Developer Relations Engineer | Canonical

Developer Relations Engineer | Canonical

Last Updated
Last updated May 16, 2024
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As the publisher of Ubuntu we serve millions of developers, building for the cloud, IoT and data science. We aim to make open source (or “open source software”, “OSS”) easier and more reliable for innovators and enterprises.
We have created a new Developer Relations team
to engage directly
with open source communities
and developer-centric organisations.
We hope both to:
  1. communicate our vision and products
    1. for better OSS development experiences
  1. also to have a better feedback loop
    1. from those audiences
    2. to shape our offerings and priorities
A Developer Relations Engineer is a technical expert, strategist and communicator with deep empathy for developers. This discipline combines practical engineering skills with firm diplomacy across organisational boundaries, in both directions. Like our audience, a Developer Relations Engineer is never satisfied with the status quo 💯, and is driven by an insatiable curiosity to find better ways to get things done 💯. They are problem-solvers and inventors, who understand people's needs and love the way that tools can be adapted to meet them. They stay current with tech trends and provide insights and guidance while fostering innovation.


My Response

ME: Screaming like a teenager in the 90s at a Backstreet Boys concert on the inside…this is me
I have had trouble consistently with people telling me the status quo is good enough.
That I shouldn’t be spending time on figuring out a new way, just keep using the same old thing.
That even includes using bzr up until a few years ago 100% of the time, to now using it about 10% of the time, but still have hundreds of sites up and running with source code kept in self-hosted bzr repos 🙂.


we are building our initial DevRel team in Europe, Middle East, African and American time zones

What your day will look like

In a typical day, a developer relations engineer might:
  • take part in team product meetings,
    • at levels from strategy to day-by-day development progress,
    • contributing insight and expertise
  • maintain conversations with developer community members
    • wherever they may be found
      • IRC
        • Matrix, Discord, Telegram, Gitter, etc… ?
      • social media
        • Mastodon
        • Matrix
      • product forums
        • Which ones? Canonical’s?
      • meet-ups
        • SWEET - WHERE????
      • and more
  • work with colleagues in other teams in the company,
    • as part of efforts to
    • help establish commonality and consistent approaches 
  • help solve specific technical problems that users or colleagues have identified 
  • contribute to technical documentation
    • to ensure that developer users' needs are met there
  • work on
    • technical articles
    • presentations
    • workshops 
  • identify new opportunities and directions for improvement
    • in the developer experience we provide
  • present at
    • conferences
    • meetups
    • technical events

What we are looking for in you

A strong candidate
is a programmer or developer with a demonstrable passion (✅) for and engagement (TRYING) in open-source software
has worked with real-world challenges developing and deploying software using Linux
Building Linux servers since I was 11 or 13ish… ~24 years ago.
has practical hands-on experience of Linux software packaging (including Snaps, debs, charms, rocks, PIP, containers)
Server and Desktop, and WSL, and Virtualized on Xen, various platforms, and several cloud providers.
TODO: Learn “charms” and “rocks”
understands current software packing issues and trends in the Linux ecosystem 
has been a contributor to open-source communities, software and documentation
is an engaging, vivacious speaker and presenter
Dale Carnegie trained me in public speaking when I was 16. Amazing benefits.
Becoming a World’s Level Amateur Powerlifter from 24-35ish
Now I am a “Fatner” - a Fat Father. But this would give me motivation to get back to it!!!
Volunteer Ambassador with Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in the past, along with my child.
He was diagnosed at 3.
I was diagnosed at 13ish? in 1999.
can work effectively, tactfully, empathetically and confidently in contexts where different parties have different perspectives, needs and understanding
builds trust, relationships and confidence
is willing to travel globally twice a year for company events, as well as to upstream and partner events

Additional skills that you might also bring

  • 🏁 previous experience in a developer advocacy or community role
  • ✅ in-depth familiarity with Ubuntu and the Canonical ecosystem of products
    • Ubuntu
      • CalVer
    • bzr - Bazaar Version Control
    • Launchpad
    • Followed experiments with kids in 3rd world countries???

What we offer you

We consider geographical location, experience, and performance in shaping compensation worldwide.
We revisit compensation annually (and more often for graduates and associates) to ensure we recognise outstanding performance.
In addition to base pay, we offer a performance-driven annual bonus.
We provide all team members with additional benefits, which reflect our values and ideals. We balance our programs to meet local needs and ensure fairness globally.
  • Distributed work environment with twice-yearly team sprints in person - we’ve been working remotely since 2004!
    • Past sprints / in person events?
  • Personal learning and development budget of USD 2,000 per year
  • Annual compensation review
  • Recognition rewards
  • Annual holiday leave
    • How much?
    • How flexible?
    • How is it managed?
  • Maternity and paternity leave
  • Employee Assistance Programme
    • What is this?
  • Opportunity to travel to new locations to meet colleagues from your team and others
    • Sweet
  • Priority Pass for travel and travel upgrades for long haul company events


About Canonical

Canonical is a pioneering tech firm that is at the forefront of the global move to open source. As the company that publishes Ubuntu, one of the most important open source projects and the platform for AI, IoT and the cloud, we are changing the world on a daily basis. We recruit on a global basis and set a very high standard for people joining the company. We expect excellence - in order to succeed, we need to be the best at what we do.
Canonical has been a remote-first company since its inception in 2004.​ Work at Canonical is a step into the future, and will challenge you to think differently, work smarter, learn new skills, and raise your game. Canonical provides a unique window into the world of 21st-century digital business.

Canonical is an equal opportunity employer

We are proud to foster a workplace free from discrimination. Diversity of experience, perspectives, and background create a better work environment and better products. Whatever your identity, we will give your application fair consideration.

Developer Relations Engineer

Home based - Worldwide

Apply for this role

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Please share your rationale or evidence for the high school performance selections above. Make reference to provincial, state or nation-wide scoring systems, rankings, or recognition awards, or to competitive or selective college entrance results such as SAT or ACT scores, JAMB, matriculation results, IB results etc.
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