Turning a passion into a real business venture is always a daunting-step for anyone. To many leaving your day job and pooling all resources into a leisure activity that you had been doing to pass the time is not a practical idea. But not for Mark Rekveld. In the year 2007, after completing his bachelor degree in Informatics, Mark focused on Java software development and worked with a large consulting firm. During the course of his career, he developed a real passion for lean development and open-source software, which paved the way for his brainchild - Marvelution. “I was eager to learn and explore what was out there. But I found that the possibilities of learning were limited and didn’t have time to figure out a solution,” recollects Mark, the proud Founder of Marvelution. The silver lightning in the clouds was accessibility to the open-source projects which proved to be a haven for Mark, where developers could go for free-for modification projects to sharpen their programming skills. “So, I decided to start tinkering on my own and expand my own knowledge base, and this led in 2008 to the creation of the Marvelution open source projects,” smiles the industry veteran.
"If there are adequate self-help resources available, users are more likely to solve the issue quicker and drive the investigation into the root cause with possible solutions "
What began as a mere hobby for Mark, has since grown into a company with its roots in the Jira-Hudson Integration project. The initial project was plagued by issues affecting large to extensive deployments of, at the time, Hudson (now Jenkins). “The larger a Jenkins instance became, the slower the integration became to the point where both Jira and Jenkins would stop performing,” says Mark speaking about those frustrating times. The task to build, test, and release software as quickly and make it as future proof as possible calls for constant innovation. For the proliferation of an agile mindset, product teams need to be able to use tools and techniques to push changes to their systems in a near-immediate time frame without compromising the quality. In recent years, Jira by Atlassian has become the standard for project management software. However, many software development companies still face core project management challenges such as scaling across the enterprise due to manual processes, poor visibility between dev and ops teams, and tool sprawl that hinders agility.
Listening to customer feedback, and evolving the app to the next level to maintain the performance and value for users is crucial
As dependencies are not automatically tracked and noted in the base software, often developers have to log in, create change requests, and fill out formsin a frustrating, drawnout, and time-consuming process.
Another problematic issue for larger organisations who are working on multiple concurrent projects at a time is JIRA’s out of the box configuration. Features from many different products that are all at various stages of development need to be tracked separately to allow for proper velocity tracking and continual planning over the course of multiple sprints. Although the Jira Portfolio system allows for the creation of epics and the subsequent monitoring and reporting necessary to handle the input of various teams working on multiple projects, a disconnect remains when looking at the overarching business strategy and delivery needs. This is where, Marvelution, has carved a niche for itself. The company provides develops apps for Atlassian Products to help users optimise the DevOps processes, be it open or closed source.
Marvelution’s Jenkins integration for Jira administrators offers users greater-control over picking and choosing the right jobs to build synchronization. The CI Builds panel on the view issue screen of the Jenkins for Jira Integration app enables users to have a single snap-shot for all builds that are related to an issue, with links to other identified builds, issues and projects. Once a job is synchronised, its builds are synchronised to Jira and any sub jobs will be made available for synchronisation. “The Jenkins integration for Jira app provides a deep link between a built number of a project and an issue number in Jira,” states Mark. Another convenient aspect ofthe company’s solution is ‘Marker Feature,’ which enables users to mark a build as a ‘Deployment Build’ to support the delivery and continuous deployment efforts with in Jira.
Furthermore, users can have safeguards in place to detect a failed built link to an issue and block them from releasing error-ridden products. “No longer do you have to manually go through your source control or Jenkins build history to figure out what went on. It’s now just your view in Jira for quicker feedback,” elaborates Mark. As a counterpart of the Jenkins Integration for Jira to improve synchronisation experience—Marvelution offers users Jira Integrations for Jenkins. By utilising the triggerbased synchronisation method, Jira Integrations for Jenkins reduces the time it takes for new builds to get synchronised to Jira.
Users can effortlessly manage linked Jirasites through the use of registration tokens and secrets generated by the Jenkins Integration for Jira. Besides, it allows users to annotate Jira issue keys found in change logs to link issues found in Jira sites.
"I was eager to learn and explore what was out there. But I found that I was very limited in the possibilities of learning and didn’t have time to figure out "
“With more than a decade of experience in the field, I’ve had the time to learn what works best and how it works best,” states Mark. The open-source projects which were developed under the umbrella of Marvelution by Mark were the foundation that allowed the company to start in 2015. Before formalisation of his company, Mark was unable to adhere and respond to every customer SLA’s on time. Currently, Marvelution offers three tiers of assistance to its customers—Self-Help Support, Standard Support and Premium Support. The Self-Help support includes resources such as product documentation and public knowledge base issue tracker. “If there are adequate self-help resources available, users are more likely to solve the issue quicker and drive the investigation into the root cause with possible solutions”, comments Mark. While Marvelution’s Standard Support offers support ticket creation with established hours for SLAs, its Premium Support customers receive faster SLA times as well as a more extensive customer assistance hours window. With a higher level of priority, Premium Support customers are offered direct support through phone and screen sharing to understand and quickly assist users without the inconvenience of multiple ticket requirements.
“Listening to customer feedback, and evolving the app to the next level to maintain the performance and value for users is crucial,” elucidates Mark. With the rise of the Internet economy, the release cycle for software products has become an increasingly tedious process—where customers shape products with their reviews and suggestions. Dedicated to perfecting their craft and fulfilling customer requirements— recently, Marvelution has launched its latest product, Jenkins Integration Automation for Jira on the public beta model. The product will enable users to streamline work by automation of Jenkins related tasks. When asked about the future expansion plans for Marvelution, Mark, maintains “an obsession for learning and the persistence of a single open source project transformed my professional career from being a consultant to having my own company. At the end of the day, I should be able to just have fun building it, and help users optimise it.”