Feb 17, 2020
Kim Maida - Zoologist Becomes a Developer Advocate (#32)
Play • 50 min

Welcome to another episode of Develomentor. Today's guest is Kim Maida. 

Kim is the Head of Developer Relations at Auth0 and is a Google Developer Expert in Angular and Web Technologies. She's passionate about identity, authentication, constant learning, and developer communities. As a developer advocate, engineer, and international speaker, she loves learning from and sharing with other inhabitants of the tech space. She also enjoys mentoring engineers who are interested in leadership.

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Episode Summary

"I basically want to come up with ways that the company can interact with developers through us to get the developers the best experience that we can give them and also sort of bring their feedback back into the company in an effective way"

—Kim Maida

In this episode we’ll cover:

  1. How Kim got into tech after studying biology, zoology, neurobiology and animal behavior in college. 
  2. Strategies for dealing with burnout. How do you move forward when you are feeling exhausted?
  3. How Kim got her first speaking opportunity. What are some strategies for practicing?

Key Milestones

[1:40] – Kim studied biology, zoology, neurobiology and animal behavior in college. After working in the field for a bit, she decided to go back to school to become a dietician. She got her first tech job in tech doing web development for the university and finally saw it as a viable career option. 
[4:07] – In school, Kim switched her degree to web and digital media and worked at various media agencies, where she worked her way up to engineering manager. She really enjoyed working with engineers and decided to make that her career
[6:32] – Kim explains how she performed bee research and how bees 'waggle dance'
[8:59] – Kim reflects that she never saw herself getting in tech and development. She thought she would become a scientist, and always did web development on the side to help pay for bills. 
[12:56]- What it's like working in academia as a non-professor? Kim talks about advantages universities. This includes benefits, cutting edge research, and having a lot of funding without having to talk to investors. 
[18:12] – Why did Kim become a developer advocate after working at digital agencies? She felt disconnected from clients working at digital agencies. This is when Kim started blogging for Auth0 and started to grow her content/branding skillset. 
[20:06] – Kim talks about her first speaking opportunity and how it came unexpectedly. She never spoke at a conference before, but she accepted the opportunity. This was outside of her comfort zone, but she enjoyed the experience so much, Kim decided to make speaking a full-time gig.
[23:11] - How does Kim prepare for speaking engagements? She recommends talking in front of a mirror, practicing in front of people, and recording yourself. 
[27:15] - Kim talks about dealing with burnout. How do you move forward when you are feeling exhausted?
[30:56] - What is the day to day of a developer advocate? Its to strategically form relationships with developers. Sometimes this means speaking at conferences, sometimes it means setting up a booth at trade shows to answer questions. 
[42:33] - Kim talks about hiring. Why culture fit is crucial not just within a company, but also within a team

You can find more resources and a full transcript in the show notes

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