#2: Website designs, Features vs Values, Push vs Pull, and GitHub search engine optimization

Hey, how was your month?

March was kind of tricky for me.
Been trying to curate my Twitter feed to read more about developer marketing.

Super hard.
Looked for accounts to follow, and used the "Not interested in this tweet" function.  
Idk, after a month of trying, I still find myself scrolling through 95%+ of the content.

Any tips on that?

The good thing is I have some insights for you.
Let's get to it!

10 developer marketing insights


1. New trends in design for developer-focused websites

Dev-focused companies are going away from corporate and into cosmos, 3d graphics, and gaming-inspired designs. Some examples:


2. Time to first hello world

If I was to choose one metric for the entire dev marketing efforts it would be this.

Time to run the first Hello World example.

You can measure it from signup or from landing on the website.

It is a good proxy for how smooth trying things out is and a good candidate for your (partial) activation metric.  


3. Sometimes you can optimize your campaigns for content consumption

Typically people optimize campaigns (paid especially) for signups, leads from trial forms etc. That is ok when you are capturing existing demand.

But for awareness building and things that create demand for your tool you should optimize for content consumption.

Things like video views, time on site, and scroll depth, make a lot of sense when you want people to become aware of the problem.


4. "I want to play first and go back to help when I am stuck"

Devs want to see how things work themselves.

So when your onboarding video or CTA pops up most of them will close it right away.

But then when they get stuck they will be looking for it. Make it easy for them to explore those options when they need them.

Don't push, pull.

5. Developer segmentation framework

I found this dev segmentation framework really good.

Takes into account languages, type of dev and organization, and more.

6. Talk about features or values? -> show both + the "how" and you are golden

Common marketing knowledge says always talk about values, not features.

But for devs talking about the features and using industry jargon often works great.

So which is it?

I love how the Tailwind CSS team does it on their homepage by showing both and the "how":

  • They show the result
  • They name the feature (and use the jargon)
  • They show the code and even highlight parts of it that produced a piece you clicked on

It educates and inspires me at the same time.

Can't wait to try this design out.

7. GitHub Search is mostly about the About

So we recently looked into optimizing how our repo ranks on GitHub search.

Turns out you can really get great improvements by adjusting About and Topics:

  • Put your keywords in About but try to make it as short as possible (% of keywords to all terms in About matters)
  • Use one-word Topics to extend what you used in the About to cover more search terms

Do those to things and you are golden. Wrote about my findings in this article.

8. Beautiful code snippets

Was wondering what people are using to create those awesome-looking code snippet images on Twitter.

Found two tools:

9. Orbit model -> pull vs push

Heard about the Orbit model probably about a year or two ago.

It is about optimizing your marketing and DevRel activities for pulling devs in rather than pushing them through the funnel.

That means doing more enabling like integrations, examples, and events (pull) rather than focusing on "persuading devs to buy" (push).

With this new movement around dark funnels and demand generation, it finally clicked for me.

This challenges the traditional linear GTM and can be hard to adopt in many companies but I do think this is the future.

10. Crafting dev conference talk proposals

I did or reviewed a lot of dev conference talk proposals. Wish I found this article earlier.

Very actionable stuff about how to make your conference talk proposal more likely to be accepted.

1 Pear Fact

The most expensive pear is the Buddha-shaped pear which sells at around 10$ in China.

Yep, there is a farmer in China who puts small pears in molds that have a shape of a Buddha statue. People buy them for good luck.

Check it out for yourself :)