November 7, 2019 –
The Internet can be a rough place. In the online world of developer communities, there are often notorious issues with gatekeeping, harassment, and other forms of negativity. But there is one shining beacon of the internet where developers of any background or level of experience can share ideas and help each other grow. This place is DEV (dev.to), which at 5 million monthly unique users is the fastest growing social network for the developer community. And that is why I am excited for Mayfield to lead the Series A investment in DEV, and to join the company mission as a member of the board along with Navin Chaddha.
Some months ago, when I was asked whether we should meet the folks behind DEV, my immediate response was: “Definitely. Every next-gen developer uses their community now.” As an investor in the infrastructure and developer tools space, I’d spent considerable time perusing articles on DEV, and had been impressed by both the quality of content and the community’s incredible positivity, vibrancy, and openness. I jumped at the chance to get to know the people who had built this amazing platform.
After meeting DEV’s founders Peter, Ben and Jess (or “PBJ” as they are often known), I was immediately struck by their deep loyalty to the community, their spirited resilience and determination, and their dedication to bringing transparency and trust to social networks. These are founders who live their values on a daily basis and are going to change the world, one developer at a time.
Peter, Ben and Jess are not stopping there. DEV is powered by an open source platform that opens the door for creating inclusive social networks across an unlimited number of future communities. As a former product leader at cloud-native companies like Docker, VMware, and AWS and working with Mayfield portfolio companies like Hashicorp, Rancher, and Volterra. I have witnessed the power open-source can have to transform communities and companies alike. I am excited to see how DEV will revolutionize the infrastructure of social networks as the platform continues to grow.
There is a personal side to this story as well. The definition of developer is changing. It includes not only graduates with computer science degrees, but also coding bootcamps, online programs, and self-taught learners. It includes practitioners of back-end, front-end, full-stack, machine learning, low-code, no-code, and everything in between. DEV exists as a community for all of these developers. As someone who managed software products but never formally received a computer science degree, I identify strongly with DEV’s core value of inclusion. If there is a place on DEV for me, there is a place for everyone.
I believe in the power of DEV. On behalf of Mayfield, I am proud to be working with Peter, Ben, and Jess on DEV’s mission to build inclusive communities with the power of open source infrastructure. Today, it is developers. Tomorrow? Just wait and see.
Originally published on LinkedIn.