Head of Developer Relations


East Coast, USA Remote Only

Full time

Developer Relations

Open Source APIs

Feb 17

About the Job

Our everyday digital experiences are in the midst of a realtime revolution. Whether attending an event in a virtual venue, receiving realtime financial information, or monitoring live car performance data – consumers simply expect realtime digital experiences as standard. Ably provides a suite of APIs to build, extend, and deliver powerful digital experiences in realtime for more than 265 million devices across 80 countries each month, supporting organizations like Toyota, Bloomberg and Hubspot.

Working at Ably means helping to build the infrastructure and technology that will power and shape the future of the internet. The opportunity in front of us is immense. But we can’t rest yet. And we’d like your help. As Ably enters its next stage of growth, we’re looking for talented and curious individuals to help us build and deliver the platform to power synchronized digital experiences in realtime for one billion devices every week by 2024.

The Team

Ably’s product and engineering teams are deeply technical, collectively bringing a wealth of experience and broad technology skills across infrastructure, security, distributed systems, developer tooling and much more. These teams have successfully helped us build a developer-first product that is loved by developers (NPS 90+, NRR 170%+) and is used today to solve the hardest realtime problems at planetary scale. Whilst we have quickly established ourselves as the market-leading realtime platform, the opportunity ahead is not about us displacing competitors, but instead for us to define and lead a new product category.

As consumers increasingly expect all digital services to be live and continuously in-sync, developers are shifting towards event-driven, local-first and collaborative-first designs. Tackling this is increasingly complex for developers as they find themselves tackling problems typical in truly distributed peer to peer systems. Ably is helping reduce this complexity for developers by providing simple, yet powerful APIs, that abstract away this lower level complexity and let them focus on delivering rich, collaborative, realtime experiences at any scale. Our mission now is to reach more developers through advocacy, education and brand awareness.

Job Responsibilities

You will be responsible for helping to create the strategy for and managing the team that drives engagement, outreach, building developer communities, and developer brand awareness. Ably’s rapidly growing customers and developer community includes sophisticated CTOs through to tinkerers and hackers. This is currently a team of 4 (based in the UK).. We see DevRel as a key part of our strategy to reach a billion people a week by 2024.

Users of the Ably platform all have one thing in common: they chose our platform and APIs for their simplicity, dependability, and performance, abstracting them from the complexity that exists in delivering a reliable globally distributed pub/sub edge messaging platform. You’ll work closely with the Product Managers, Product Marketers, Engineers, Partnership & Alliances and other customer facing functions, and ensure alignment with our strategy and program execution with the freedom to experiment with new ideas.

Skills & Experience

You'll be successful if you:

  • Are passionate about building motivated, high performing teams and spearheading the growth of Ably’s DevRel function in the US and internationally.
  • Grasp our product vision, are excited by the opportunities of realtime, and can lead the industry and customers through a realtime revolution everyone can believe in. You recognise how we can disrupt the market, transform the industry and have a global impact in the developer community.
  • Become a product expert at Ably, and educate the marketplace on new trends, problems, and challenges that they can bring.  
  • Enjoy talking to customers, developers, conducting workshops, and so on. You will gain industry recognition and credibility as a regular attendee, panelist and speaker at technology conferences and events. You will be one of the canaries for the organization and detect any slight changes in the industry that can have disruptive long-term impact. You will consistently bring information from the field to internal teams to inform product roadmaps, marketing, positioning and content strategy.
  • Enjoy writing code, being a polyglot and tinkering with new technologies.
  • Like keeping pace with emerging technologies, frameworks, and open source and cloud services.
  • Care about developer experiences. You empathise with the challenges developers face, and are excited by the prospect of reducing complexity for developers.
  • Are a strategic thinker and want to be responsible for driving the strategy at Ably to engage with communities, develop partnerships with other like-minded technologists and groups, and promote Ably’s platform to a global audience. You will lead your team with a clear strategy and execution framework.
  • Are effective at turning new users into advocates for Ably and other edge messaging solutions as this product category emerges in the market.
  • Embrace, contribute and advocate for the open movement of source code, data, and protocols. 

We’d love to hear from you if you have:

  • Experience building and growing great developer relations teams. You’ll have a track record of identifying, hiring and developing DevRels, and know how to align their talents with company strategy.
  • Significant and extensive experience of hands-on coding skills, building amongst other things, apps and services, using both front-end web technologies as well as at least two back-end / systems languages.
  • Experience working in developer relations, advocacy or evangelism in the US.
  • Experience speaking at technical conferences, meetups and hackathons, and delivering technical content online.
  • Good understanding conceptually of streaming, messaging and pub/sub, experience with event-driven architectures and strong API ecosystem knowledge.
  • A good level of written, interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Contribution and participation within the Open Source and Cloud Native communities. Specifically, we would like to see experience delivering client software or modules actively used by the community.
  • Maintaining a credible presence in social media channels relevant to developers in the field.

It would be nice, but not essential if you have:

  • Experience working for a startup or high growth company.
  • Deep understanding of streaming and event-driven products and platforms.
  • Track record of delivering software libraries used actively by the community to integrate platforms with cloud APIs.
  • Commercial experience across a wide array of languages, from systems languages like Rust and Go, to scripting languages like Python and Ruby, through to front-end and mobile-focussed languages like Javascript and Kotlin.

Job Benefits

  • Ably is entering a new phase of growth led by an experienced senior team. You’ll be part of a successful, highly motivated, and extremely collaborative team. We want to work in a company of inclusive people who treat each other well.
  • To see what life’s like at Ably, check out our careers page at and read the story of how Ably's core values came to be (
  • Ably is a remote-first company and we strongly believe in life before work and encourage our people to find a balance between the two.
  • We recognize that each person is different and will want to be supported in different ways which is why our benefits ( are there to help you focus on your needs today and prepare you for your future.
  • Amongst other things, we offer a generous holiday allowance, private healthcare and significant learning and development opportunities, and provide access to numerous wellbeing resources. We’re proud to do whatever it takes to care for Ablyans and their future.

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The edge messaging platform to power shared lived experiences like live chat, GPS delivery updates, and collaboration