Orbit acquires Hoopy to expand its DevRel offerings

Developer relations has become an increasingly important discipline in recent years as developers are now often seen as the decision makers in many enterprises and as service providers aim to offer them the best user experience. DevRel, though, remains a nascent discipline that is still in the process of becoming professionalized, even as it is starting to go mainstream. Orbit, one of the most successful DevRel startups, today announced that it has acquired Hoopy, a DevRel consultancy led by Matthew Revell.

While building Hoopy, Revell also ran the DevRelCon series of conferences, as well as DeveloperRelations.com, and wrote a number of research reports, including The State of Developer Relations. As Orbit CEO and co-founder Patrick Woods told me, the idea behind the acquisition is to free up Revell to focus on doing just that: continue to build the conference series and help expand and professionalize the DevRel profession through that and other efforts like his reports. “The idea for Orbit actually crystallized at DevRelCon in San Francisco in the summer of 2019,” Woods told me.

Yet, while it became the premier event for the DevRel community, it was mostly a side project for the organizers. “What was striking to me about that is Matthew and the DevRelCon team were really advocating to push the field forward and yet, DevRelCon has been a side project for Matthew,” Woods explained. “Hoopy as a business has been a very successful DevRel consultancy and DevRelCon has been almost a labor of love for Matthew and a handful of volunteers to pull this thing off.” And while VCs kept asking the Orbit team about where to find more DevRel practitioners, the community’s main event was a passion project.

Going forward, Revell will focus on programming the event (which will likely go have an in-person aspect when it returns later this year) and related projects, including a new DevRel Academy focused on education and a new podcast series. The Hoopy consultancy will start winding down.

As we look ahead, we hope to catalyze the growth and importance of DevRel as a profession,” explained Orbit CTO and co-founder Josh Dzielak in today’s announcement. “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.”