Milen Dyankov

Software Engineer, Consultant, Developer Advocate

All Those Little Things

February 21, 2017 | 2 Minute Read

As developer advocate, I do a fair amount of traveling. Most of my journeys start with about an hour long drive to the airport. It’s nice highway, not a big deal, easy to do it without needless stops. Yet I like to make one stop, get myself out of the car for a while, grab a coffee, smoke, …

One of the first times I drove there, I stopped at some gas station. It was my first time there. As I was getting out of the car, I realized they had a special place for pets, nearby the main entrance. There was bowl of water and another empty one next to it (presumably to be used to put some food in it). There was also a sign, encouraging pet owners to ask for any assistance they may need. I found this interesting, and proceed to the restroom. A somewhat strange hanger on the wall attracted my attention. It turned out to be a dedicated hanger for motorbike helmets.

I drive a car and I never travel with pets. So those things should be irrelevant to me. Yet, for the last 3 years, that is the only gas station I ever stop at on that highway. Exactly for those two reasons. Why? Because what they did, demonstrates an attitude. They are not making any extra profit from dog owners despite the fact they likely have more cleaning to to. And bikers typically will purchase less fuel than car owners. Yet they have tried to make the travel experience of those people a little bit better. At no extra cost! Call it clever marketing if you wish. As far as I’m concerned though, someone thought of a way to make certain travelers feel better! In a world where many others would have been thinking only how to take advantage and extra charge those same people, that is something I appreciate. All those little things that indicate you are first and foremost a human being only after that an entrepreneur!

One of the struggles we at Liferay’s developer relations team sometimes have, is to explain to some heavily sales oriented people, what is the purpose of developer relations. I think our role is exactly this - make sure Liferay still provides all those little things. Make developers’ journey a bit better (or perhaps much better) at no extra cost! Make sure the open source and community spirit comes first and only after that the enterprise services. It’s not an easy task, but well worth doing it. And if you can, you should probably try that in your company. And then perhaps one day we all will live in much more friendly world!