Small talk: the arhythmic patter of filler questions and light chuckles that introduce us to new people. "Nice weather, isn't it?" "Can you believe the traffic?" "What do you do?"
It's the last one, the work one, the "what do you do?" that I struggle with. I'm avoiding the generic "jack-of-all-trades," and I can't bear the insufferably pretentious "polymath."
But how does one concisely say, "I'm a writer, software developer, teacher, designer, video producer, and ..."?
Thankfully, two things have come to my rescue: developer relations (DevRel) and the maker movement.
I like to experiment and learn new things. I studied journalism and history in college, but I’m also a self-taught programmer and designer who worked in video production for 15 years. Unfortunately, the professional world operates by slotting round pegs into round holes — the rounder the better. I’m definitely a square, but sometimes I want to be a rhombus too. Specialization be damned.
Fortunately, I stumbled into developer relations, which allows me to combine my diverse skills to enable software developers to do their best work. I’m grateful to practice it as a Staff, Developer Educator at Twilio. DevRel is a problem where the multitool prevails, and that’s how I see myself.
In short, I work in developer relations.
Outside of my day-to-day, I describe myself as a maker, which feels similarly expansive and appropriate. It also allows me to use a multitool in addition to functioning as one.