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Orbit + Hoopy: Writing the Future of DevRel

May 18, 2022
Josh Dzielak
Co-Founder & CTO
Orbit + Hoopy: Writing the Future of DevRel
Welcome to The Observatory, the community newsletter from Orbit.

Each week we go down rabbit holes so you don't have to. We share tactics, trends and valuable resources we've observed in the world of community building.

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We’re delighted to announce that Orbit has acquired Hoopy! Matthew Revell and team, along with DevRelCon and are joining Orbit.

DevRel is going mainstream

Now is DevRel’s time to shine. More people than ever understand the importance of community and building network effects around software (and products more broadly). We’re even seeing some of the fastest-growing companies today lead with community. 

This is a trend DevRel practitioners not only understand, but helped create. Having led DevRel at Algolia and founded a DevRel agency, I've seen the positive impact that developer relations makes. And as developers are increasingly understood as economic drivers, DevRel is going mainstream

But while demand for DevRel expertise and experience increases, the industry must grow and professionalize; Thankfully, there are great resources to help new and experienced practitioners be successful, most of which are side-projects that a tireless few maintain outside of their day jobs. 

After learning from and working with thousands of community builders, we know we can – and need to – do more to empower product community builders and DevRel in particular. That’s why  we see tremendous potential for Orbit to invest in this community's growth and continued maturity, which comes through things like the Orbit Model, Gravity, Nexus, the Constellation Report (and Orbit itself), and our continued leadership and investment in building the materials and knowledge to succeed. 

We also believe that for DevRel to thrive as a discipline, it needs a strong source of learning, research, and community. It’s not enough to have to adopt things from other fields like CRM, PR, or marketing.

Today, we are taking another step forward in that commitment to the future of DevRel – and the future of community building at scale - by welcoming Hoopy into the Orbit team.

Investing in the development of Developer Relations

Hoopy is the creator of some of the most popular, most valuable resources to help professionalize developer relations. From its DevRelCon series of DevRel conferences, as well as the industry website and research-based reports, including The State of Developer Relations

Hoopy has also provided DevRel practitioners with an opportunity to learn from one another and hear from experienced voices outside DevRel. In many ways, DevRelCon has told the story of DevRel so far. We’ve gotten to know Matthew over the years and are long-time admirers of the great work he and his team have done to focus on the needs and aspirations of DevRel. We share that same passion for providing a forum for anyone to learn, share, and grow in DevRel. In fact, the idea for Orbit was crystalized while my cofounder Patrick attended DevRelCon SF back in 2018, seeing the excitement and empathy for the profession but with a lack of tooling available to support this critical work. Now, we’re thrilled to support and elevate his work going forward.

As we look ahead, we hope to catalyze the growth and importance of DevRel as a profession. That means looking at how we make the lives of DevRel professionals easier today and how we can positively influence the long-term evolution of the practice – including new roles, new ideas, growth in teams, leadership opportunities, and career advancement. 

Here’s what you should expect from us 

We believe that joining forces with Hoopy will allow Hoopy to do all of what it has been doing but on a grander scale. The whole team is coming across, and we’re excited to build on that team going forward, investing in resource development and producing more events that bring DevRel professionals together.

We’re hiring staff to scale DevRelCon and in new ways. See our open roles.

Concrete plans are already in place to expand DevRelCon to new locations and find new ways to uncover the mine of insight and learning from the library of DevRelCon talks. Similarly, we'll see an increase in articles, videos, and reports as the team embarks on a DevRel research and analysis program. And what we believe will have the most significant impact on DevRel as a profession is a new developer relations academy that will provide training and mentoring for newcomers and those looking to level up their DevRel careers.

We also believe it’s essential to set clear commitments to the community's voice in DevRelCon’s future. To be more specific, that includes:

  • Maintaining editorial independence by bringing in editorial advisors to guide direction and themes. Our starting list includes some of the strongest voices shaping the industry today, including Phil Leggetter, Mary Thengvall, and Brian Douglas. We’re also looking to add three more.
  • Committing to helping the diversity of developer relations as a profession. We'll ensure that at least 10% of tickets to in-person events and paid-for training will be free to underrepresented groups.
  • Expanding the DevRelCon event series to South America, Africa, and beyond.

If you have queries or have recommendations on who should become an editorial advisor, please send me a DM @dzello.

Stay tuned for many more details to come. We’re two years into building Orbit and have never been more certain about the opportunity for community builders and DevRel professionals. We hope you’re on board and excited about what lies ahead!

💫  Orbit is Hiring Engineers in US/EMEA

Orbit helps grow and measure thousands of communities like Kubernetes and CircleCI. We're a remote-first company with a product-driven, empathetic engineering team that enjoys the occasional space pun! Check out our careers page for open opportunities.

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