What The Heck Is An Evangelist In A Startup?
If you have been looking into startup jobs or have been surfing around the career sections of startups, you might notice there are a lot of open positions for Evangelist. These range from Technical Evangelist to Devevangelist to community evangelist etc. You might be wondering, what the heck is an evangelist?
Evangelist in a startup, not to be confused with the religious evangelist, is a person who has deep knowledge in their field and reaches out to the community to promote or obtain feedbacks. For example a technical evangelist is a very common role in startups. They can be thought of as community managers. Most of their work time is dedicated to going out to technical meetup and events such as hackathons to communicate and present to their audience. Evangelist could also be described as someone who has a deep passion for their field. If they are not out spending time on attending community meets and events, they are usually creating attractive content for the startup. This includes blogging, instructional posting, and reaching out to forums. Some startups have what they called a Developer Evangelist. These people are usually developers themselves and participate in a lot of developing events and releases.
Evangelist wears many hats
Evangelist isn’t a simple role. You do have to have intensive knowledge and wear many hats. You have to do a little bit of marketing, coming up with new content, customer support, obtaining feedback, and sometime code testing. This role in a way is similar to product managers, but product managers focus more on the developing phrase and determining what the executive team wants. Evangelist usually wants to turn an upcoming idea into the next buzz. Of course, you do not necessary need to learn how to code to be an evangelist, but at a fast pace startup you are considered the tester, so knowing how to code will help. At some startups, you are also responsible for finding talents during it’s early stages. When a human resource apartment isn’t fully put together yet, it is the evangelist’s job to go out and search for talent. As mentioned above, you are spending a lot of time attending community events, so it only makes sense that you are involved in the talent searching process. It can be an awesome career for people who love to write, talk, and live on tech.
How to become an Evangelist?
It’s not an easy entry level position. You will need to prove to your employer/startup that you have deep knowledge of the topic. In addition you must prove to them that you can present well. After all, a lot of time is dedicated to presenting at conferences and meets. Good social skills, deep knowledge, and passion is what will land you the job of an evangelist. If you look under the career section to most up and rising startups, you will usually see a few open positions. Good luck!
Guy Kawasaki was a known evangelist for Apple.