Ashley McNamara (Willis) sums up the role of a “Developer Advocate” perfectly in this post. At RITA we would like to take a similar approach but instead of advocates representing a role at a company or a product, they are representing their respective counties. Together Tech Advocates will amplify the voice and potential of rural Ireland to colleagues, employers and more. Many of the “Big Tech” companies use advocacy very successfully and at RITA we believe that we can borrow this same approach to unlock the potential of rural Ireland.
Some characteristics of a Tech Advocate include a love of learning, sharing and helping others. They are strong communicators and community builders. If you feel like this role is made for you then please reach out over email : co[email protected] or through Direct Messages on our Twitter account @Ritadvocates.
The purpose of Rural Ireland Tech Advocates (Rita) is to create a community of advocates and a central resource for folks interested in living and working in rural Ireland. It’s vital that this community is welcoming for all and in order to ensure we have set expectations early, we’ve published our Code of Conduct here. If you agree with the Code of Conduct and would like to get involved as an advocate, volunteer, sponsor or partner then please drop a mail to [email protected].
Two of the key components of the Rita Community are Counties and Tech Advocates.
We are working to create a page for each county in Ireland. These pages will include a bit about the history of each county, details of popular towns, local amenities, Meetup groups, running/hiking trails, greenways, swimming spots, broadband accessibility, co-working spaces, local events, locations of great coffee shops and more.
What is a Tech Advocate? Tech Advocates are volunteers who live and work in rural Ireland. Each Advocate will have their own page where they can share a bit about themselves, their experiences of rural work and recommendations for things to see and do in their county. We’ll introduce new Advocates regularly and include Q&A sessions, Podcasts etc.
This is the first blog post on the site and I wanted to use this as an opportunity to explain a bit about the “Why”.
Why “Rural Ireland Tech Advocates”?
Over the past number of years I’ve worked in various roles ranging from infrastructure engineer to event organiser to ad-hoc developer advocate and I loved every minute of it. I wanted to use some of these learnings to help with the “Rural Future” initiative which was recently announced by the government.
Before explaining what a “Tech Advocate” is, it’s important to understand the role of a “Developer Advocate”.
A developer, a marketer, a branding manager, an integrations manager, a business development partner, a domain expert, an event manager, and a technical writer walk into a bar. She orders a glass of wine. After all, it’s been a long day of jet-setting and hand-holding as a developer advocate.
I have a huge amount of respect for Developer Advocates and the role in which they play in glueing together parts of the tech industry which had previously been siloed. What if we could take a similar approach and create “Tech Advocate” roles across Ireland? Each county would have their own team of advocates who would share their experiences of living and working in rural Ireland, help grow rural tech communities and be the voice of tech within their towns and counties.
Building A Team
Over the coming months and years, the goal will be to create a team of “Tech Advocates” throughout Ireland. We already have 7 advocates spread across Wicklow, Cork, Kerry, Clare and Wexford after a single tweet. Anyone can become an advocate for their county. There is no gatekeeping. There is also no tolerance of inappropriate language, behaviour and such. We will publish a “Code of Conduct” over the coming days to ensure that everyone feels welcome, safe and respected. If you would like to learn more or help out then please drop an email to : [email protected].