Community
August 16, 2021

Top 6 Books on Developer Community Building

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Top 6 Books on Developer Community Building

Are you longing for some great recommendations on which books about community to read next? With the ever-growing rate of new books coming out on developer communities, choosing the must-reads among them can get difficult. That's why we have combined our top six picks on developer community building for you into a conclusive list. 

 

1. The Business Value of Developer Relations: How and Why Technical Communities Are Key To Your Success - A great book to understand the value of DevRel by Mary Thengvall

What topics does the book cover?

If you are into developer relations (DevRel) this book is for you. Thengvall explains what DevRel is all about and takes you through all the elements of a dev community (internal and external aspects). You can use this book as a framework and adapt its principles to your company's goals and, based on that, formulate a plan tailored to your needs. She outlines the issues for DevRel, puts them into the right context, and gives actionable advice paired with field interviews, real stories and cases from existing communities. Major players share their success stories from companies like Google, Docker, Mozilla, Red Hat, etc. 

What will you learn from this book? 

  • Defining community 
  • Finding, building, and engaging with your community
  • Learning how to get involved in community building 
  • Finding the right audience 
  • Hiring the right community managers
  • Creating your personal brand

Who is this book for?

  • Developer relations, developer advocates, and tech evangelists
  • Community, marketing, and product professionals and developer-first companies
  • Any business leader, owner, or stakeholder who wants to understand the value of DevRel

2. Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software - An inside look at modern open-source software developers by Nadia Eghbal.

What topics does the book cover?

The author takes us through the evolution of open source communities over the past two decades. Eghbal gives a nuanced overview of many communities and the economics of open source from 20 years ago to today. She examines the role of those platforms, their structures, the maintenance required, and the production costs for the application. She discusses the importance of relationships around software projects and how the focus should be on working as a team instead of individual developers. Given how important open source has become in the industry, this book is a must-read for everyone into open source communities. 

What will you learn from this book?

  • Learning about the history of open-source software
  • Building dynamic relationships within communities 
  • Coming up with creative incentive solutions to build products

Who is this book for?

  • Everyone participating in open source communities
  • Everyone in the commercial software industry 
  • People interested in the history of open source

3. Developer Marketing Does Not Exist - An awesome book to understand the difference between marketing and community building by Adam DuVander.

What topics does the book cover?

This practical guide focuses on using the right marketing strategies to reach developers. DuVander points out that the usual marketing tactics fall flat on this crowd of people and suggest alternative approaches. The book is full of practical advice on how to get straight to the heart of how devs operate and how to reach them. It is clear and concisely written with great actionable examples on how to address a dev audience and the small steps you can take to quickly improve your efforts, using authentic marketing techniques. 

What will you learn from this book?

  • Engaging with developers and attract them to your product
  • Learning tactics to reach a technical audience 
  • Understanding how devs operate 
  • Assembling the team and roles you need to build 

Who is this book for?

  • Anyone who aims to influence a technical audience 
  • Marketing professionals in developer-focused companies

 

4. Developer Marketing and Relations: The Essential Guide - A 101 on community building by DevRelx.

What topics does the book cover?

This is already the third edition of this book and the authors describe it as "bigger, richer and better". You receive actionable advice about DevRel, from leading developer marketing practitioners who have worked at highly renowned software companies. You can learn from their success and also failure stories. It focuses on the evolution of DevRel over the past three years, how it is defined, and what strategies and tactics you need to implement. You can either read the book from start to finish or jump into any chapter you are interested in. 

What will you learn from this book?

  • Engaging with developers
  • Building relationships
  • Building a DevRel dream Team 
  • Running dev events
  • Building and maintain a solid community of devs
  • Doing e-mail marketing right 
  • Encouraging experts to advocate for you 
  • Generating a mindset for content marketing 

Who is this book for?

  • Anyone who is working or planning to work in the industry 
  • Anyone working in developer marketing
  • Developer relations, evangelists, or advocates

5. The Business of Belonging: How to Make Community your Competitive Advantage - A tactical primer for any business embarking on the critical work of actively building community, David Spinks.

What topics does the book cover?

Spinks reminds us that the successful brands of tomorrow will harness the power of community, who understand how to build a community and give their customers a real sense of belonging. He explains how communities drive the business value and how to use that and turn it into your competitive advantage. It gives you a step-by-step model to strategically plan, create, facilitate and measure communities that drive business growth. If this book were a person, it would be a thoughtful mentor, walking you through everything you need to do to get a community up, running, growing, and thriving.

What will you learn from this book?

  • Learning to implement a winning community strategy  
  • Turning customers into brand evangelists 
  • Using the appropriate metrics

Who is this book for?

  • Everyone new to community building
  • Community professionals who want to level up their game
  • Decision-makers who want to understand the value and opportunity of community

6. The Art of Community: Building the New Age of Participation - A comprehensive guide to building online communities, Jono Bacon.

What topics does the book cover?

The bible of community: this book is easy, entertaining, and still a very practical guide to successfully building communities. Bacon shares his experiences and observations from his career of building communities and explains how you can establish your own community. He explains that a thriving community doesn't just happen. It takes time, effort, and energy. He compares it to a trial and error process to see what works and what doesn't. It includes interviews with community management leaders such as Linus Torvalds, Tim O'Reilly, and Mike Shinoda, who provide valuable insights. Start with scanning and deep-diving into parts of the book and apply his methods directly to see if they work for you and your community. 

What will you learn from this book?

  • Recruiting, motivating and managing members 
  • Creating a buzz around your community to get more people involved 
  • Harnessing the power of social media 
  • Organizing collaborative events
  • Using the right metrics to track your community
  • Identifying and manage conflicts 

Who is this book for?

  • Community builders
  • Community managers 
  • Anyone interested in community

written by

Sofia de Mattia
Marketing & Community

We're now in closed beta!

Are you longing for some great recommendations on which books about community to read next? With the ever-growing rate of new books coming out on developer communities, choosing the must-reads among them can get difficult. That's why we have combined our top six picks on developer community building for you into a conclusive list. 

 

1. The Business Value of Developer Relations: How and Why Technical Communities Are Key To Your Success - A great book to understand the value of DevRel by Mary Thengvall

What topics does the book cover?

If you are into developer relations (DevRel) this book is for you. Thengvall explains what DevRel is all about and takes you through all the elements of a dev community (internal and external aspects). You can use this book as a framework and adapt its principles to your company's goals and, based on that, formulate a plan tailored to your needs. She outlines the issues for DevRel, puts them into the right context, and gives actionable advice paired with field interviews, real stories and cases from existing communities. Major players share their success stories from companies like Google, Docker, Mozilla, Red Hat, etc. 

What will you learn from this book? 

  • Defining community 
  • Finding, building, and engaging with your community
  • Learning how to get involved in community building 
  • Finding the right audience 
  • Hiring the right community managers
  • Creating your personal brand

Who is this book for?

  • Developer relations, developer advocates, and tech evangelists
  • Community, marketing, and product professionals and developer-first companies
  • Any business leader, owner, or stakeholder who wants to understand the value of DevRel

2. Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software - An inside look at modern open-source software developers by Nadia Eghbal.

What topics does the book cover?

The author takes us through the evolution of open source communities over the past two decades. Eghbal gives a nuanced overview of many communities and the economics of open source from 20 years ago to today. She examines the role of those platforms, their structures, the maintenance required, and the production costs for the application. She discusses the importance of relationships around software projects and how the focus should be on working as a team instead of individual developers. Given how important open source has become in the industry, this book is a must-read for everyone into open source communities. 

What will you learn from this book?

  • Learning about the history of open-source software
  • Building dynamic relationships within communities 
  • Coming up with creative incentive solutions to build products

Who is this book for?

  • Everyone participating in open source communities
  • Everyone in the commercial software industry 
  • People interested in the history of open source

3. Developer Marketing Does Not Exist - An awesome book to understand the difference between marketing and community building by Adam DuVander.

What topics does the book cover?

This practical guide focuses on using the right marketing strategies to reach developers. DuVander points out that the usual marketing tactics fall flat on this crowd of people and suggest alternative approaches. The book is full of practical advice on how to get straight to the heart of how devs operate and how to reach them. It is clear and concisely written with great actionable examples on how to address a dev audience and the small steps you can take to quickly improve your efforts, using authentic marketing techniques. 

What will you learn from this book?

  • Engaging with developers and attract them to your product
  • Learning tactics to reach a technical audience 
  • Understanding how devs operate 
  • Assembling the team and roles you need to build 

Who is this book for?

  • Anyone who aims to influence a technical audience 
  • Marketing professionals in developer-focused companies

 

4. Developer Marketing and Relations: The Essential Guide - A 101 on community building by DevRelx.

What topics does the book cover?

This is already the third edition of this book and the authors describe it as "bigger, richer and better". You receive actionable advice about DevRel, from leading developer marketing practitioners who have worked at highly renowned software companies. You can learn from their success and also failure stories. It focuses on the evolution of DevRel over the past three years, how it is defined, and what strategies and tactics you need to implement. You can either read the book from start to finish or jump into any chapter you are interested in. 

What will you learn from this book?

  • Engaging with developers
  • Building relationships
  • Building a DevRel dream Team 
  • Running dev events
  • Building and maintain a solid community of devs
  • Doing e-mail marketing right 
  • Encouraging experts to advocate for you 
  • Generating a mindset for content marketing 

Who is this book for?

  • Anyone who is working or planning to work in the industry 
  • Anyone working in developer marketing
  • Developer relations, evangelists, or advocates

5. The Business of Belonging: How to Make Community your Competitive Advantage - A tactical primer for any business embarking on the critical work of actively building community, David Spinks.

What topics does the book cover?

Spinks reminds us that the successful brands of tomorrow will harness the power of community, who understand how to build a community and give their customers a real sense of belonging. He explains how communities drive the business value and how to use that and turn it into your competitive advantage. It gives you a step-by-step model to strategically plan, create, facilitate and measure communities that drive business growth. If this book were a person, it would be a thoughtful mentor, walking you through everything you need to do to get a community up, running, growing, and thriving.

What will you learn from this book?

  • Learning to implement a winning community strategy  
  • Turning customers into brand evangelists 
  • Using the appropriate metrics

Who is this book for?

  • Everyone new to community building
  • Community professionals who want to level up their game
  • Decision-makers who want to understand the value and opportunity of community

6. The Art of Community: Building the New Age of Participation - A comprehensive guide to building online communities, Jono Bacon.

What topics does the book cover?

The bible of community: this book is easy, entertaining, and still a very practical guide to successfully building communities. Bacon shares his experiences and observations from his career of building communities and explains how you can establish your own community. He explains that a thriving community doesn't just happen. It takes time, effort, and energy. He compares it to a trial and error process to see what works and what doesn't. It includes interviews with community management leaders such as Linus Torvalds, Tim O'Reilly, and Mike Shinoda, who provide valuable insights. Start with scanning and deep-diving into parts of the book and apply his methods directly to see if they work for you and your community. 

What will you learn from this book?

  • Recruiting, motivating and managing members 
  • Creating a buzz around your community to get more people involved 
  • Harnessing the power of social media 
  • Organizing collaborative events
  • Using the right metrics to track your community
  • Identifying and manage conflicts 

Who is this book for?

  • Community builders
  • Community managers 
  • Anyone interested in community

We're now open for beta applications!