4 Scenes EU Companies Can Learn from Japan DevRel

By Taiji Hagino

Elevator Pitch

I guess almost engineers already know how developers are doing DevRel in their countries, but Japanese situation has never been known, right? I will be talking about the specifically Japan DevRel activities with my case.


In this session, you will learn more about Japan DevRel and Evangelists:

International platform companies like Microsoft or IBM are not different from overseas DevRel/Evangelist, but Japanese style SYSTEM INTEGRATORs like me are strange little bit.

Here are the top characteristics that make Japan DevRel unique:

  1. Japan is more like England than America (island nation, traditional hierarchy, proud history… also good tea). The Japanese software industry is concentrated in Tokyo, and therefore still prefers face-to-face business interactions. This means DevRel - gathering groups together - comes naturally.
  2. In Japan, the role of System Integrators is critical since customer support is key. This means the focus is often on combining existing technologies, not building new ones. This means DevRel has elevated status.
  3. Japanese developers are still often coat-and-tie which means they are used to being managed, which is good, but not used to voicing opinions beyond technical details, which is not so good.
  4. Some Japanese Evangelist Communities have several engineers (e.g. Platform Vendor, Product Vendor, Service Provider, System Integrator, and more), so there are often multiple chances for business matching or partnering.

Japan compares itself to the US and EU (to a lesser extent). EU companies can have a big impact on the Japanese market - one of the world’s huge software market - just by showing up and doing DevRel. Japanese developers definitely should go outside and communicate overseas engineers more, and I hope lots of engineers working around the world to come to Japan and touch in Japanese culture and engineers.


I am currently in charge of Research and Development for mobile, web, and IoT at Japanese System Integrator. Recent 2years, I have been doing DevRel activities too, for example Speaker of tech talks, Organiser of my own event for engineers, Educator of mobile app development, Public Relation, and Attendant of big expo booth, etc. I can explain appeal of Japan DevRel and attendee can know that easily.