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devrel
- Felicity Brand

DevRel in our DNA

Even though you don't see the term "DevRel" in the OSP origin story, our founders have deep roots in developer relations.

I found it remarkable that the Open Strategy Partners origin story doesn’t contain the term “DevRel” anywhere. The career paths and personal stories that lead to the beginnings of OSP are rooted in developer relations.

OSP co-founder, Jeffrey A. “jam” McGuire knew how to “speak tech,” and commiserated with developers over the lack of technical accuracy and detail in most tech marketing—a lot of it was “buzzword bingo,” without much substance to it. Co-founder, Tracy Evans, meanwhile, knew how to “speak business,” and could sympathize with the challenges for marketers and the business-minded.

Developers are generally allergic to marketing (and marketers don’t always understand devs and their jobs). Recognizing this, Jeffrey and Tracy codified what we now call our Authentic Communication model, part of which is applying empathy to bridge the gap and help communicate with devs clearly and honestly.

Thus it was that the first “OSPeas” were doing DevRel all along, maybe without calling it “DevRel,” but still connecting and promoting good communications in technology. Since 2017, OSP has been helping technology organizations communicate effectively, translating complexity to business value and working in developer marketing, technical communications, and community building.

Impactful presentations 

Both Jeffrey and Tracy are engaging speakers, and happy to share their experience and insight about the intersection of technology communication and marketing to developers. 

Here is a roundup of some keynotes and presentations they’ve given at community and industry events where they share the OSP philosophy, tools, and approach.

Better communication to bridge the Tech-Business gap

The “Tech/Business Gap” is what we call the misunderstandings that can arise between the people building a technical product and the people who need to sell it. These often result in teams or individuals pulling in different directions within a company—even when everyone believes they’re working towards a common goal.

In this presentation, Jeffrey talks about solving this problem by building a common vision and a plan for communicating it to the world. 

Words Matter: Battling Buzzword Bingo with smart content strategy

We hear this sort of thing a lot: “Developers and marketers don’t speak the same language,” and “all marketing is BS,” and “the developers are out of touch with what our clients want.”

We do marketing strategy and communications for technology organizations, and we think everyone has a part to play, and value to add. Marketer or developer … or designer, or CEO, or salesperson, or whoever you are!

In this session, Jeffrey and Tracy present the framework OSP uses to help technology organizations communicate, connect, and grow.

Marketing your project to increase adoption and grow community

In this session from FOSS Backstage, Jeffrey and Tracy provide practical takeaways to help you reach the right audience and open up productive lines of communication with your open source project’s users and community members.

Through the lens of technical communication, Jeffrey and Tracy look at marketing from an open source perspective and consider how you can apply established techniques to help your project and community thrive. They present a practical checklist of how you can improve the marketing and communication of your open source project to increase adoption and grow your user community.

"Biz v Devs": A story of cross-cultural communication

In this keynote address, Jeffrey talks about how developer teams and business teams don't always understand each other. A lack of empathy can lead to poor communication. A culture of mistrust, blame, and lack of respect leads to slipped deadlines, product problems, and can "leak" into external communications. 

Communication techniques and frameworks help bridge the gaps with empathy. 

How we can help you

OSP and our Authentic Communication Framework can help you plan and deliver strategically relevant content.

We help you grow: motivate your audiences to adopt your product, become active community members and advocates, or join you on your mission.

Contact us and kick-start your effective (authentic!) communications today.


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Twitter: @open_strategy

Subscribe to our podcast, “Communicate, Connect, Grow,” on: Apple PodcastsSpotifyRSS Feed, and YouTube!


Avocado image by Gil Ndjouwou on Unsplash