THE FUTURE OF SOFTWARE BACKED BY OUTPERFORMING TECHNOLOGY JUST GOT BETTER
Business Connect is renowned for its remarkable monthly editions centric on some outperforming ventures in the business world. And here again, we are back with our exclusive edition of the month, which is a collection of the growth trajectory of remarkable organizations. For the exclusive cover, our team chose to share the impeccable tale of Marvelution B.V., the company which is setting some high standards in the Software Development arena.
Our editorial team had an interesting and joyful session with the leadership panel of the company where the Founder of the company, Mr. Mark Rekveld shared some lesser-known facts about the venture and also spilled the beans on his entrepreneurial journey so far. We truly hope and desire that this fascinating read will add some extra value to the lives of our global readership panel and will encourage them to chase their dreams.
Giving a detailed introduction of his company, the Founder quips, “Marvelution started out as an umbrella open source project in 2008, to host the different open source projects. I was developing to hone my development skills. Over time Marvelution has hosted multiple open source projects, but the one that stood the test of time was the Jira Hudson Integration project.
This project implements a different take on integrating Hudson, now Jenkins, with Jira and has been completely rewritten a couple of times to overcome different scaling issues. Now it is available as the Jenkins Integration for Jira app. The consistent success of the Jenkins Integration for Jira app allowed me to formally establish Marvelution in 2015, to continue the development of the app and also up the game on customer support and support of Jira Cloud.”
He further adds, “The solution Marvelution provides to integrate Jira with Jenkins is built on the premise that Jira is the holder of the configuration on how to integrate the build results in Jenkins into the views of issues in Jira. Others tend to opt to configure the integration and behavior within the build configuration of each job in Jenkins.
This results in having to configure numerous jobs to share results with Jira and how this sharing should be done. This also includes the credentials needed to push build results to Jira. The single source of truth solution of the Jenkins Integration for Jira app allows administrators to configure the integration once, and after that Jenkins pushes data to Jira and Jira will in turn handle processing the results to make sure the necessary actions are taken.”
- PROBLEM-SOLVING APPROACH
“There are two ‘struggles’ in the day to operation of Marvelution. One is that customers are less forgiving now than 10 years ago. Nowadays solutions provided need to work straight out of the box even in the most specific cases of customers. Back in the day customers were willing to work with you to make sure the solution worked in their case as best as it could. This now is the exception where only some customers are willing to work with you, or even give valuable feedback when they try out your product but end up not using it.
The other is the ever growing demand for cloud services. When the Jenkins Integration for Jira cloud app was launched in 2018 it was designed and built to scale, but now the next step needs to be taken. The app is under ever growing demand which is likely going to see its current limits reached by the end of this year. So Marvelution is in full swing to make sure the app can scale to meet its demand.”
- BOND WITH R&D
“Marvelution doesn’t use traditional analytics or R&D. It tries to listen to customers that use the products and services and together with them define the roadmap on future features. From time to time there are bigger things on the wishlist of customers, like supporting automation rules, which will take a trial-and-error approach combined with a public beta period before going mainstream.”
A TECH-ENABLED ORGANIZATION
“It is by no means a new trend, but the move to cloud computing is ever-growing. When Marvelution started all customers were using server or data center deployments to operate their business. Nowadays more and more customers are either moving to the cloud because they see it as a benefit, or are “forced” to move to the cloud because their software suppliers are moving in that direction.
With this trend of moving to the cloud, Mark also sees that features are mostly cloud-first, sometimes even cloud-only. Here is where Marvelution tries to differentiate so that features may be released to the cloud first because of a faster release cycle but will always follow up with a release that customers can use on their server and data center deployments. The Jenkins Jira Integration product is the oldest product Marvelution has.
This one started in 2008 as a hobby project to integrate Hudson, the successor of Jenkins, with Jira. Over its lifespan, the product has seen 3-4 complete rewrites to overcome using the product at ever larger scales. This 13 years of development experience with Jenkins and Jira have made the product a robust solution that may not do it all, but what it does it does very well in even the largest scaled customers.”
THE LEADERSHIP APPROACH
How does your leadership create a compelling work culture? That was the question drooling in our minds to which Mark affirms, “Having fun so that work is no longer seen as work. It all started as a hobby to hone development skills but has since grown to be a place to have fun while working to the extent that since its formal inception Mark has not worked a day, but has still seen the company grow.
Marvelution is a bit of an oddball. It is still a one-man operation for the day-to-day operations. Only in some cases does it reach out to others outside the company to get specific tasks done. In those cases, it always looks for other people or companies that are like-minded. This has already led to having connections with people with specific testing skills or design experience. In those cases, it never seems that leadership was needed. Everyone in the focus group knew what needed to be done and got it done. The phrase “it just works” comes to mind, without having spent the time to figure out why this is.”
THE BALANCED EFFICIENCY
“Note that Marvelution is a one-man operation, so this is not that widely tested, but Mark feels that looking at your day-to-day to get your work-life balance in balance is a sure thing to get out of balance and into a burnout. The nature of balancing means that if you move out of the center you are out-of-balance. So when you work you are out of balance, and this is also the case when you live. There is no means to get to a point where you are in balance and just enjoy life unless you love to move from one out-of-balance to the next.
Mark looks at life as a blend of work and non-work life. You wake up in the morning and go to bed in the evening and in between you live your day. During the day you may work or do other things that make you happy. The important thing is that by the time you go to bed you can ask yourself the question “Am I happy?” or “Did I do what needed to be done?” In the beginning, you may realize you didn’t work enough or didn’t live enough that day.
But over time you will find that it becomes easier to get a blend of work and lifetime during the day that will result in you going to bed with a smile on your face. This will be a major thing to also allow the first real employee to experience and experiment with. Because a happy employee will do more at a higher quality than a non-happy one could ever do.”-Mark Rekveld.
Before signing off, the visionary shared some words of wisdom with the budding leaders out there by saying, “Be honest, open, listen, and don’t be afraid to fail. People tend to be more understanding if you are open and honest, and will in turn also be more forgiving when you fail from time to time. Failure is just a means to measure success, but hiding failures from others will negatively impact how you measure success.”
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