VP Developer Relations (Remote)

Job description

Location: Remote, US based, with proximity to our Boston hub preferable

Team: Developer Relations

As Ably enters its next stage of growth, we’re focused on rapidly accelerating our reach to developers who are building the next wave of synchronized digital experiences in realtime. This in turn will help us achieve our goal of delivering experiences to a billion people every week by 2023.

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. As such, synchronized data in realtime is now business critical for many organisations. Yet, at the same time, organizations don’t have the in-house capabilities nor the time to do this efficiently at scale. That’s where Ably comes in.

We provide a suite of APIs to build, extend, and deliver powerful digital experiences in realtime for more than 250 million devices across 80 countries each month. Organizations like Toyota, Bloomberg, HubSpot, and Hopin depend on Ably’s platform to offload the growing complexity of business-critical realtime data synchronization at global scale.

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.

To see what life’s like at Ably, check out our careers page at ably.com/careers and read the story of how Ably's core values came to be.

What we do

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.

In this role

You will be responsible for managing and growing 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 6 (based in the UK), growing to 10+ globally by the end of next year. 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.


You will be successful if you:

  • Are passionate about building motivated, high performing teams and spearheading the growth of Ably’s DevRel function 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.

Required skills:

  • 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.

  • 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 community. 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.

Nice to 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.

What’s it like to work at Ably?

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.

To provide the infrastructure required for the next generation of the internet, to tell the world about it, and to support everyone inside Ably to do so we hire people who are ready and capable of taking on challenging problems in a high-growth environment.

We want to work in a company of inclusive people who treat each other well. To really thrive at Ably, you’ll need to believe in and be prepared to do your work in line with our values, which are:

  • Open for all. Open is a mindset. When open, we’re better collaborators, communicators and creators. Whether open source, standards, or protocols, open hearts, minds, and eyes. It’s better when it’s open.

  • Bias for action. We avoid analysis paralysis at all costs. We lean into doing in order to move us forward. When we have enough of what we need to act, we act. 

  • Even the best do better. We want to be the best - but that doesn’t mean we rest when we are. Improvement and growth  - true betterment - is an ongoing journey. One fuelled by curiosity and taking risks. 

  • Technology needs humanity. Our technology means little without people - whether that’s how we treat our colleagues, or how we design developer experiences. Being human matters.

  • Dependable by default. Dependability is integral to our mission and technology, but being dependable starts with our people. When we care enough to take real ownership of our products and problems - all else will follow. 

  • Bold creativity wins.  When viewed through a different lens, what stands in the way can become the way. The bigger the challenge the easier the choice: bold creativity will always move us forward, create better outcomes, and set us apart.

What’s in it for you?
  • A great company culture

  • Share options

  • The chance to learn and grow with a fast-moving company, supported by a learning budget that gives you access to professional training, events, conferences, workshops etc.

  • Remote first: Unless you want to pop into our communal office space in Shoreditch, London, you’ll work from home most of the time, apart from when we have planning sessions and Summits. Travel to the office is at the employees expense, apart from when we have Ably Summits

  • High quality tech kit to work on

  • Home workstation set up budget of £500, plus an annual top-up of £150

  • Regular company away days and social events

  • Friday need-to-know drinks and snacks

  • Private health insurance, including Doctor@Hand

  • Access to private and confidential coaching with Sanctus

  • 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme with AXA

  • A monthly wellbeing budget with Juno

  • 25 days of paid annual leave (33 days including bank holidays)

  • 10 days of paid sick leave (including mental health days) per year

  • Dog friendly office for when you’re in the office!

If you enjoy working as part of a technology company, value open source, and love solving hard problems - then we’d love to hear from you, regardless of whether you fit the job description exactly or not. If in doubt, drop us an email; we’d be more than happy to give you some advice on your application.

We believe our differences as individuals is what makes us great. Our people are at the heart of what we do, and we encourage everyone to be their most authentic self at Ably: we see inclusivity and openness as fundamental to creating long-term success as an organization. We encourage applications from all backgrounds regardless of age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, parental status, race, religion, educational background or neurodiversity. Ably has an amazing opportunity ahead of us, and we want anyone to be able to contribute to that opportunity.