Developer Relations is a field that's always had difficulty finding a specific definition, especially in a world of fast changing world of technology. Over the years we've seen changes in what Open Source means, language evangelism, tooling, and what community means. But recently, an even bigger change has begun to occur, one that effects every aspect of technology and the tech community.

Before we get ahead of ourselves with dire proclaimations and doomsaying, let's point an important facty of any new technology: a technology is only ever as dangerous as those dangerous actors who look to exploit it or the people using it. We've seen this in the arena of social media where a technology meant to bring people together has lead to a separting of people, and just over the course of ten or so years.

Artificial Intelligence is not a new technology. To think this is a phenomonon bourne of the last few years would be dismissive if not foolhardy. AI has been in th research and proof of concept phase since the early days of Alan Turing and Isaac Asimov, most likely. The ultimate goal - an autonomous machine that reacts, behaves, and, for all intents and purposes, displays human like behavior.

It's important to note, AI comes in many different flavors. Whether it is conversational AI, generative AI, large language models, distributed data AI, or any combination of these, the idea remains consistent if not the execution. We want to build a more automated, improved experience for human beings. So, where is the intersection of AI and Developer Relations?

It begins with the market trends. DevRel, as a profession, has often needed to stay abreast of all the latest changes as far as technology. In order to remaijn relevant in meeting the needs of developers and technologists, DevRel practitioners have often needed to learn on their own or leverage their communities to ensure the latest thing was in their purview or, at the very least, in their sites. Withoput knowing how the community would evolve it would be near impossible to meet the community's needs.

And this evolution is important and should be embraced. Using AI for automation can be a benefit to developers and others in the tech community while not impugning on the wealth and variety of skills a DevRel practitioner can deliver.

The issue comes into play in other areas where AI is being employed that can be of harm to DevRel - and in many cases to developers. Let's take, for example, the use of AI for creating job descriptions for new positions at a company that may or may not have experience in hiring a Developer Advocate. Here's something ChatGPT writes for such a prompt:

**Job Title: Developer Advocate**

**Company Overview:**
At [Tech Company Name], we are dedicated to empowering developers to build amazing products by providing cutting-edge developer tools and APIs. Our mission is to foster a vibrant developer community and enable seamless integration of our technologies into a wide range of applications. We believe in innovation, collaboration, and the power of technology to drive positive change.

**Position Overview:**
We are seeking a passionate and experienced Developer Advocate to join our team. As a Developer Advocate, you will be the voice of our developer community, advocating for their needs and championing our products. You will play a key role in building and nurturing relationships with developers, providing technical guidance and support, and promoting adoption of our APIs and developer tools. This is an exciting opportunity to engage with a dynamic community of developers, drive product awareness, and shape the future of our platform.

**Key Responsibilities:**
- Serve as a trusted advisor and advocate for developers, understanding their needs and challenges, and providing guidance and support to help them succeed.
- Create compelling technical content, including blog posts, tutorials, sample code, and documentation, to educate and inspire developers and drive adoption of our APIs and tools.
- Develop and deliver engaging presentations, workshops, and webinars at developer events, conferences, and meetups to showcase our products and engage with the developer community.
- Build and maintain relationships with developers, influencers, and community leaders through online forums, social media channels, and other communication platforms.
- Gather feedback from developers and communicate insights internally to inform product development, prioritize feature requests, and improve the developer experience.
- Collaborate closely with product, engineering, marketing, and sales teams to align developer advocacy initiatives with business goals and drive overall growth and success.

**Desired Skills and Qualifications:**
- Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or related field (or equivalent experience).
- Strong technical background with hands-on experience in software development, preferably with expertise in building and integrating APIs.
- Excellent communication and presentation skills, with the ability to articulate complex technical concepts clearly and effectively to diverse audiences.
- Passion for engaging with developer communities, building relationships, and fostering collaboration.
- Experience creating technical content, such as blog posts, tutorials, documentation, and videos, to educate and support developers.
- Active participation in developer communities, forums, and social media platforms, demonstrating thought leadership and a genuine interest in helping others.
- Ability to work independently and as part of a cross-functional team in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
- Strong organizational skills and attention to detail, with the ability to manage multiple projects and priorities simultaneously.
- Willingness to travel occasionally for conferences, events, and customer meetings.

This position is based at our headquarters in [City, State], with the possibility of remote work for the right candidate.

**How to Apply:**
If you are passionate about technology, love working with developers, and thrive in a collaborative environment, we would love to hear from you! Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your relevant experience and why you are interested in joining [Tech Company Name] as a Developer Advocate.

Now, take a moment to look at Job Descriptions on LinkedIn for Developer Advocate and you will see how common this generic prompt is used. Sure, there may be some adjustments, but, arguably, much of this is beyond generic and it’s been established that DevRel and Developer Advocacy is often something bespoke.

Add to this the combination of misunderstanding the use of DevRel and searching for folks to fill that role at an AI company. Chances are there will be a grave mismatch that leads to a job req that never gets filled and many Developer Advocates left without employment.

These are just the inklings we’ve had so far of DevRel and AI being mixed together. What other issues might we find? AI created Developer content? Deepfake virtual conference talks?

We are far from a point where doomsaying is the call of the day, but it’s also important to educate ourselves and our communities on how best to use these technologies. Developer Relations practitioners can help, but only if the companies building these tools can build continued value, and not a walled garden.

Artificial Intelligence is the future of technology for the near future - from building tools to automate code to making things like Kubernetes more useful and accessible. We as DevRel practitioners need to incorporate and learn where necessary and instruct on best practices, internally as well as externally, to find the success our developer communities want and need.