← Previous · All Episodes · Next →
Making DevTools more human with Carla Sofia Teixeira from Miro Episode 36

Making DevTools more human with Carla Sofia Teixeira from Miro

Carla Sofia Teixeira is a DevRel Program Manager at Miro. Miro helps your team go beyond brainstorming, with a wide variety of tasks that require collaboration: workshopping, strategy mapping, Agile ceremonies, UX research and design, product development, customer discovery and process visualisation.

· 31:21


Carla: if someone wants to become a really good, developer on a specific area and your tool can help them get. Then there is an additional reason for them to keep using it, right? You want to keep on giving reasons to people to stay.

Jack: Hi everyone. You're listening to Scaling Devils, the show that investigates how devils go from zero to one. I am joined today by Carla Sofia Teixeira, and Tommy and Stu, the cats.

Carla is dev program manager at Miro. And also wanna say thanks to Kimmy Leslie for suggesting that we bring. Carla after she was really impressed by a talk that Carla gave. Carla, thanks so much for joining us,

Carla: Thanks and thank you for having me here. And also thanks for to Kimmy to. Give my name forward. I'm really excited for this and for the topic as well. I've seen some of your previous work and high expectations. Just kidding.

Jack: Thanks Carla. could you tell us a little bit about what you're doing with Miro?

Carla: So I'm a program manager for the developer relations team. And what that means is looking a bit at the strategy and currently also focusing on outreach. So we're a pretty young platform, especially compared with the age of the product. Uh, we launched the developer platform, the V2 in May. and we have a couple tools that developers can use.

So we have a rest API to build integrations with third party products and automate processes, the web sdk, and that allows developers to create apps within Miro, uh, inside of Miro and, live embeds to easily bring a Miro board anywhere because. You need all, you want, all the flexibility you can have.

And these are tools that are not very well known yet, even though a lot of developers use a product, they don't know about these. And what we're trying to do is to increase awareness about this. We're starting to build the, the community together with the very people in the community, which is quite exciting.

And an approach that I, that I really enjoy. And it's, uh, overall an interesting. Having a lot of fun so far.

Jack: That's really cool. And I've used Miro as like really great products, so it's kind of cool team to work with.

Carla: Even if I wanted to say otherwise, I do believe that it's a great product. So,

Jack: And one of the things we spoke about a lot, kind of off air was humanness could you talk a bit about what humanness means, , in the context of developer tools?

Carla: I love the topic of what is it being human, how does that change how we approach situations? And then in a business environment, how. How does that come to life? What does that influence? Right. There's a quote from Simon Sinek that I hope I said his name right. That I really like that. We don't do business with companies.

We do business with people. Business is always human. And I truly believe that if you go back and you think of good experiences you had with a company, with a vendor, with a partner, or even without, outside of a professional context with like buying something, if there is something you can connect to, which is usually a person on the other side, your experience will be so much better that then reflects in higher retention rates. People that, become customers that they don't leave. Right? People are happy and they will keep buying your product. Keep subscribing to the platform, to whatever it is, right? I think we, we all have examples of stuff like this. There's also , the other extreme of if there's a really good product, but you've had a terrible experience, for example, with support for something, you're not gonna buy from them again.

Jack: I saw someone just yesterday like complaining about this tool that had really bad support, but it's kind of known to be great as a product. It's seems like such a easy way to kind of lose that love.

Carla: I think as humans, like we want to connect with others, we want to feel understood and find things we can relate to. So being able to do that. With someone through a product in a way that can really elevate the experience. And for developer relations, we're all about relations, connections, right?

With developers. So seeing how this applies and how in different areas of what we do, we can leverage this in a way, which I, I don't like the word leverage because it feels like you're taking advantage of something and I think it's actually being more authentic. , I think it can really have an impact.

Jack: Yeah, and you kind of mentioned those, there's different areas. Could you talk a bit about like how you could leverage humanness in, different areas, related to dev?

Carla: I always like to think of the four pillars of of Dev, also outreach, product, community, and education and support, and. I can see several different things that we can do in all of these. For outreach, it's all about how we communicate, what the product is about, right?

What the platform is about, what the tool is about. So being able to share, A human message or to actually show the value is important, uh, instead of just we're the best. No, this is good because then you'll be able to do x in the product. How the product does keep developers in mind. I mean, we use their feedback, we get them involved into, types of programs that can give us insights and you're creating a better market.

So that's also, helpful. And for them, community, well, that one's pretty straightforward, right? How do we communicate and how do we engage with developers? How, and an individual, and then. Developers among themselves, how do we create that space and for education and support, which is very important, like we're saying, a support experience can make it or break it in a way.

And it's a tough one because if it comes to that, especially on support, , it means that someone's already upset. So how do you engage with the human in a way that it helps them still achieve their goals, even if they're not at their happiest spot?

Jack: I'm gonna spell to list these off, but, uh, so we had the four pillars were education and sport. Community outreach and what was the last one? Product. That's amazing. , so I guess we could dive into like each of those in a bit more, in depth.

Carla: Outreach is about getting people to hear, getting developers specifically in our context to hear about the, tool, right? And then actually converting them, ideally because, everyone can know, but if no one's using it, then you're not bringing them down the funnel, right?

Then you need to look into what needs to happen for this conversion. For someone to say, Hey, yes, I will sign up. Yes, I will. Well, if it's for a free trial or to actually that money, hopefully at some point, that means that they've seen the value, that they believe you can help them, that you can solve their problem, that the tool can the answer to their needs in a way.

They decide to become a user or customer, and. Especially in tech. There's so many solutions out there, right? There's so much competition, there's so many different things you can use that it's even, it makes it hard to stand out amongst so many different alternatives because if someone, let's say a developer, he needs to solve something.

He's told by his manager, Hey, we need to implement and add this kind of feature. Find a tool that will offer this. , you go and you search tools that will gimme this and there'll be a too many options. So being able to have a message or, creating an impression that's more human, you're already standing out, compared , to the other ones.

I would say, a couple things you can do specifically. So for example, if we're approaching this, so on, in outreach, we have a lot of content and events as well. For content, focus on? What you think will make a difference? Instead of, like I was saying, saying how great, the product is, write, Write a blog or have someone else, another developer that has used the tool saying how it has helped them.

So it's also people will hear, or a developer will value more and trust more the opinion of another developer than another company. So there's also ways to incorporate this messages. And then you're really focusing on the value in what the person will get if they do choose to become a user.

Jack: I was just gonna say on that like it's kind of interesting cuz people always talk about like a developers or almost like robots or something, just deciding things in a very like show me the features and stuff. But it's like, I think it's a really important point because sometimes these things are so complex that it's really hard to like, analyze things and it feels like there is actually a lot more trust based on like what other developers think.

Carla: It is, I can understand why you're saying the robots, I see it as more pragmatism. Just they have X amount of time to dedicate to get something done. So what's the quickest way that will hopefully get what they need? Right? And that's why I think it's more they just, this tool or this tool, which one have I heard from?

Which one do I think is more credible? And also which one is able to put the information in front of me, right?

Jack: Yeah.

Carla: Because when you have so many options, You're not gonna go beyond and spend more time trying to find another option because there's five in front of you, right?

You also need to be able to, to bring this content to where they are.

One exercise I often like to do for this and something I have kept in mind for a few years, , When you're thinking of how to do like a communication strategy or when to post updates, try to put yourself in the shoes of the developer. And usually you kind of have like more, indie developers in startups kind of mode, or more the black matter developers.

So enterprise, very different profile and think of their routines. Think when they stop to take a break, think when they have a bit of attention to give, and then build in, a plan that fits into these timings. Become the human, the other human become the developer.

Jack: That's a really good, strategy. So you are thinking about rather than like searching how to reach developers, you're thinking what, how do developers work and when are they likely to.

Carla: And these are things that you can find information on. There's a lot of studies, on. Where do they go for information? How often do they go? Like, and, and there's quite detailed information on that. So you can, you can find it from a market analysis bit more general way. And then what you can do, it's also conduct interviews.

If you have the time, if you have the priority also to do that, because this is stuff that does take a little bit of time, but to speak with people and, and say, can you tell me like about your day, when. , when do problems come in? When do you have a time for yourself? If I want to share a story with you, at what point in the day do you wanna hear it?

Is there are very simple questions that can be asked. You might not always get an answer, but,

Jack: I think Kimmy actually mentioned something similar about asking like, what newsletters do you read and things like that. , so we've done outreach. , I guess the next one is product and how humanness applies to product.

Carla: For products, I think there's two main things. We as dev role, and it depends on the focus of the team, but we're looking at the, the feedback from, developers, right? Does this make sense? Are they using this, if it's from you looking at analytics of how the, the tool is being used or if it's actually talking with people and understanding is this helping them, with what they need to do, but to also be able to, to look at, for example, , what are the requests coming up for?

Features? So not necessarily things that exist yet, but things that are missing and starting to, implement that into the, feedback into the product roadmap, for example. And the, human part of this is that, especially for when people are asking for something and then you make that happen, people feel like they're part of the, the journey.

And when people feel like they're part of it, they're much less likely to. They will stay with you, and they will also talk about it to other people because, hey, I had something to say. Someone listened to it it happened, and I mean, it feels good, right? I'm sure we've all had situations like this at some point in life. And that's something that stays with you. It's a way of connecting. And at the same time, this is also, a major benefit from this is that you have, you create product, market, market fit because you are giving developers, you're giving the market what they're asking for. So chances of it actually being used are much higher than if you're closed in a meeting room.

Just try to figure out what are we going to launch next? And the other one is, um, whenever you're launching something new, a new feature, for example, being able to create, better programs or early access programs, that can really help you also first understand if the, feature makes sense, the great thing from getting this type of insights early on, is also that you're creating advocates in a way because they were part of something exclusive. They saw it. Again, they're feeling part of it, they're feeling connected, and that also increases the chances that then you'll have people that will also share the message for you. So that also then helps in outreach, for example, earlier on in the funnel. And one I important thing is also, It's important , and it's not just for product, but whenever you're asking for feedback or you ask for help with anything, closing the feedback loop. So being able to say, Hey, thank you. This is the state exhibit.

Then if you have an update, say that. We were talking, about, this a little bit earlier and it's not always the easy thing to do or to keep in mind because so many things happen. We're only human, right? So I think it's, it can also be helpful to kind of try to hack the system in a way and create your own automation, not necessarily with a tool, but that can help you remember, hey, or have a standard message or a reminder somewhere.

Let's do this. Let's just say a quick thank you and cuz it, it matters. It makes a.

Jack: I think that that's a really good point. And kind of thinking of it as part of the process, rather than something like nice to have, it's like an actual. Kind of core thing. And I'm reflecting myself like, there's people I need to message and give updates to. . It's a really good point,

Carla: I think everyone has people like that in, in their list. I definitely do.

Jack: I think it's really, really, really useful stuff. I'm taking the theme as like, kind of stick with your promises. Update people and focus on some specific users at the beginning and involved them

Carla: I think some of those traits also come a bit, later on when we talk about support. that's another chance when you need to keep keeping people updated.

Jack: Yeah. Or should we roll right on to support then.

Carla: Go for that and then end with. so on education and support, they're a little bit different. In the way that education, you are providing something ahead of time, so you're being proactive and support, you're being reactive, right? I think something that's important for both, but mainly for, , education is that. we need to remember that we don't all consume information or learn the same way. So I think that being able to have content in different format. If it's visual, if it's written, if it's video, that's gonna allow for people with different learning styles, especially if you have a tool that you need to learn.

There's a, there's a li a little bit of a learning curve. Having different types of, formats will help people do this because if someone just likes to watch videos and there's no videos, then they get to there. They're like, oh, your competitor has videos. I'll go there.

now this is not something that's always this easy decision because creating content does have a high investment of time, and sometimes you need to, pick your battles, right?

You won't have the perfect setting from day one, never. So it can also, it's also okay to start with some things and then create more. You can also start already with the mindset of, in the beginning, create things in a way that you can reuse. and I mean now we have so many tools that can also like automate, right?

You can give a a script , to AI and you'll have the picture of someone talking about it and you can also make this easier on yourself if you try to think of other ways that it wouldn't necessarily all depend on you and create content already thinking of that will be used in different formats.

And, I think for education, and critically on for tools or, or platforms that, technologies that. There is a, bit of a progression, as you, as you are developing with it, especially, for example, with local tools, right? You start at a certain level and then you go up or you've been with Salesforce, right?

You see all these different types of education programs with certifications and so on that you can keep on going up. One thing that's, I find quite interesting, I think it's very much applied or it's more applied in other fields than necessarily tech, but it's understanding, okay, what makes people keep on learning?

Like what are the motivations, what are the triggers? Because if you can attach to that, for example, if someone wants to become a really good, developer on a specific area and your tool can help them get. Then there is an additional reason for them to keep using it, right? You want to keep on giving reasons to people to stay. So, , what are the motivations? What are the, what triggered this decision? And then as well being able to recognize, What they've done and reward it. So, badges, certificates, awards, I mean, you can do this in the community and social, there's different ways, but it also makes it fun. It can even gamify it a little bit.

So it has can also bring up that competitiveness, which developers have, do have quite a bit. Right. could also make it a little bit more fun. And there's, there's great examples of that.

Jack: I actually really like the example of thinking about what their kind of educational goals might be and kind of aligning it to help them achieve that.

Carla: Because it can also be very different. Someone just wants to explore because they have time on Sunday's afternoons, And the way that someone will approach the interactions with a tool versus someone that does want it to get further in their career is very different.

Which means, and, and this is a hard one to do.

I don't think you can very easily do this, but then that means that the success path is different for one and for the other. Meaning that technically it's equally good if the one that's just learning for, because they want to once a week. if they take three months to complete a task versus if someone that's dedicated to doing it quite often, and it takes them, let's say three weeks, technically it's success of the three weeks or the three months is the same because what they're putting in is the same, right?

If you compare it, if you relative to each other, they would. But this is hard to then take into account, into metrics because it's, it's hard to know, right? you start getting a little bit too much , into the details, but, but it can be interesting to help you understand the, community. Why are developers there?

Jack: Yeah. Even if you just have an awareness that these different kind of people exist.

Carla: because now if we look at support, someone that is doing it for career, if they have a problem, they need it solved. If someone's doing it just to as a side project, if they don't get an answer for two days, it's not going to be the end of the world and answer right away will still be a delight moment.

They'll be happy with that, but it's not the end of the world the same way as it is for someone that's trying to do something for work.

Let's go into support. So for support, someone's coming to you with a problem or they can't do something, or something's not working, or there's a bug, or they think something should be there. It isn't. And that means you're getting people at somewhat more frustrated level, right. Than if someone is onboarding and very happy with the experience.

I think there's a few things that we can do. That come from a, I see it as a human approach. So being empathetic, you don't know what's going on on the other side. You don't know if that person just had a meeting with their manager and they were told, if you don't fix this, you're out. You don't know if they have someone sick in the family and they're, they didn't sleep at all cuz they were taking care of that person.

You really don't know. So I think it's, a hard exercise, but. Being able to approach a conversation or a ticket with the enough like compassion and saying, Hey, I hope this can help. This is what I could find, or whatever the answer is. I think that's an important, and it does come across. In the message, in the communication.

And it can, if you're having a bad day and you get a message from support of someone saying, yeah, go look there, you're like, right. It adds on top of the annoying stuff and I think the other approach has a much better chance of succeeding and, and leaving a lasting impression. And I think something else that's also important is to be honest, transparent, set the right expectations.

Don't promise something you don't have control. So if you don't know when something's going to go live, you can say, if you know you're working on it and that that can be shared, then you can say we're working on it. I will let you know once I have more updates I can share, or once this is launched, but don't say this will be launched in June if you're not a hundred percent sure or if, they're factors outside of your control that could make that not happen because. You're likely also not the one making the decision of what actually goes into the, roadmap. For example, if we're talking about features being launched and things can change from one day to the other, and we under, we can understand this from the context of where we're working, but people outside without the context will not understand that. So I think it's small things. Right. But, cause I also. I'll get you an answer by this day if you need something from someone else because you can't control what's when you'll get that. So I think being honest, transparent, setting the right expectations, and just remembering there's a human being with a story on the other side.

Really puts you in a better position to respond with a bit more kindness and in a way that it can actually help the other person who's probably already frustrated and in making that experience a little bit better.

Think there's also a little bit of, bridge between support and, community in my mind. And then we can do the bridge. See how nicely,

Jack: Nice.

Carla: um, between support and community because there's, different support channels, right? They have official supports. So someone will open a ticket and then you deal with that.

Or you have channels like the forums or. Whatever, platform you, you end up using. But this is also a place where other people can come and help and I've seen this be, be very, be a very strong approach. So that's, you don't always have to, be the one, saying, Hey, this information is here, or this is the guide that will give you the answer.

This is, here's where you can find the, the code snippet for this, for example. But this is also, it's not hard. It's not. , if you don't get it from day one, there's a lot of things that need to be built before this. You need to be able to have a, a community that wants to help others. You need to have that space where this kind of activities are rewarded and incentivized.

But it can be, it can be really good to have a. Some helpers from the, community, helping with that. There's programs you can put in place like Champions Place programs, for example, that can help with that.

Jack: It evolves the kind of how you rely on kind of people to help others in the community.

And could we dive in a little bit more like broadly like community and how, humanness relates to community?

Carla: Well, I think that one feels pretty straightforward. It's all, it's all about people, right? It's, it's community. People want to feel like people want to belong somewhere. They want to find a place or people they can relate to. They want to feel valued. And there's the, the kind of two levels I was mentioning earlier, because you, to build a community, need to connect with the individual, and then you need to make the individuals.

right. So it's, tricky. It can be a beautiful thing, on some actual things that you, that can be done, that we can do very easily being in developer relations because we are looking after the, the developer community, right? In the topic, in the context of people wanting to fill values. I feel like we often ask for a lot of things.

and then give something in return. But if you flip this, if you give something first without asking for anything to say, Hey, you're awesome. That will make the person on the other side will make the developer feel, wow, this is cool because you, you're just receiving, there's no other expectations. Right?

Okay. Then maybe it's two months down the line, you can say, Hey, do you wanna join this program? Or something like that. But, ideally there's also the, an honest thank you, that is, is in that offer. I think it's , some small things like being able to say thank you and give credit to the people that are involved.

A great way to do this are a developer spotlights. So it's very simple. Something that we include, uh, in our developer newsletter. Uh, we try to highlight someone that's been doing great things with the c. Because it also then for their own goals, it helps them reach that, it gives them the platform to share what they're working. and I mean, it's pretty cool, right? If you're working on something, uh, and someone decides to highlight that, like even for example, experience I had, within Deval and that, I was putting together the round table and then that was in a newsletter. I was like, ah, like that's, it's, it's a feel good moment.

And those things mean something. You need to be able to build. and maintain, people's trust. So again, in here also a big part of it is the close the feedback loop. You ask for something, say thank you, and then come back. Keep people updated because you're bringing them into the story. You're making them part of the story.

So you need to, to give that the continuously or closure that it, needs. And then. I think empowering people to, to helping others. So most developers like helping others, not all, but quite a few who do. And I think that's why we, we see some very engaging, developer communities and help them do this, make it easy for them.

Like if you want people to help with something, give them the content that they need and giving the content that they need. I kind of like to think as, treat them as interns, respect them as stakeholders, in a way that it's, and with interns, I mean, an intern is someone that doesn't have the context of what they're coming into, right?

Assume they know nothing and give them the, the context for it. Give them all the tools they need. Don't assume that they already know because they most likely won't. These things like come very natural for us. It's like, oh, I know this process is this way, or if this happens, we obviously would do this in return, but this is not obvious to other people.

And respecting with the the stakeholders, their opinion matters. They should be kept inform. They're part, they're part of it. They're involved. Now, there's also different levels to this, right? Obviously if you're putting together, if there's a program, and there's obviously company goals, attached to that.

They don't need to know all the inner workings of everything, but the things that are relevant to them, and that can be shared, those are meaningful to share. And then. Try to build this cuz we have a really easy job in a way that's scalable, right? As you're building a community, you also want this to be able to apply it to as many people are, are coming into the community. Because in the end, with community, you can almost create an extended team of sorts, right? Like we were saying. They can help you with supports, they can help in outreach. They can, they can help in different things. and then I would, I would say that for community, we often, we often think of, oh, what's a nice message I can put here in the forum or in the channel.

But that often it's a bit of a marketing approach. Nothing wrong with marketing, but it's, it's not personalized. It's not going to the core of the person. And when you're trying to build a community, at least with the people that are most active, or that you see them. Grow into a certain role within that community, reach out to them and, Hey, what's up?

Like you would do to a friend, maybe a little bit more formal than that. But just connect with the person on the other side because that will help you build a relationship that can grow over time and that can give. Also better understanding of how that person, that developer, that developer kind of group profile.

You can start then opening this up right fits into how the product's being used, how, what insights you can learn and can apply, and how can you strengthen the use case.

Jack: Carlos, that was amazing. Are there any takeaways that, people should be taking away

Carla: Well, I hope a few of the things I've, said stuck, but, I guess there's kind of four main things in my mind. One is, being empathetic. You never know what's going on the other side, build and maintain the trust with the community. Be transparent. Don't overpromise or commit to things that are out of your control. Then also use inclusive language. We all have different ways of consuming information, so make sure that you're catering to all those different ways.

And last but definitely not least, be respectful, that people are putting time into exploring or contributing to the community or your products and help them in the best way. You. and in the way that you would like to be helped? I think tho those are , the four, the four takeaways I would say.

I think at the end of the day, as developer relations professionals we're the human side of the company for better or for worse. So I think these. Good things to remember to try and put in place because it can, it can create a lasting impression. It can make the experience of someone with a tool, a little bit more human

Jack: Thank you Carla. I'm gonna try and put humanness at the, the front and center of whatever I'm doing.

Carla: Yeah. But don't forget, you're also human, so, There's also the self-kindness and that we need to do

Jack: don't beat myself up. Carla, where can people learn more about, about you and about Miro and, what you're working on?

Carla: If you wanna learn more about Mero, go to developers.miro.com. That's where you can find the information on the Miro developer platform. if you wanna get in touch with me, Twitter or LinkedIn, LinkedIn, I'd probably reply to, the easiest. But any channel, I'll reply.

Jack: Amazing. We'll put the links in

Carla: if someone wants to become a really good, developer on a specific area and your tool can help them get. Then there is an additional reason for them to keep using it, right? You want to keep on giving reasons to people to stay.

Jack: the description.

Carla: Thank you so much, Jack. I had a lot of fun.

Jack: It was really, really cool. Thanks Carla. And thanks everyone for listening. We will see you again next week.

View episode details

Creators and Guests

Carla Sofia Teixeira
Carla Sofia Teixeira
DevRel Program Manager @ Miro 🤓 Just crazy enough to change the world. Inspired by the power of small details.


Listen to Scaling DevTools using one of many popular podcasting apps or directories.

Apple Podcasts Spotify Google Podcasts Overcast Pocket Casts Amazon Music
← Previous · All Episodes · Next →