Marc Dillon is a Lead Consultant at Eficode. He loves creating the right product for a market with wonderful people. He believes that if we first "build" people and connect them to the customer, the right product fit emerges. In this DevOps Sauna episode, we discuss his thoughts on software development, his experiences as being "inside the company" as well as looking at it as a consultant.

Marc (00:08):

I talked with a few other people in Eficode and I realized that everybody had this cool, calm professionalism, clear competence and confidence, but a human aspect that, that really, really attracted me, one thing to be part of this tribe and wanting to be part of this company.

Lauri (00:29):

Hello, and welcome to DevOps Sauna. We run a series called Humans of Eficode, where we interview interesting figures from Eficode. Marc Dillon is our recent addition to the team here in Finland. And because our paths have crossed in the past, I knew that condensing in five minutes, all what Marc has to say would be a failed attempt. And this is why I invited him to talk to our podcast. We discuss things to look at when people make their career moves. We discuss how the software industry has changed during his career. What to look for in people when hiring them and many, many more. Let's tune into this conversation.

Lauri (01:13):

Thank you for taking the time to come to our show Marc. I need to start by saying that this conversation reminds me of the Monty Python set four Yorkshireman Sketch where the old chaps come together to remember their past. Does that ring a bell?

Marc (01:32):

It does. I tend to always have been trying to look forward to my career and there's an awful lot of... we talk about the past a lot. We talk about the good things. We talk about the challenges, but I'm always trying to look forward to what's next. And I try to position my life like that a lot, but I love talking about some of the things that we've been through together and otherwise, so it's cool.

Lauri (02:01):

And Monty Python is always worth looking back to.

Marc (02:04):

It is. I think one of the lessons here and I've been working on this and talking about this a lot lately is there has always been genius throughout the ages and knowing history, knowing things that have happened before, many of the things that we're experiencing now have been experienced before or have been done, like knowing the history of those things. And still being able to understand that some of the greatest things that have ever happened in humanity have been years ago and we still should be able to appreciate those.

Lauri (02:41):

There is this expression that history repeats itself, and then some people say that history doesn't repeat itself. It just reiterates itself or something like that. Anyway, I'm glad to have you here with us, both here in the podcast, as well as in Eficode. And now we are going to talk a little bit about how to look into a career, how to look into the software industry. You said you want to look forward, but I still want to ask you to go back and think about what are the things that you have been looking for when you have been making a career move?

Marc (03:20):

Excellent question. So through my career there've been a couple of guiding principles, especially early in my career when I was building up my competence and my confidence. The first one was I started taking this idea of trying to lean into the bleeding edge as much as possible. So bigger organizations, it's like, there's always this hotspot of activity that is looking forward towards the future. It could be the next big product for the company or the next big platform or the next way of working or something like that. And having gotten through my technology career, by doing that a lot has really meant something. And it's always interesting because there's always going to be change in an organization. There's always going to be changing the world, either history repeating or reiterating itself.

Marc (04:16):

But one of the things that's been really rewarding to me is to always say, "Okay, what's the next big thing. And can I be a part of that?" Even if we don't know really what it is yet, or succeed or fail, or what's going to happen. And there's another one that just came to mind as you asked the question, which is oftentimes I've tried to stay on the big projects or I've tried to be in taking the big customer or the lead customer or the lead product or something like that. Not necessarily just talking about leading technology, but I made a lot of my early career by saying, "Okay, the big customer, they are a big problem here. So let me take care of it. And I'll figure out things in order to solve those problems." And it's one of the interesting things, coming into a consulting work, there's so many big customers here and there's a lot of really interesting things that are going on.

Lauri (05:16):

I think this was when I heard it said of AWS and this was like already many, many years ago, probably 10 years ago that a lot of people want to work for AWS because that's the kind of environment you get to solve problems that you cannot solve anywhere else. So people were gravitated by the complexity of the problem to be solved. And I think Carol Dweck in her book Growth Mindset also talks about that. Then she says that even in the early adolescents, when you take people and pupils and give them complex mathematical puzzles, some of them are going to be crushed by the complexity and they feel like they can't take it anymore. And then some people say, "I like it. It's so hard."

Marc (06:11):

I think there's a couple of things that have helped me navigate exactly what you're describing and we all know what flow state is, and there've been a lot of writings on it, but flow states the one that I gravitate towards the definition is it's always a little bit harder than what the skills I have today. Not completely impossible, but a little bit harder. And then when you're thinking in terms of complexity and when we look at metrics and bottlenecks in companies, and sometimes you look, they have this huge backlog and the developers are crushed by it. They're never going to feel like they can resolve even a portion of the things that are poured on them. You remove some of that. Maybe things go a little better, but the mindset that I have, one way that I learned it was at the gym. I had a personal trainer and he would just really, really put me through it and I would get back and I would sit on the bench at the gym and I would try to figure out, oh my gosh, what do I do now? My locker is full of my clothes and what do I do? One step at a time.

Marc (07:17):

So breaking down a complex problem, one step at a time, what is the hardest, most valuable thing that I can do? And can I just focus on this one thing and deliver that value and then maybe while I'm doing that, I can break it into enough steps where I get to be in flow state the whole time. And then value gets created, time goes by and I feel great at the end of it.

Lauri (07:42):

Yeah. Remind me of two things. I remember from back in my time as a UNIX practitioner, the saying was that, the way of UNIX thinking is do one thing and do it well. And then last summer, as I decided to bite the bullet with closure and functional programming. Tatu Kairi, greetings to Tatu, a great guy and a source of all kinds of wisdom. And he kindly agreed to help me with some of the puzzles in functional programming. And he said that try to find the smallest possible problem to solve and then start to build the problem solution around that. And he had wonderful advice : build a piece of software that basically, or a function that takes the input and returns the input and then you start developing it. And then you go to the second stage of complexity now in the engineering world, problems that tend to be very, very complex to begin with until they are cracked, suddenly become very, very simple. And that means that the software industry will change over time and the people have to constantly chase new complex things. So question to you, how have you seen the software industry change during the career?

Marc (09:13):

I've been in software as a professional since 1996 now. So you do the math and that was in California and there were a lot of really bright people coming down to Orange County from the valley and bringing with them some of the thoughts and processes of things that were going on up there. And one of the greatest things to see software evolve over this time. And like since joining Eficode, I get to see a lot of really state-of-the-art software development processes so that it no longer has to be painful to develop software. It no longer has to be crunch time all of the time, many of the state-of-the-art practices and the pipe dream is just the utopias that we would think of when I was in my twenties and building a software for the wireless industry in Irvine, California like doing automated releases, being able to release to a customer staging environments automatically and have them be able to take that into production at the push of a button.

Marc (10:26):

Many of the agile principles people think started in the nineties and two thousand. And many of these things were the mythical man month, which was about software development in the sixties and the book was written in the seventies. Joint Application Design, which went so far to connecting the customer into the development process. You think of Agile, you think of Scrum, it's like connecting the developers and the customer, right? In the seventies, they were trying to get the customers to write the code and it's called JAD, Joint Application Development. We were doing that kind of stuff in the nineties, but the greatest thing now is that state of the art is not quite a commodity and it used to be a competitive advantage, but now it's starting to become the norm. So either you operate at state of the art practices in DevOps, or you're probably not going to be in business very long, and you're not going to keep excellent people involved for very long.

Marc (11:26):

The other side of it is developers are no longer a commodity. Now it is a developer's market. They will go to work for the place that gives them the right challenges, the right peers, right tools, processes, environment, customer, and all of these things. Eficode has been a barometer for me. When I stepped in here, I saw how far the needle has really moved compared to where it was when I started nearly 30 years ago.

Lauri (11:58):

Would you argue that technology is balancing the scales between developers? Technology is making individual developers more equal from the earlier world where the individual differences between individual developers were even more staggering.

Marc (12:23):

I was thinking about just this point before we started talking today Lapa, that for, for many, many years, we would talk about a developer that is on a scale 10 out of 10, the best that you can get is worth maybe many, many 25 out of 10 or 55 out of 10 or something like that. But there's a couple of ways to look at this. One is the greatest developers, the greatest engineers, I think all humanity is alive right now. And they're working in many different places and many different sectors, and they are dealing with levels of complexity in terms of development environment, delivery customer engagements, and just the entire level of complexity. Let's go back to Mythical Man-Month for a minute. What people call Brooks Law is that... There's actually three, but what people call a Brooks Law is that the complexity of a system is the square of its interfaces.

Marc (13:29):

So if we take this forward now, the more people that I have to talk to, many people say like an organization of 30 people it's about the most you can have and still know everybody and know what's going on. How big is Eficode at the moment, by the way, Lapa?

Lauri (13:43):

400 something.

Marc (13:44):

400 something. A lot of people. But one of the ways that the complexity has been reduced. So if you imagine big organizations, hundreds of people, dozens of software projects, one of the ways complexity has been reduced is through the use of pipelines. Because as a developer, I've got my hole in the pipeline and my input and output go through the hole in my pipeline, and therefore the complexity of the system that I have to deal with is greatly reduced. I just realized that talking in the kitchen in the last few days here at Eficode, that we are greatly reducing the complexity through the hiding and some of the sophistication behind systems like ROOT and continuous integration, continuous delivery pipelines, where now a developer, they get a change request from one place. They get their code from one place when they submit the code when they commit it or do a merge request, then it goes through the pipeline and gives some feedback. So the number of systems that they have to interact with are much smaller.

Lauri (14:53):

And you mentioned Brooks Law there, which is a square of its term, whereas it reminded me... and actually the course of asking the question was a Price's Law. That tends to say, and maybe I'm paraphrasing it the wrong way here, but if you take a group of people and look at their productivity, 50% of the output is produced by a square root of the size of the team. So if you take a team of nine people, then three people will produce 50% and then six people produce the remaining 50%. And the nature of my question is if it is true, that technology is balancing the scales between individual developers, then those who don't happen to be the 10 out of 10, it's easier for them to get from two out of 10 to six out of 10.

Marc (15:51):

I've thought about this in different ways over the years, and I'm getting a little long in the tooth now. I've been the first person to enter an organization to hire a junior. I've been in so many organizations where we're only going to hire the absolute best people that you can. Well, maybe sometimes the best person you can hire as a junior. There's this Silicon Valley age and thing that is about hiring people with their best work ahead of them rather than their best work behind them. I like to think my best work is still ahead of me. But there's this ability to, like you were talking about the team, and let's say it's six to nine people. And if every team of six to nine people has one junior and that junior is being taken as a full team member there's this thing that we used to talk about in Scrum, sometimes it's the team that protects the weakest as well.

Marc (16:52):

This person is going to be able to ask different kinds of questions and the diversity aspect, they're going to ask different questions and what the senior people will do. They're going to have a very different point of view than the senior people will. One thing that I see so many places with senior people like myself, is I've got a tool belt and it's got a bunch of hammers on it then what happens if you've got a nice hammer, everything looks like a nail. So, the juniors aren't going to have that kind of tool belt, and they're going to look at things quite differently and this loyalty as well, even just the loyalty of thought that you get from giving somebody their first big break, getting them in the energy that they bring, because they're not just somebody who's looking for what's going to pay the best, or that's going to have this specific technology that they have a hammer for or whatever. They're looking to build their career to the next level.

Marc (17:53):

I think it's really exciting to look at how you can bring younger people into an organization and watch them change the way that the whole organization functions.

Lauri (18:05):

It's a wonderful point of view that the team is going to protect the weakest. I really don't know where they get from there, it is a really good one. Actually, as it happened we had a briefing call with Lande from Norway earlier today and with somebody else and that we should be expecting them in the podcast later, but they use the terminology, I haven't been acquainted to that terminology before that looking things from the inside or looking at things from the outside. And I think they were referring to somebody being part of the organization who is trying to make a change. So in other words, a customer organization, and then from the outside would be somebody who has been called in to help make the change. And if I know a bit about your career, you have been looking a lot of things from the inside. You have been the CTO and you have been in different roles, but invariably, that has been the role where you will look at the problem from the inside. That's no longer the case, right?

Marc (19:17):


Lauri (19:17):

So when you join Eficode, then you are looking at things from the outside and your phone is ringing when somebody else has a problem. So, what's the difference? So how is the life of a consultant?

Marc (19:33):

Just to hear you say these things gives me goosebumps. So one thing I learned a long time ago in my career when hiring consultants is that yes, they bring an outsider viewpoint and they span boundaries. Getting to be a consultant now, it's a couple of different things that you said. One is that if I'm hired, especially to a large customer and they have silos, then I don't really know, or even have to care too much about their silos. One of the things I'm bringing them is this cross silo communication. There's political things in life, get back to history again and look at how things have happened for thousands of years. And of course there's some political things inside of organizations, but also being a consultant I'm immune to those things. So I was hired by someone in order to do a job.

Marc (20:30):

So there's a mandate that somebody wants to understand and get this job done that I don't necessarily have, if I am a political member of that organization, where I might be trying to work with my colleagues in order to do something that they don't clearly see the benefits for their part of the organization. So the mandate plus the lack of those kinds of boundaries, I think it's one of the reasons to bring in consultants and it's a great to be a consultant because it makes it so much easier to communicate across boundaries when you're an outsider and you have nothing to prove other than the case that they have hired you to prove.

Marc (21:17):

And I think it's a wonderfully valuable position to be in. And there's something else here that I realized as part of this journey, I've been a product guy for a long time and working with you and Nokia days, and we've always been focused on the product. And if you're a product person, what you crave more than anything is customer feedback. Now being a consultant, I'm working directly with my customer. I'm getting customer feedback every day-

Lauri (21:51):

All the time.

Marc (21:52):

All the time, minute to minute. And then I still get to help them as an outsider with an outsider point of view connected with their customer. So it's like the best of both worlds. And it's just absolutely astonishingly a good feeling to be able to help people in this way by simply not having the encumbrance or the boundaries that they have and being able to help them cross those.

Lauri (22:18):

So a controversial question there, or maybe not a controversial question, but the point of view. I read from somewhere that on any job, one-third of your time you should just feel blissful. What's happening around you. And then one-third of the time you should feel like just another day. And then one-third of the time it's going to be like you're grinding and just trying to get through the day. And it doesn't matter what those proportions are, but the question is that when you are a political member of an organization, then I would feel that there's more skin in the game beyond my pay and beyond my mandate than if I were a consultant. And then I take those days that it feels like this is not one of those blissful days, but it feels because you so much believe in your cause. Like you so much want to see what you believe happen, that you are willing to go the extra mile for your company. This sounds political, but probably it is but you have to believe in your course. So how is that as a consultant?

Marc (23:34):

Wow. There's a lot of meat on the question that you just asked. I'm just going to place this out there, which is that having read Renaissance philosophy and things. I'm not entirely certain that happiness is an essential part of the human experience. It's something that we crave. It's something that we want, but it's not a means to an end. This blissful another day, grinding and working things. If I paraphrase that into my ideal day, my ideal day is I wake up and I might go, okay, it's another day. And I do my morning routines and I get to work and I realize, okay, I have work to do. And I managed to structure this in such a way that I get into flow state for a few hours. And some of that comes from practice and experience. Some of it comes from just structuring your work according to best practices that are out there that anybody can read and Google.

Marc (24:43):

Now, when I stop and I take the break or I feel a little bit tired, or I feel like I've reached an end and I look back there is some bliss because I realized I have added value to my company's life, my customer's life and my life, because I feel good that I created something with my hands and my mind. Now that doesn't always work like that. So what do we do? Well one thing is, and I just learned this from Marco, our CTO, and I've done this before in different ways, but he absolutely nailed it as he often does. And he said, "When I reach a point where I can't continue on the thing, then I switch the context switch."

Marc (25:29):

So if I'm working on a document then I go code something, if I'm coding something that, well, maybe I just need to take a walk or maybe I will call somebody about the issue that I have, or maybe I will use this as the moment in my day to catch up on my slack messages or look at my emails or those kinds of things. And we all understand that there is a set of contexts that we work within and there's more than one. And any of those can provide us a sense of value, a sense of flow. And when we then run out of road or run out of flow, then we can go to another one and bring it back. And one of the things that ties back these two points is before I joined Eficode I saw a Guy Kawasaki's quote, and it was on LinkedIn one day. And it said: if you feel like you're in a game you can't win then change the game.

Marc (26:28):

We can do this in the short term, we can do it in the midterm. We can do it in the long term, but the thing that drove me to Eficode, I'll just get this right out there now, which is that first I was a customer and the very first contact I had with Eficode was the CEO Ilari. And his neighbor asked him to call me, to see if there were some DevOps people that could come and help. So the very first touchpoint I had, and it was fantastic. He was direct. He was to the point he was professional and he was cool. And then I talked with a few other people in Eficode and I realized that everybody had this cool, calm, professionalism, clear competence and confidence, a human aspect that, that really, really attracted me to wanting to be part of this tribe and wanting to be part of this company. And still to this day, every touchpoint I have, we've got characters, we've got high experts, we've got professionals in all different areas, but we're all ourselves and we're allowed to be ourselves and we're comfortable being ourselves. And we're all one tribe. So it's like the greatest thing that brought me here with this, every single person that I've talked to here has been an amazing human.

Lauri (27:49):

Going back to what you said about happiness, and I'm also a little bit on the fence there but it's easier to question the role of happiness in your life when you really are happy. So, there's that aspect. But the other aspect is don't seek for happiness, seek for meaningfulness, and then if you end up seeking something, which is meaningful and if you put your time into that meaningfulness, then it will eventually make you happy.

Marc (28:23):

Very well said.

Lauri (28:24):

Not my words, but I'm happy to quote whoever said them originally.

Marc (28:30):

Yes. Well quoted as well.

Lauri (28:33):

So just a small question. What do you personally want from your life?

Marc (28:39):

That's a wonderful question. And you prefaced it, you boxed me in just a little bit. When people traditionally have asked me, what's my definition of success, I say it's a good day. And then I elaborate a little bit and say, it's a good day doing something, I'm going to borrow a little bit, but it's fair, meaningful things with good people. And I have different hobbies and things, but what really brings me peace is knowing that I've done some good work and how I do good work is with people. I am a collaborator. My number one value in life and need is to work with people in order to do cool stuff, to do meaningful things. I've been a member of a few startups and as many kids in the beginning, everybody wants to grow up and they want to be rich and they want to get a million dollars and this and that.

Marc (29:45):

And I've been a member of some startups. And I've had that carrot dangled in front of my face a few times. And I've realized it's not about that. It's about having a good quality of day where I feel good about what I've done during that day. And I don't feel that I wasn't enough or didn't enough or did something wrong or something like that. So this really simple set of values is what keeps me going. And I would like to keep doing this as long as I possibly can. And if I turn this a little bit further, this is not my first rodeo. I've seen a lot of things, and there's a huge number of people out there who are more technically talented than I am, or more other kinds of talented than I am. But I seem to always find something to give to people when they cross my path. And the ability to keep doing that as long as I can is also something that keeps me going, because I've realized I have things to give. And please, if there's someone that can use them, I would love to help them.

Lauri (30:55):

So if you look at those different viewpoints that you have accumulated so far, are there some trends, or are there some commonalities in those, let's say fates of different companies or the trends where they are going, like they're all different. Some of these are part of a startup and some are big companies. And in some organizations, you have more decision-making power and then in some other cases you have a more practitioner role, but what unites them?

Marc (31:31):

There's a few things. I'll start from a different direction, which is like, if we think about a startup, investors say, when we invest in a startup, we invest in the team. We don't invest in the idea. And I say, well, that's one way to look at it. But if I am considering investing in a startup, either money or time or whatever, show me your customer, show me that you understand your customer. And then if you have the right team, you can connect those together and find value for both sides. So that as a trend is something that is a little bit newer than it should be. We've talked about it for a long time, but if you look at an average technology startup, they have a piece of technology that they're trying to push somewhere, rather than understanding very clearly that there's a customer need and then trying to do honestly as little as possible to serve that need and create business and value for both sides.

Marc (32:40):

So, it could be that instead of a technology product, you might need a simple website or instead of a simple website, you might be able to do something with a slack channel or something even, even, even more minimal than that. And this is something that we're talking about in our sustainability webinar series that's coming up. It's like how to find the MVP that gets you in the business. And once you're in business, then you have a customer operational value stream that will give you feedback about what to put into your development value stream. And we talk about development value streams a lot, but let's remember we're product people. I'm a product person anyway, and products just keep going. You just keep licensing and licensing or selling and selling and selling the product while development is there to build a product that you can sell.

Marc (33:39):

And we often confuse those two things as well. Something that I haven't completely solved yet, which is the difference between very early value-driven continuous delivery. So I'm able to connect to a customer and I'm able to deliver to them on a continuous basis before we get to an MVP level, or if there's an MVP level where they're expecting more. And this is something that there are some trends that are going around and there's some different techniques and tools and different kinds of things. But this is one of the interesting bridges that I think we have to cross, which is that, hey, it's great that you're giving us stuff all the time, but we're really waiting for the MVP level of things.

Lauri (34:29):

Yeah. I remember the absolute bare minimum viable product. One definition of that was to set up a website. Don't put any pages there and start working on search engine marketing. And then when you know what people are searching for, then your ads begin to work. How do you know that they need it is because you look at your access logs and when you get enough 404s, then you know, okay, that's what they're looking for. And then you don't even need a website. Like an individual person is going to shrug their shoulders and move on, like, okay, yet another website that wasn't accessible and why on earth are they putting money for search engine marketing? You as an entrepreneur, you are looking at the error logs and say, oh, that page is performing. That tells me something. That's the absolute bare minimum. You basically put $100 a day for Google keyword ads. And that's all you do.

Marc (35:27):

Yes. I absolutely love it. That's cool.

Lauri (35:30):

Yeah. One last question. And looking forward to it. So we go back to where we started. What's next for you?

Marc (35:40):

That's a great question. So I've been in Finland for 15 winters now, slightly fewer summers. And this country has been really, really good to me. And I've still been looking for a home and the country is right. So I want to be here. I've figured that out, but there's been a couple of points in my career where I thought I might be able to work somewhere and just keep growing for the rest of my life. I haven't given up on that, but I've realized that maybe it's not exactly the primary goal to be in one place for a long time, but I've been looking for a home and I'm starting to feel like... Another reason that I ended up at Eficode is that I call myself a product person. I've been involved in a lot of products, deliveries but the systems of product development are something that I've always been maybe a little more fascinated in.

Marc (36:44):

It's like the audio file that's more interested in the equipment than the music or something. So what's next for me, I think, is to learn how as a consultant to leverage the full power of Eficode, the full expertise of this tremendous organization, full of amazing people for whatever customer across my... I have a customer at the moment and I'm super happy to be working with and I want to continue to do that. So what's next for me, I hope is another really good day like today. And I had no idea that I would answer exactly like that, but it feels honest and true.

Lauri (37:30):

Yes. Another happy day. Your approach to this happy day. It almost feels like-

Marc (37:38):

I said good day Lapa. Good day.

Lauri (37:42):

Good day. Every day is a good day. Yeah. It's almost like you have a summer holiday every day, but it's just a fraction of it. Do you know what I mean? It sounds to me that you don't have to take a break because you are taking a break all the time.

Marc (38:01):

I'll tell you this. There's a joke here and this has helped me a lot in my career. And just because it's funny, it doesn't mean it's not true or helpful and vice versa. So we have a new company policy and I say this in the all-hands meeting, we have a new company policy and the company policy is on Monday. You recover from the weekend. You know everybody hates Mondays and on Tuesday we fully expect you to prepare to work. On Wednesday you work on Thursday, pat yourself on the back because you worked so hard on Wednesday. And then on Friday, everybody just prepares for the weekend. And then the joke part is then, oh, you have a question. It's like, yes, I have a question. Can we do something about these Wednesdays? But if we go back to this, there is the thing about pacing yourself, but there's also a thing about context switching and some others, which is one thing that you can do if the day hasn't started out really well, it's okay to take a moment and stop and have self-compassion to allow yourself to take a moment and stop, and then say, okay, if I want to get something done, I have to prepare something.

Marc (39:14):

So just prepare to do the next thing. Make sure that your calendar is up to date, make sure your task lists, your to do is up to date, make sure that your priorities are clear, take the first thing and do a breakdown structure or understand something better. And then sooner or later, if you just practice, you'll fall into a flow state on those things. And then you'll realize, okay, you're at a stopping point. And then you can say, okay, well you know what, I accomplished something today. And then you can context switch and do some administrative things, do something else, give yourself a moment and say, okay, it's okay to take a break when you need to, and then keep going. And this is one of the keys that little joke has helped me through more burnout scenarios in the 15 years that I've been in Finland anyway, where the autumn hits us like a bulldozer every year and everybody starts having some different kinds of difficulties.

Lauri (40:15):

Summer in Finland has a different name. It's called a 90 day trial period.

Marc (40:18):

The 90 days of summer. I haven't seen that in Finland.

Lauri (40:24):

Oh yeah. Well, it's relative. I have nine rapid fire questions. And this is something that we are putting in place for all of our participants in the podcast. So just respond to them without thinking.

Marc (40:40):


Lauri (40:40):

So the first one is felt in the following sentence. And the sentence starting with DevOps is...

Marc (40:45):

DevOps is the tools, systems, processes that enable high-performance software teams.


Lauri (40:55):

What three questions do you ask to tell if a company needs your help?

Marc (41:01):

Show me your customer. Tell me how you deliver and tell me what the company goals or strategy is about.

Lauri (41:11):

You are called to help your customer with DevOps, but your fear is real and stuck in your throat. What's the first thing you do?

Marc (41:21):

I would send a slack message to some colleagues, describe the situation and see if there's anything that they can do on the back line in order to help the customer while I run to the customer.

Lauri (41:32):

What is something people often get wrong about DevOps?

Marc (41:38):

I think that they try too hard to label it as one thing or another people have then discussions, is it culture? Is it a process? Is it a tool? And in fact, it's whatever it takes in order to be able to efficiently and constantly deliver value to your customer.

Lauri (41:54):

What trends or new things you would like to see become mainstream?

Marc (42:03):

One thing I think is really interesting is DevOps as a service whereby companies that want to develop something and developers who want to write code can simply use a DevOps service in order to build tests, configure, and deploy their software in a lightweight, flexible, fast, agile manner.

Lauri (42:31):

What is your secret personal productivity tool?

Marc (42:35):

Paper. I write to listen and if I'm sitting across the table from someone the interesting thing is that when I am listening and writing down the things that they are talking about, they start pointing to my notes as we're having a discussion.

Lauri (42:56):

Which book have you completed most recently?

Marc (43:00):

I finished the Accelerate book. I have five or six books open at the moment, but I finished Accelerate just before joining Eficode. And there was not only is it a tremendous reference and state of the art in terms of what's going on in DevOps today. But a fantastic book.

Lauri (43:24):

What is something that brings great joy in your life?

Marc (43:28):

Working with people to solve problems. I'm going to say two things and help people directly solve their own problems.

Lauri (43:37):

And lastly, what is something that you are grateful for right now?

Marc (43:42):

This I will have to tell a quick story, which is that like there's a movie and there's a book, the unbearable lightness of being, and one of the points of the book is that we never know which path if we had chosen a different path in life where we would have ended up. Well, I chose this. I would have changed nothing in order to get here and be here today, having this conversation with you, working in this company, having these customers, these colleagues, these problems to solve.

Lauri (44:18):

That is wonderful. Thank you.

Marc (44:20):

Thank you Lapa!

Lauri (44:21):

Thank you for listening. Marc, like everyone in our team, works with our customers day in and day out. So the best way to reach them is either by their company email, by filling in the contact us form on our website, or just reaching out to them on social media. You can find the links in the show notes. If you haven't already please subscribe to our podcast and give us a rating on the platform. It means the world also checks out our other episodes for interesting and exciting talks. I say now, take care of yourself and good day to you.