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Hiring for Authentic Developer Marketing at DeepSource
We're going to start featuring portfolio companies hiring for specific roles. This is a great way to share stories about mission and culture.
See our interview here, with a full transcript below.
Tell me about DeepSource. What are you building?
At DeepSource, we are building an automated code review tool that helps developers find and fix issues in their code.
The grand mission is helping people write better code using automation. We automate things in the software development life cycle.
Look back to how we write English, for example. If you have access to the internet, spell checkers, and grammar checkers, it’s much easier to write English.
But the same thing has not really happened for code. Developers have IDEs, but IDEs stop at style detection and rudimentary factoring. Computers should be able to help you write better code.
This is very high leverage activity because software engineering is like an engine of productivity. If you make the engine faster and more efficient, then all the cars drive faster. I get really excited for tools that help people make tools faster and help develop our technology.
Can you tell me a little bit about the culture within deep source? What are you trying to build internally?
We have a culture that stems from what we are building.
We have been fortunate enough to have people in the team who really care about building these tools that other developers use. Actually very few companies in the world work in this space. Seeking out people who care about this is also a big part of what we do.
Internally, we see how things have been done, how other tools or other companies have tried to solve the same problem. But also we look at it with fresh eyes: how can developers take action from our product?
We’re focused on the user experience using a lot of data. How many issues are people fixing using deep source? Which issues raised are people fixing or not fixing? What explains the user behavior? We have a very active Slack group with a lot of our early power users. We talk to them to figure out what to build so developers use the product every day.
There is this authenticity that comes from people that care about their craft and what they're trying to build. It also comes in the marketing side, where developers hate being sold. They just love the people that are actually in the trenches helping build with them.
You’re looking to hire a head of marketing. Describe what you’re looking for.
It’s absolutely true: developers hate being sold to. You can’t shove a product onto users using traditional tactics. So we’re looking to get DeepSource in front of more people to show them how they can save time. At least 40 to 50% of their work doing code reviews is now automated using DeepSource. We do this without obstructing your existing workflow. We integrate seamlessly with your existing workflow.
Developers love automating stuff. They’re passionate about automating things that can be automated.
That's what we're looking for in our marketing. We are hiring a Director of Marketing who can understand and empathize with the problem that we are solving. We want someone who can help us position the product in front of millions of developers.
There an interesting combination of working with data and sincerity that comes with your audience. I see this as a great opportunity because there's definitely a lot of quantitative marketing even for building community, even when you are using different tools than just, you know, some ad campaign or building out leads for our sales team.
Do you have a sales team or is this all self-serve? How would marketing work with different sales roles?
We don't have a sales team at the moment. All our customers have been inbound.
The product is free for open source and that is the primary driver of our growth. Developers try us on open source projects they are working on. Most of them work at a private company and start using DeepSource on their private code repos.
We actually have not spent anything on marketing as well. We still want to figure out what else to try in marketing? This role is going to be exciting because they get a chance to both drive what is working and explore new areas. We have a blog that is working: our content on static analysis, code reviews, writing good code, etc bring us a lot of traffic.
The primary challenge is how to position ourselves?