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The CodeSandbox Podcast

Developer Relations with Peggy Rayzis and Huijing Chen

June 3, 2021

Welcome to The CodeSandbox Podcast with host Sara Vieira, a frontend developer at CodeSandbox. CodeSandbox is an online code editor that assists developers in creating projects and apps both quickly and collaboratively. In each episode, tune in to hear discussions with knowledgeable developers on everything from developer relations to project building, as we provide listeners with valuable insight to help improve their own technical and creative skills.

Today on The CodeSandbox Podcast, host Sara Vieira sits down individually with both Peggy Rayzis and Hui Jing Chen to discuss all things developer relations. Peggy is the Engineering Manager over the Developer Experience Organization at Apollo. Later we hear from Hui Jing Chen, a Content Developer at Shopify and former Developer Advocate at Nexmo.

To begin, we get a look into the life of Peggy and her role at Apollo, a platform that creates tools to help developers be successful with GraphQL. Peggy began her journey in coding about 6 years ago while working as a merchandise buyer at Macy’s. Much of her work consisted of creating spreadsheets and sales reports, which she recalls being her favorite part of the job. Realizing this passion, she enrolled in a bootcamp program where she learned Javascript, React, Node and computer science fundamentals. Thus began her journey working in the industry and ultimately led her to Apollo. Peggy is a firm believer in the importance of developer relations within the world of open source engineering. She explains that you could write the best software in the world, but if people don’t understand how to use it, it will never be adopted. Documentation, guides, tutorials and communication to help people adopt your software must be present for a project to be successful. As a developer advocate, she stresses the importance of putting yourself in the shoes of the developer you’re serving. Recalling her role as a Developer for Major League Soccer, she believes that experiencing such productivity boosts first-hand gave her more energy in her current position. Then, she breaks down some of the various ways success is measured at Apollo. She explains they try to tailor content to each individual journey stage and measure the success based on factors such as feature adoption and community success.

Next, we hear from Hui Jing Chen. She has been with Shopify for one year and is based in Singapore. Her first experience in coding was while playing basketball for the Malaysia National Team. She was recruited to update an old website and subsequently realized how much she enjoyed the craft. As a developer advocate, Hui Jing learned how much the role requires speaking and being public at events. Her favorite part about her role is the ability to go out and meet new people. A large part of the job is to understand how people feel when using your APIs. Hui Jing believes being a developer definitely helped her become a better advocate in the long run. To her, a Developer Advocate is someone who bridges the gap between those who build products and those who use them.

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Key Takeaways:

01:03 - Host Sara Vieira introduces herself and today's guests.

01:40 - Peggy Rayzis’s present role at Apollo.

03:00 - Peggy’s background in coding.

04:45 - The importance of communication and developer relations.

05:56 - How did Peggy’s experience as a developer help her become a better advocate?

08:06 - How Developer Advocate success is defined.

10:45 - Where to connect with Peggy online.

13:12 - Hui Jing Chen introduces herself.

14:00 - Hui Jing’s introduction to coding.

16:15 - Does being a Developer Advocate require speaking?

17:51 - Did being a developer help Hui Jing become a better advocate?

18:43 - Where to find Hui Jing Chen online.

Follow Peggy Rayzis on Twitter.

Learn more about Apollo by visiting their website.

Follow Hui Jing Chen on Twitter.

Learn more about CodeSandbox and their services on their website.

Follow CodeSandbox on Twitter.

Connect with host Sara Vieira on Twitter.