One-Man Tech Dynamo: Mark Rekveld’s Success with a Smile

In a world often filled with tales of determined protagonists chasing their dreams against all odds, the inspiring story of Mark Rekveld, the visionary Founder of Marvelution, shines as a real-life testament to the enduring power of determination and innovation. As we embrace a new era of technological progress, it is our distinct honor at The EliteX to introduce Mark Rekveld as one of the most Impactful Tech Leaders to Look Out for in 2024. His solo journey in creating Marvelution is a source of inspiration for all of us, a reminder that a single person can make an incredible impact in the tech industry.

The Inspiring Path of Mark Rekveld

In 2007, what started out as a hobby turned into an innovative project that was quickly adopted by more than 3000 companies and projects across the globe. Mark embarked on his journey after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Informatics and joined a prominent IT consulting company in the Netherlands. Over the years, he honed his skills while collaborating with industry giants such as Oracle, BEA, IBM, SAP, and Siebel.

While working there, he noticed something important. Open-source projects, which are like free software that anyone can use and learn from, were not being used much by the companies he worked for. This missed opportunity bothered him.

In his free time, Mark began working on small open-source projects to learn more about them. His passion soon grew, and he decided to create something big. He wanted to build a platform that would make it easier for people to use open-source software effectively. Gradually, he began to connect different ideas and started working in his own way to make Jenkins (formerly known as Hudson) and Jira work together more smoothly. That’s how Marvelution was born.

Mark adds, “I felt the integration process between Jenkins and Jira was inefficient so I built ways for me to do less work. It has never been one magic thing; it is many little things I have added over time that I have learned with the help of the Jenkins and Jira communities.”

In 2015, Mark got the chance to create a company that would improve how Jenkins works with the Jira app. He also made it work better with Jira Data Center and Jira Cloud. Jira was originally made for tracking bugs and issues but became a useful tool for many other things. Thanks to Mark’s leadership, Marvelution became a leader in making Jenkins work seamlessly with Jira.

The One-Man Tech Revolution

Mark highly values honesty, transparency, and genuineness. He believes that if a person has these qualities, others are more likely to stay connected. Another thing he believes in is persistence, and not giving up easily. He is not one to quit easily. And most importantly, he finds motivation in having fun. He asserts, “If someone is enjoying what they do, it reflects in their work and shows to the customers. This way, it’s not just work; it’s a joyful way of living life.”

In today’s tech world, Mark recognizes and knows his abilities as a modern leader. Right now, he runs Marvelution almost all by himself, except for handling the finances. He takes care of customer support, development, and other important tasks.

In a way, he’s like a one-person team, and the customers are what keep Marvelution going. Mark says, “I understand that my main job is taking care of the customers. They help to decide what the company should work on next and also help me improve my support skills.” The company’s growing list of satisfied clients, along with a queue of potential ones, says a lot about the company’s reputation, the team’s expertise, and the demand for their services.

Here’s a quick timeline of Marvelution’s journey:

  • In 2008, Mark Rekveld started the open-source Marvelution project and introduced Jira Hudson Integration for the Atlassian Jira server.
  • In 2013, he launched Jenkins Integration for Jira (server), replacing Jira Hudson Integration.
  • In 2015, Marvelution BV was founded to provide support and keep developing the software.
  • In 2018, he released Jenkins Integration for Jira in the cloud.
  • In 2019, he introduced Jenkins Integration for Jira’s data center version and launched Jenkins Integration Automation for Jira (server, data center, and cloud).
  • In 2020, he received a Silver Marketplace Partner status from Atlassian.

Jira and Jenkins Integration: Marvelution’s Unique Approach

Marvelution stands out in the world of Jira solutions primarily because of the excellent feedback it receives from its clients. This feedback includes reports about issues and requests for new features. The company combines this valuable input with its own innovative ideas. It also makes technical improvements and adjustments to ensure that its products and services consistently meet high-quality standards.

Jira is a top software development tool for agile teams, and Jenkins is a widely used open-source automation tool. Marvelution’s strength lies in its ability to provide clients with fast, flexible, practical, and unique solutions that set them apart from the competition. Jira, along with its integrations, is incredibly versatile and beneficial for businesses across various industries.

Jira offers a rich set of features for managing multiple projects, issues within each project, additional data attachments, versions, and components. It’s used by a wide range of businesses, including those in software, professional services, media, communications, education, healthcare, and more.

Jira has become the preferred software development platform for agile teams, and it can be enhanced with integrations with source code management and continuous integration technologies to streamline development processes and provide tailored solutions.

Mark’s approach to improving the Jenkins and Jira integration process involved finding ways to do less work. He believes it’s not just one big change but a series of small, incremental improvements that he learned from collaborating with the Jenkins and Jira communities over time.

Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Mark’s journey with Marvelution exemplifies his ability to turn obstacles into opportunities. While the company initially enjoyed swift success, transitioning from an open-source project to a full-fledged company faced significant challenges. A major hurdle involved finding the right licensing model for its open-source projects.

Mark had been personally managing these projects for free, and now he needed a sustainable business model that wouldn’t burden the customers. His insights won through as he devised different offerings for the inherited projects, preserving the open-source essence while introducing revenue streams and valuable software features for clients.

Mark adds, “Another hurdle was the integration of Jenkins and Jira, which presented difficulties in distinguishing user comments from build comments.” However, Mark tackled this challenge by creating a seamless connection between the two programs.

Marvelution’s focus on overall company expansion, rather than just increasing staff or clientele, is evident in its performance. Its consistent sales revenue growth showcases its success. Moreover, the commitment to quick and responsive customer support, even without formal service agreements, speaks volumes about its enduring success and the high demand for its expert solutions.

Setting It Apart

Marvelution offers a range of innovative products and services, with their flagship offering being the “Jenkins Integration for Jira” app. This application can be set up on a Jira server, data center, or in the cloud, providing clients with valuable insights into the relationship between issues and builds in Jenkins within the context of Jira.

One of the company’s unique strengths is its approach to creating a single source of truth, and they’ve chosen Jira as the central location for this purpose. While competitors often use issue comments to link Jenkins builds to Jira issues, Marvelution employs custom view elements in Jira to present this information in a more organized and efficient manner.

The commitment to meeting customer demands is a key differentiator. It customizes solutions to fit each client’s specific needs, ensuring a tailored and effective integration between Jira and Jenkins. Furthermore, the company is working on a Reporting Engine, allowing users to define reports on Jenkins data within Jira, offering valuable insights and automation features.

Another remarkable offering is its Automation Engine, empowering administrators to configure rules for actions when builds or jobs are synchronized with Jira, streamlining processes such as version creation and issue transitions. Marvelution’s success is underpinned by its dedication to customer feedback, continuous innovation, and a commitment to maintaining high-performance standards.

Understanding Marvelution’s App Pricing Models

“Marvelution’s App pricing is designed to cater to a variety of client needs and deployment options.”

For Cloud applications, clients can choose between yearly or monthly subscriptions, ensuring flexibility in their payment plans. These subscriptions grant clients ongoing support and automatic version updates. Pricing for Cloud apps is determined based on the number of users in the instance, and a 60-day grandfathering period allows clients to renew at the original pricing if changes occur.

On the Server side, clients benefit from perpetual licenses with one year of maintenance included, which covers support and version updates. After the initial year, clients have the option to renew maintenance at 50% of the current purchase price. Additionally, they can upgrade their Atlassian product and app licenses based on a tiered system. Similar to the Cloud model, a 60-day window is provided for clients to renew at the previous price if any changes occur.

Data Center applications operate on a yearly subscription basis, providing clients with ongoing support and version updates. Clients also have a 60-day window to renew at the original price if there are any changes.

Marvelution’s pricing structure offers clients flexibility and transparency, ensuring that the clients can choose the option that best suits their needs and budget while enjoying the benefits of ongoing support and updates.

What Lies Ahead for Marvelution?

The future of Marvelution shines with innovation and a deep commitment to customer satisfaction. Mark Rekveld, the driving force behind Marvelution, cherishes the connection with his customers, valuing their feedback as a means to enhance the user experience of the company’s applications.

The company’s unique journey has been marked by organic growth, with customers discovering the company through the Atlassian Marketplace or web searches. The remarkable Jenkins Integration for Jira has significantly simplified the workflow for customers, earning praise for its efficiency.

Mark’s future aspirations are rooted in the joy he finds in his work, fostering client interactions, brainstorming new features, and ensuring top-notch client support. His personal involvement in addressing support inquiries is a testament to his dedication. Currently working remotely from his home in the Netherlands, Mark remains open to expanding the team should the need arise, all while embracing the simple yet profound goal of enjoying life to the fullest.