This past Sunday I drove about an hour or so north to attend an in person Twilio Quest event.
Although I had several reasons that compelled me to do this, the three most salient were:
1). I am hoping to enter the developer relations space for my next career move, so I have been attending as many events as I can that are put on by people in developer relations.
It gives me a little peek into what their jobs are like and how different companies handle Dev Relations.
Twilio has a large team in their Developer Network and I was interested in seeing it in action. I was also looking forward to meeting one of their Community Developers (Megan Speir) whom I had only spoken to over slack and to seeing one of their Evangelists (Kelley Robinson) with whom I have crossed paths several times.
2). I am thinking about using Twilio for a personal project of mine, so I was looking forward to the hands on exposure.
3). It was themed as a Tea Party (:cough: see the name of my blog :cough:) so that was appealing.
All in all, the event was really fun. We got to work independently through their Twilio Quest tutorial. Although it was independent work, the room had a friendly vibe, and the dev network people were really helpful whenever there were hiccups.
Twilio Quest is a language agnostic tutorial, which is awesome! It meant more people were able to attend and get something truly helpful to them out of the event.
Kelley Robinson was there because Twilio is launching a new feature to verify phone numbers, and she is their security advocate. There was a mission in Twilio Quest for the feature, so we all got a sneak peek and Kelley was able to see how developers actually interacted with the feature. Win Win.
I was not aware that the event was a bit of a contest. We had a big score board with the collective total displayed.
But apparently we were also competing individually! I was trying a bunch of new things in the different missions (sms, voice, and more) and actually swung 2nd place.
I was rewarded handsomely.
The tea cup, tea spoon, and tea infuser were a thank you for completing and providing feedback for the new feature. It fit the event theme and was fun. The shirt, some stickers, and hair ties were just general event swag. The shirt is ‘unisex’ but they had a variety of sizes and the shirt is soft and has a little stretch, which makes for a great shirt for most.
The rest of the loot was my second place prize. I particularly like the messenger bag. It is sturdy and has a good strap and it doesn’t scream “walking billboard”. There is a little Twilio Quest logo on the front, but the lining if half the charm.
I think this is a really good way to give a branded gift without being too loud about it. Perfect balance.
From a developer perspective, I really enjoyed this event. It was a nice mix of support and freedom to dig into problems yourself. The organizers were friendly and I chatted with some other developers who seemed to be enjoying themselves too. I drank too much tea and ate chicken curry sandwiches.
From a developer relations perspective, I feel like I learned a lot. The event did not feel like a sales pitch. Lots of developers left feeling excited about Twilio’s products. We got a sneak peek into a new feature, which builds trust between the developers and Twilio. There wasn’t a ton of structure upfront, which could maybe result in people feeling unsure or lost, but on the whole it worked with the laid back vibe that they were going for. Well done Twilio! Thanks for a fun Sunday afternoon.