Build Your Academy

Build Your Academy is/was a "Developer Advocate in a box." The ideas was to develop tools, processes, and systems for small companies (1-30 employees) with a developer oriented product.


While working on React Native School we gained a lot of experience and developed systems to efficiently create high quality, value packed developer education content and wanted to make that more generally available.

Tweets like this were also instrumental:

The concept was a "Developer Advocate in a box". To provide the role of a Developer Advocate before you were able to hire a dedicated one for your product.

Many of your favorite developer tools have dedicated teams of advocates. That's why their documentation is so amazing. Why you know about them. Why their getting started guides are great.

These people have immense experience building software and teaching others to do the same.

It's a unique and learned skilled that is hard to emulate when you're juggling building your core product, raising money, etc.

We wanted to bring our experience in to help fill the gap until you can hire a dedicated developer advocate to take over those responsibilities.


We were going to take a top down approach for Build Your Academy meaning that we were going to start with a high-end done-for-you approach and eventually work down market to provide our systems as a product.

  • Productized Service - Done-For-You: We develop a curriculum and course for your product to get people up and running with it and get to the "click" point as soon as possible.
  • Product - Systems: We're big on documented repeatable processes at Handlebar Labs and, in building the curriculums for other companies, would document our steps, our resources, and our tools. This product would be those systems packaged and available for purchase.
  • Free Product - OSS Growth: We, as most developers, are heavy users of open source software so we wanted to make sure we helped OSS maintainers market their product to fellow developers. This would happen through workshops and free content, that would also serve as marketing for our upstream products/services.

Current Status

Initially we were very excited about this (and still are). Not only to help projects get more established but also to, selfishly, get to learn more exciting new tech.

Unfortunantely, it just wasn't feasible to add this product on top of our current ongoing projects. Content production can be very challenging and time consuming.

We intend to come back to this project some day.