Introducing Progress’s Developer Experts Program

It’s a open secret that there exist several vibrant influencer communities at Progress. In this article I’d like to introduce you to, in my opinion, one of the coolest – the Developer Experts who are affiliated with the many product lines produced by Telerik for Progress. This group of highly skilled, visible, elite industry leaders are the auxiliary ‘boots on the ground’ when it comes to evangelizing Progress products. As an informal extension of the Developer Relations Team, Developer Experts are able to spread the word about our product lines all over the world.

The Developer Expert program’s mission statement boils down to four major activity lines: “Writing, Speaking, Helping and Coding”:

The Developer Expert program comprises an elite group of strong community ambassadors for Progress products. Through a nomination and curation process, DEs the world over provide insight about our products to customers, potential customers, clients and partners, while providing feedback about ways we can best meet the needs of the developer communities that we serve. The program is managed by the Developer Relations team.

To become a member of the group, an expert in one or more of our product lines can nominate him or herself by filling in a nomination form. After an internal vetting process, he or she signs an NDA and is welcomed into our private Slack channel, e-letter list, and is listed on our hall of fame. Depending on his or her focus, the Expert is provisioned with appropriate software.

At this point, the Expert is integrated into our community of product enthusiasts, and begins logging activities into our CRM, Infowrap. Twice a year a formal check-in process occurs, and activities are analyzed. Each month I feature a Developer Expert on the Telerik blogs:

The activities performed by our Developer Experts group are as diverse as the product lines they work with. A few examples include:

  • Jeremy Likness cohosted a DevCraft webinar (April 2016)
  • Alex Ziskind published Pluralsight courses while actively blogging on NativeScript (over 2016)
  • Nathan Walker and Brad Martin recorded NativeScript courses for Egghead.io (March 2017)
  • Julio Avellaneda starts a Telerik User Group in Colombia (May 2016)
  • Keith Burnell hosted a NativeScript webinar in association with Falafel (May 2016)
  • Nic Raboy authors a HybridToNative website (Aug 2016)
  • George Edwards, Nathan Walker, and Nathanael Anderson produced the NativeScript Plugins Hub (Dec 2016)
  • Several Experts attended and spoke at NativeScript Developer Day in Boston (Sept 2016) including the keynote by Ray Camden
  • Johannes Hoppe collaborated with Progress EMEA staff on Angular focused content publications and is preparing a book on Angular for imminent publication

We were happy to meet several Developer Experts at NativeScript Developer Day in Boston in 2016

Every program can be improved, and it’s a challenge to keep every Expert active and engaged. Overall, however, we have a very solid program, as our testimonials prove:

“For me and for the moment, everything is great and support is just marvelous looking for more in the near future.”
“I'd like to point out that the Telerik team, NativeScript team has really rekindled what I thought was a lost program, the TDE. The swag, demos, social channels etc has been really great. Hope it continues.”
“You all are so kind, I could simply not ask for anything more. You're wonderful! Just loving it.”
“I like being part of the Slack channel community, having a core group of experts I can reach out to.”

More than professional advancement, our Developer Expert group has created a sense of community amongst themselves:

Another benefit of the program has been to build larger communities – having our Experts active in the NativeScript Community Slack channel and on the NativeScript forums has proven an invaluable method to build more awareness about this particular product line. Having experts available to answer questions takes some load off of Engineering, so they can concentrate on building a product, while at the same time providing a warm welcome to new users of the technology.

The Developer Expert Program has proven itself to be a great way to build both expert and novice community organically, with a little help from our friends. We’re very proud of our group of Experts and expect it to grow and expand over 2017. Would you like to learn more? Contact me at jen.looper@progress.com.

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