com/crossing-the-chasm-technology-adoption-life-cycle/

So it’s a pretty cool job, that allows you to continually improve your skills and do fun things. On the other hand, often times the organization may not see benefits of your position as you won’t generate revenue.

I didn’t care much for it, but I was in a situation when salespeople told us that we only generate costs and the results of our work will or won’t be visible in a couple of months, maybe years.

Anyways, I will get down to some more details of what activities can a person do while being on these particular roles.

  1. Broad Evangelist, tbh this one is very focused on a personal brand, so whatever you do, remember that you build it forever not only for this particular job
  • Writing a blog/Medium articles
  • Recording videos for YouTube, Social Media (Facebook, TikTok, Instagram). Explanatory, Tutorials, interviews etc.
  • Starting a podcast/being a guest on technical podcasts
  • Being active and available on Social Media
  • Answering questions on Stackoverflow, Quora and other forums
  • Building connections with industry influencers so they would promote whatever it is you are trying to promote
  • Attending conferences and meetups (speaking and networking)
  • Mentoring hackathons
  • Providing freebies, gadgets, passes, promoting free trial accounts etc.

2. Deep Dive Evangelist

  • Know your stuff, your biggest asset is your unique knowledge of innovative products and services so don’t forget to update it all the time. You don’t need a person on Medium to tell you how.
  • Build awareness of your amazing skills within the organization, make others come to you for help and make your role valuable.
  • Get feedback from clients and share within the company
  • Do a workshop for employees and explain basic things? Be visible!
  • Become a trusted advisor. Get to know Account Managers that run the biggest clients and prospects and offer technical assistance — they will appreciate it!

3. Technical-Business Evangelist

  • Speak the language of benefits, business people mostly don’t care about technology they care about getting a competitive advantage, reducing costs, resources etc.
  • Be visible online. It’s worth to do the same as Broad Evangelist (YouTube, Facebook, podcasts, Twitter) just add LinkedIn and remember that your message has to be different — instead of talking about new features, talk about benefits.
  • Get to know business influencers and create relations with them so you can be a guest on their podcasts, videos etc.
  • Attend conferences and business-oriented meetups — all businesses are technical businesses nowadays and what you need to do is find people are who are willing to be innovators.
  • Network online — comment posts and start discussions on LinkedIn, it’s astounding how many people one can meet in this way.

I’m sure there are some more things, but these may help you get started or inspire you to do something new/in a new way.

Hope that was helpful!

Works in Tech 💻 into art, culture and psychology. IG & Quora @alaisontime