I come alongside companies & contributors serving developer audiences to provide insights & guidance. Helping early-stage founders land their first developer customer to leaders looking to build a high-velocity Developer Relations team.

Developers are like feral cats

Have you ever been to a friend's house who has a cat and it jumps on your lap? It's very friendly, wants to be petted, and snuggles in next to you. Suddenly you're like cats are great—this is lovely. Then in your life, you try to befriend a feral cat. I want you to think a little bit about developers like this feral cat that isn't lured in by any of your niceties. It doesn't want hugs, doesn't want food, it wants to be left alone to hang with the other feral cats and what they do is none of your business.

You know who the developers are, they're often identifiable, but that doesn't mean you're allowed to get close to them. This isn't about taming the developer's feral-ness, it's about understanding the way they operate so you can have a relationship with them.

Here are what we know, developers...

  • Are not lured in by your affiliate programs or throwing money at them, they make enough money
  • Naturally see through your marketing and sales jargon and ad content, most use ad-blockers
  • Build the software you use every day to try to lure them in, they know how you operate—and trust me, it ticks them off

Trying to market to developers is like walking down the alley yelling "I love cats! I have treats & toys. I'm a cat lover, come play with me." They know you're full of it and they want nothing to do with what you're offering.
If you want to get these feral cats on your side, you need to know what will lure them in, and that's what I educate folks on through my content, courses & coaching. I've been a developer myself for over 12 years, I'm a feral cat that sometimes falls for the niceties because I understand other feral cats, but I also understand why feral cats can help you grow and scale your business.

As much as I'm a dog person, you can call me the cat whisperer. 😽

Getting Started

I leverage a tool called ZipMessage that allows us to asynchronously respond back and forth with one another.

Send me a message and let's see how I can help you understand feral cats too.

Developer focus areas

  • Developer audience insights
  • Developer community
  • Brand messaging & voice for developer audiences
  • Developers relations team & success
  • Developer marketing
  • Developer feedback
  • Developer focused product launches
  • Developer advocacy
  • Developer customer advocacy
  • Developer audience understanding
  • Developer experience
  • Social media for developer audiences
  • Community team strategy & alignment
  • Developer or technical recruiting insights

Schedule a Coaching Call

Devocate Coaching Call
One-hour coaching call with Tessa Kriesel to discuss your developer audience goals & aspirations. She provides insights and advice for you to consider, as well as resources to get you on the right path. Video recording will be provided 2 business days after the call. For the most impactful coaching…

Need Some Ideas?

IC + Stakeholder

This combination has delivered the best results. I work with the Stakeholder to learn the company goals and objectives. From there, I work with the developer advocate or community manager to drive impact towards those company goals—which I continually review with the stakeholder. I help them build programs that enable their developer users as well as serve the companies overall needs. Sometimes our sessions are also just Q&A time with me guiding them through a roadblock, and those can be incredibly impactful too. I keep them on track building a successful program while stakeholders help me understand what the needs are overall to better guide them.

In my most recent client with this setup, the relationship started with no alignment, no focus, no clarity, on both sides. They were treading water and getting nowhere. Nothing seemed to be working. They weren't on the same page. I helped them begin to connect the dots on what the company needed and how the developer program could contribute meaningfully. Once you get a developer program functioning in that way, they're unstoppable.

Do you have your own ideas of how we could facilitate coaching?

Let's chat about them, you can schedule a consult video call or send me a message right now to kick things off.