With just a few more days to go, I always like to take some time to look back on the year. It’s good to see what worked, what didn’t and take those lessons into the new year.


I started the year by finally closing a job opening that I took on as my first recruitment commission. Of course as a freelancer I already knew how easy it was to find work, but now I also experienced the huge shortage in developers from the other side. I also learned that recruitment is not my thing – just as applying for jobs is by the way. It’s an industry still waiting for disruption.


Fortunately I didn’t need to apply. Just a few months earlier Appcelerator approached me to join their Developer Relations. From February on I could now dedicate most of my time to what until then I had to squeeze between projects and in evenings hours. I often joked that the projects of my clients where primarily means (both as income and excuse) to play with tech and share from that. Well, as a Developer Evangelist with Appcelerator that’s now a good deal of what I get paid for.

Bangladesh, Sweden, UK, Germany…

Another part of the job is speaking at conferences, meetups and others places waiting for the gospel of building (native!) apps and APIs with JavaScript. I love to travel and instead of using the same slides over and over again I use the preparation for each talk to sharpen my understanding and communication of our products. Oh, and do you know that joke about an evangelist speaking at a army-themed conference in Poland? Yeah, he didn’t ;)


On April 1st – no joke – we launched the on-demand Appcelerator Platform. A huge deal, and most of my talks until the summer were dedicated to communicating the changes and benefits of the platform, in particular for our existing Titanium community. I learned a lot in those months. Lessons I’d like to spent some posts on in the next months; how DevRel is no sales, how hard communication is, the value of OSS communities and more.


One thing I became to learn is that my heart lies first most with the Developer Experience part of Developer Relations and not Evangelism, as much as I enjoy traveling and meeting people. I certainly want to continue doing so as it is a great way to get direct feedback form developers, both familiar and knew to Appcelerator. But it has always fascinated me how that what you do and offer can speak louder than your words. DevRelCon in London was a great way to sharpen my vision on DevRel and back in Holland I founded DevRelAms to continue to do so.


As a freelancer I was already used to working alone and I was part of the international Titanium community and Titan program of course. But working for a company 9 timezones away in the San Francisco Bay Area is something different! So this summer my wife and two boys joined me to spent a month in California. It was really good to meet some colleagues that until then I only knew from JIRA and Flowdock and discuss DevRel face to face with Ricardo. And exploring the coast and inlands of California in a F-350 RV for 3 weeks… not that bad either!


I’m looking forward to what the new year will bring to Appcelerator and to me personally. I’ve many more ideas then I could ever pull off, but there’s a few I can’t wait to share in the next few months. In particular in the area of developer communication and experience there’s a few projects I’m working that are really close to my heart.

Code strong, as we use to say!