Developer Relations

at InVision

Howdy. I'm Ben!



I build local tech communities.

I build bridges in the global tech community.

A healthy, sustainable, & exciting ecosystem!

“The key to the future of the world, is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known.”

People's optimistic stories are told in the software they write,

and experienced through the products they ship.

'Software is about People'


You might ask yourself



Build SPAs, using

+ (&yet)

  • FOSS Web Client & Integrated Product
  • Support Engineering (ticketing system)
  • Fielded integration concerns (WebRTC)

Work at &yet:

  • Conference Organization
  • Developer Trainings
  • Support Engineering
  • Cross-team Collaboration

In other words:

  • ☑️ Developer Engagement 
  • ☑️ Developer Empowerment
  • ☑️ Developer Support
  • ☑️ Ecosystem Building

Work at ZHealth:

  • Cross-platform application engineering
  • Build & ship a state-of-the-art Electron app
  • Work closely with designers & cardiologists
  • Recommend & onboard devs from our community

In other words:

  • ☑️ I can relate to people building on all platforms
  • ☑️ I have a great understanding of current tech
  • ☑️ I'm used to navigating cross-discipline concerns
  • ☑️ I really care about sustaining the community

Developer Engagenment

Notable Projects

  • Node.js
  • PDXNode


Involvement picked up after accepting an open invitation to contribute to Node.js core.

Node.js i18n

was super broken

About 53%of Node.js users self-identify to speak ESL

Approximately 49% of Node’s userbase natively speaks a different language than English.

Nearly half!

With 3.5 Million users and an annual growth-rate of 100%,

That's a serious issue.

(eg. affecting ~1,750,000 developers)

i18n Working Group

Ongoing relationship with l10n Groups 🌍🌎🌏

The i18n WG is growing rapidly!

l10n group interest & incorporation is scaling fast!

Tangible Goals this year

  • An i18n platform for Node.js (i18n module)
  • i18n of the Node.js site
  • i18n of Node.js API Docs


Presentation Nights

  • Continual showcase of local & international talent
  • Consistently > 40 people in montly attendance
  • Continual stream of learning, growth, & hiring
  • Publishing monthly videos for public education

Hack Nights

  • Helping people with work, and personal projects
  • Consistently ~20 people in monthly attendance
  • Continual stream of people contributing back to OSS
  • More 1:1 engagement

Worth Mentioning

WebAudio PDX


I give talks!

Major Accomplishments


i18n Relationship

Electron ❤️'s Node.js/i18n

Electron successfully used the Node.js API docs as a template

Node.js is successfully using Electron's i18n pattern as a template

Electron is helping Node.js develop its i18n

Relationship Takeaway

  • We expect the Node.js user base to grow significantly
  • Great value to the Node.js Foundation & project
  • Great value to the Electron project & Github
  • First major collaboration between Node.js & Electron
  • Bonding powerful projects together in a cyclical, supportive relationship

Realtime & Node.js advocacy at &yet

Through conferences, trainings, and our client work:

  • AT&T adopted our WebRTC-based product 
  • Node.js ecosystem was supported & grew to the forefront
  • A high volume of developers were trained in bleeding-edge tech, which is now standard

WebSound Project

First to execute

Networked Musical Performance with a web browser.

Developer Relations



What about InVision?

I come from an audio engineering background, and thoroughly understand what a great plugin ecosystem looks like.

And maybe even more importantly...

...the pain of plugin system limitations,

(time & space limitations)

and that a great plugin system just works,

and doesn't force the user to become a developer in order to get it working.

Especially when that's the last thing they want to spend their time doing.

However, developers should be stoked & totally enabled... get their awesome plugins integrated into the flagship as quickly as possible.

This is the primary tangible value of a great DevRel in the context of Studio.

Someone who can provide

  • Integration engineering
  • Top-shelf API documentation
  • Timely cross-team communication
  • Continuous sources of context
  • Cross-discipline translation
  • Evangelism & 'follower' gathering
  • Supportive client relationships
  • Serendipitous bridge building
  • Affect a well-connected & empowered internal culture, where people's voices are heard.

Someone who gets people !@#%ing stoked.

Someone who gathers & creates great resources for learning, brushing up, or aquainting

Someone who's deeply connected to other fantastic DevRels

I've been ramping up

on open source work

with these folks

And will be representing the Node.js Foundation at

  • MS Build Developer Conference
  • JSConf EU, Berlin
  • Node.js Collaborators Summit

I'd love to begin representing InVision first wherever I go.

What sets a

Director of DevRel apart here?

Blaze the DevRail Trail

and be the prototype

Provide great resources

to get others started,

also giving internal process visibility.

Creating the groundwork

for future hires,

whom I can seek out

and grow our projects with!

Identify value metrics

and track velocity

A bit of DevRel Philosophy

Communication Style Differences

Understanding someone very different than you–can require significant empathy & perseverance.

Great goals can be achieved when you persevere through difficult communication.


“It's a very important thing to learn to talk to people you disagree with.”

–Pete Seeger

Choose to

critically listen 

to another's opinion,

early and often

and let them know you truly value them.

This will keep both of you moving towards your common goal.





Modes of Persuasion

Opinion differences

Differences of opinion shouldn't fragment short-term or long-term goals.

(no matter what is said on twitter)

They're often hidden opportunities to

round out our collective perspective.

Wizards work really hard

to stay sharp & relevant.

Celebrate their wizardry with them!

Connect frequently about interesting & challenging problems together

Share advocation for great technology

Share inspirations & pay forward what others have invested into us!

In the end

The greatest reward of my work is to let someone know that they’re truly valued, 

and increasingly capable of valuing other people around them.

That the people I engage with feel supported, and enabled to live out their best & fullest potential,

knowing that their optimistic stories can be shared & experienced,

so we can build our future together on them.

DevRel at InVision!

By Ben Michel

DevRel at InVision!

The slide deck I presented to a hiring panel at InVision when interviewing to be their first Developer Advocate (I landed the role 🎉).

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