Everything we do is based on building our online whiteboard at Deekit. We are insanely product-led. As you can imagine this means that most of our team is made up of engineers. Myself, Margred, Kaili and (occasionally) Kristo are the only people on the team working on the marketing side of things. Kaili and Kristo are CEO and CTO respectively, so as you can imagine they have a lot of other tasks on their to-dos! So this leaves Margred and I flying the marketing flag.
Working on a remote team full of engineers has its pros, its cons, and some awesome aspects. So here’s a rundown of what it’s like being a marketer in a remote startup brimming with engineers…
There is often a stigma attached to engineers that they don’t say much. I think this is unfair. Maybe if you put developers in a room with a sales team, they will seem pretty quiet. But get them on a Slack channel and it’s a whole other story!
When you pull together a team of technically proficient people it’s a given that they will be good at communicating online and remote work is the perfect fit for this. In some ways, it helps bridge the gap between engineering and marketing as the team collaborates in a place where we all feel comfortable.
I’ve not been a marketer for that long, but the more experienced out there tell me it’s become a lot less ‘fluffy’ and a lot more process driven in recent years. Working in a product-led startup is awesome for me in this way. I love processes anyway, but working with engineers means that I’m always pushed to keep this up.
The way they work also makes the marketing team question assumptions much more. There’s no room for BS!
As a contradictory point to the last positive made, developers can pull you on marketing activities often. On one hand, it’s great, but on the other it can be frustrating. They want hard facts and as a marketer you sometimes can’t offer them. It’s a double-edged sword where a quick move can be stifled by the processes you have set for the whole team.
I think I have a good understanding of the technology behind Deekit. But when it comes to API’s and Tmux, you’ve hit my limit. As a marketer in a small team constantly making technical decisions you sometimes have to bite your tongue as firstly you don’t have the technical understanding to have a valid opinion. Secondly, you have to remember what your role is in all of this. Acquiring new users, keeping them and converting them.
Working around engineers has taken my technical understanding up a notch, if not two. I learn so much more about the technical aspects of Deekit because I’m in a team that talks about it all the damn time. One of Deekit’s biggest target markets is developers. So as you can imagine knowing more means it’s much easier to create marketing collateral/messaging for engineers. It’s a win-win.
As much as us harping on about marketing surely gets on their nerves, we like to think a marketing perspective is received well! A different perspective on technical problems can sometimes be just what’s needed. So as a marketer it’s important to not worry about feeling stupid. Engineers know it’s not your area of expertise, so say what’s on your mind and maybe (just maybe) they’ll derive some value from it.
So there you have it! We hope this had given some insight into what it’s like working on a remote team full of engineers when you’re not one yourself. As with anything, there are positives and negatives, but the former definitely outweigh the latter.