In this week’s episode, we unpack the transformative power of illustrations in developer education with David Neal. Discover why hand-drawn doodles are more than just eye candy—they're a delightful way to make complex topics accessible and engaging. We also delve into how doodling affects storytelling and authenticity and how David’s work at Okta has led to a long tail of engagement. David also shares actionable tips on incorporating art into your workflow, and we speculate on where AI-generated art fits.

Talking Points

  • David’s integration of doodling in developer education
  • How doodling creates authenticity for audience engagement
  • Overcoming dry and boring product narratives with storytelling
  • Anecdotal and metric evidence for the impact of David’s doodles
  • Starter recommendations for drawing and illustration
  • The role of AI in the future of art and illustration


Lightly edited for context

“I knew within the first 10 seconds that it was a game changer. I could see the reactions on people's faces and their engagement, the excitement that they had looking at these silly illustrations.” – David

“In the realm of technology, when we are talking about some new framework or product, that can normally be dry and boring if you just stick to the facts and features.” – David

“[Doodling] is more human and more authentic than the clean, pure lines of graphic design.” – Kamran

“My encouragement to folks is that drawing is a skill you can learn. It's not some kind of natural born talent.” – David

“You could create illustrated SVGs that you animate as part of your talks or as part of your documentation or as part of your webinars and anywhere else that you're making developer content.” – Kamran

“You want to delight your readers or your viewers or your audience. And I think that's what unique illustrations allow you to do.” – David

“[At Okta], we found a measurable difference with social media engagement. We saw higher clickthroughs, and we found that people sharing that content was much higher.” – David

“ChatGPT is not going to replace your customer interviews. It's not going to replace talking to developers and getting out there.” – Kamran

Telling Delightful Stories for Developers Through Doodling

In this week’s episode, we unpack the transformative power of illustrations in developer education with David Neal.

Want devs to love your product?

Hi 👋 I'm Kamran. I'm a consulting developer educator who can help your DevRel team increase adoption with better docs, samples, and courseware.
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