BizDev Developer Evangelism and the Hidden Genius Project with Kurt Collins – Episode 123

We’re joined by Kurt Collins, Director of Developer Evangelist and Partnerships at, to discuss his role and his participation in The Hidden Genius Project, mentoring young black men and teaching them to code. The audio is a little rough, but it’s probably because Kurt is enjoying a baguette in a Parisian coffeeshop.

We chat before he heads to API World about his work and his foundation. We get into:

  • 20,000 APIs being tracked by programmable web
  • At some point, we may all have our own API
  • Industry is still arguing the value of a Developer Evangelist
  • Come from a place of authenticity but still often connected to sales
  • Beware being an Org Chart party of 1
  • Business development is not as easily questioned
  • Evangelism helps credibility in the developer community
  • Know the lingo
  • What do you dress like when you’re between suits and hoodies?
  • Do people understand his position within the organization
  • Kurt’s thought: you as an individual have to define your role. No org chart will do it for you.
  • Must listen on the topic: Datanauts with Matt Oswalt
  • Digging into a hybrid role
  • Evangelism is at risk when its not well-connected into the business
  • Have to be beyond the hype and know the tech
  • Developer Evangelism has the risk of being seen as a cost center
  • Position yourself for long-term revenue driver
  • Context switching as part of your life between org charts
  • Kurt’s first go from Software Engineer to Business Development
  • The ego hit of choosing to focus on business development
  • Kurt walks through a failed startup that inspired him to do more outside his work
  • The challenge of teaching programming was more about language (grammar, syntax) than STEM
  • Asked about work-life balance
  • Benefits of a job without a specific location
  • You have to do the worst job possible for a few years before you make it to this kind of title

Kurt is an amazing guy – follow him @timesync.


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