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I spoke with the leading financial data API aggregation providers Yodlee last week, regarding their hunt for a director of developer evangelism. Yodlee provides an aggregation API that is designed for developers who need secure access to their users’ bank, credit card, investment, and loan accounts—if you think about it, this is a pretty critical API, in what we are all calling the “API Economy”.

Yodlee isn’t just looking for a junior evangelist, they are looking for a director—someone to lead the charge, when it comes to evangelizing Yodlee to potential API consumers, while also supporting the community and applications that are already integrated with the financial data aggregation platform. While there are well published job descriptions for the API evangelist role, there are no universities training up, cranking out the next generation of evangelism leaders—they are a unique breed, leaving a major hurdle for API providers like Yodlee to jump.

Evangelists are equal parts engineer, business development, product development, sales, and marketing—a combination that is not easy to find. Yodlee and I discussed the difficulties of finding the right candidates for the role, and whether or not you emphasize the technical or the marketing skills? There are extremely few candidates who know they are evangelist material, you often have to sculpt one out of many different personality traits, and both technical and business skils.

Evangelism talent, at both junior, and leadership levels is going to continue to be a major stumbling block for the expanding API economy. Even with some movement in the world of API discovery in 2014, we will never be able to fully automate API discovery, let alone evangelism, management and support. At some point we are going to need more agencies, and institutions focusing on training up the next generation of evangelists, similar to social media marketing did in the last 5 years—of course, hopefully we can scale a little more sensibly, than the social media marketing world did.

If you are interested in the developer evangelist position at Yodlee, head over to the recruiters site, and let them know I sent you.




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