In the ever-evolving world of digital transformations, one name stands out as the guiding force behind a multitude of success stories. Meet Marc, the visionary CEO and Principal Consultant of Engineering DevOps Consulting, a company he founded over eight and a half years ago in January 2015. Marc’s expertise in Continuous Testing, DevOps, DevSecOps, and SRE practices has propelled him to the forefront of the industry.
With an unwavering commitment to excellence, Marc has become a true specialist in his field. His groundbreaking methodologies and unique approach have earned him accolades as a thought leader, evidenced not only by his consultancy’s impressive track record but also by his bestselling book, “Engineering DevOps.”
Marc’s secret lies in his ability to apply his deep knowledge and understanding of the intricacies of DevOps to transform organizations. Leveraging his comprehensive Engineering Blueprints, Seven-Step DevOps Transformation Blueprint, and 9 DevOps Pillars discovery and assessment tools, he crafts actionable and comprehensive DevOps transformation roadmaps and strategic plans.
But Marc’s impact goes beyond theory and planning. Through targeted workshops and hands-on guidance, he empowers teams to embrace change and drive tangible results. His passion for nurturing talent and fostering a culture of innovation has become a hallmark of his consultancy, enabling companies to thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.
Leading the Way in Transformation
Engineering DevOps Consulting, under the guidance of Marc, widely recognized in the industry as “DevOps_the_Gray,” boasted a multitude of distinctive qualities. With an impressive background spanning 48 years, Marc brought a wealth of practical experience in the realms of DevOps, DevSecOps, SRE, and Continuous Quality Engineering.
The company prided itself on a remarkable track record of facilitating successful outcomes for clients, supported by numerous testimonials and prestigious accolades. Most notably, Engineering DevOps Consulting had recently been honored as the DevOps Strategic Advisor for the esteemed “Best DevOps Implementation of 2022” award.
Operating as a boutique consulting firm, Engineering DevOps Consulting caters to a wide range of contracting arrangements. They are available for small contracts based on hourly rates as well as large multi-year contracts with fixed prices for deliverables. Clients have the flexibility to engage directly with the company or through their existing consulting partners, with Engineering DevOps Consulting serving as a sub-contractor when necessary.
Geographical boundaries is no constraint for the company, as the work with clients globally, around the clock. Leveraging a well-established network of experts, Engineering DevOps Consulting had access to additional resources whenever the need arose.
Despite their exceptional expertise, the company maintained relatively low consulting rates compared to others operating at the same level. This was made possible due to their unique capabilities, internal cost advantages, and a proven set of accelerator tools.
Setting themselves apart with a unique prescriptive engineering-centric approach and a set of proprietary tools, the company excelled at accelerating digital transformations. Marc elaborated on these methodologies and techniques in his book, titled “Engineering DevOps … from Chaos to Continuous Improvement … and Beyond.” In recognition of his lifetime of accomplishments and contributions to the field of software and systems process automation, Marc had been awarded the IEEE Outstanding Engineer title in 2016.
Marc’s leadership philosophy could be succinctly summarized as follows: “As a leader I facilitate measurable outcomes for all stakeholders by respectfully injecting and engaging expert engineering practices to guide strategy, execution support and performance monitoring.”
Comprehensive Service Offerings
Engineering DevOps Consulting offers three types of services for organizations undergoing digital transformations that include at least one of four topics: DevOps, DevSecOps, Site Reliability Engineering and Continuous Quality Engineering. All four of these topics are critical for organizations to master to accomplish high performance DevOps.
- The first service, “Strategic Consulting Services” constitutes most of the business. This consists of executive level consulting for large organizations including enterprises, institutions, manufacturers, and service providers. This includes taking an expert role guiding and advising executive clients, conducting assessments, creating strategic roadmaps, and guiding implementation of transformation projects.
- The second service, “Training and Education Services”, approximately one quarter of the business, consists of creating course materials and instructing clients, typically in a remote classroom or on-site environment. For example, we are accredited to teach nine of the courses offered to global learning partners of the DevOps Institute and People Cert.
- The third service, “Marketing and Sales Support Services”, approximately one quarter of the business, consists of creating original content for marketing campaigns (blogs, eBooks, Webinars, white papers and speaking engagements) and for pre-sales support such as commercial RFPs. We publish regularly on com for example which has a global audience of hundreds of thousands of readers.
Building Trust and Inspiring Growth
Marc strongly believes that demonstrating respect at a personal level, encompassing oneself, the team, and the clients, is of utmost importance in building trust and inspiration. According to Marc, establishing a foundation of respect paves the way for setting an inspiring vision and effectively evangelizing the principles of DevOps, DevSecOps, SRE, and CQE. Marc emphasizes the wealth of success stories, industry data, and company-specific data that showcase extraordinary results when these practices are implemented with precision.
In Marc’s view, the field of DevOps and related disciplines presents abundant opportunities for organizations, teams, and individuals to thrive competitively, technically, and professionally. As an inspirational leader, Marc recognizes the responsibility to honor and respect the diverse needs of everyone involved, ensuring that they can fully leverage these opportunities for growth and development.
The Holistic Approach
Based on his extensive experience, Marc asserts that the challenges faced in transformation projects are multi-faceted, primarily encompassing three dimensions: people, process, and technology. The nature of these challenges varies depending on the existing maturity level of the organization and the goals they aim to achieve. Marc emphasizes that a holistic and strategic approach is crucial for the success of transformation initiatives, as without it, projects are prone to stalling or failing.
One common pitfall observed by Marc is the tendency of many organizations to hastily adopt new technologies without adequately considering the strategic roadmap. He stresses the importance of giving equal weight to people and process transformations alongside technology implementation. Neglecting these crucial aspects can undermine the overall effectiveness of the transformation and hinder its long-term success.
To overcome these challenges, Marc advocates for a thoughtful and comprehensive approach that addresses people, process, and technology in an integrated manner. By recognizing the interdependencies among these dimensions and developing a strategic roadmap that accounts for each, organizations can navigate the complexities of transformation and increase their likelihood of achieving their desired outcomes.
Continuous Learning and Metrics
DevOps, DevSecOps, SRE, and Continuous Quality Engineering practices and technologies are in a constant state of evolution. Recognizing the importance of continuous learning and upskilling, active participation in industry events like the DevOps Enterprise Summit, DevOps.com, and the DevOps Institute’s SKILup events is crucial. In addition, engagement with clients, vendor reviews, and partnering with networks contribute to staying updated on the latest developments in the field.
When it comes to measuring the effectiveness and success of DevOps implementations for clients, several metrics come into play. Primary metrics prescribed by DORA include lead time, release frequency, failure rates, and recovery rates. Additionally, end-to-end flow metrics provide insights into the overall efficiency of the implementation. To ensure reliable solutions that meet Service Level Objectives for the CI/CD pipeline, SRE metrics like availability are necessary.
Furthermore, capability maturity metrics and assessments play a vital role in helping organizations understand their current standing and identify areas for improvement. DevOps offers a range of assessment tools that evaluate the maturity and current state of the nine pillars of DevOps, nine pillars of DevSecOps, nine pillars of SRE, ten pillars of Continuous Quality Engineering, and other specialized topics. These tools leverage a database of industry practices that are continually updated to reflect the latest research, allowing organizations to identify gaps and prioritize their improvement efforts accordingly.
The Role of Leadership in DevOps Transformation
To foster a collaborative and DevOps-oriented culture, Marc believes that leadership plays a crucial role. According to him, leaders must take the initiative to set and evangelize the vision, big picture goals, and success measures that encompass people, process, and technologies. This holistic approach ensures that the transformation journey moves cohesively from the current state towards the envisioned future state.
By actively promoting a shared vision, setting clear goals, and recognizing the efforts and achievements of team members, leaders can cultivate a collaborative and DevOps-oriented culture. This not only encourages teamwork and collaboration but also fosters an environment where individuals are inspired to learn, grow, and contribute to the organization’s success.
Accelerating DevOps Evolution
AI is driving the evolution of DevOps. Marc highlights its impact on all pillars of DevOps, DevSecOps, SRE, and CQE. With the need for faster continuous deliveries escalating, AI-powered tools like ChatGPT play a vital role in automating processes, enhancing efficiency, and making data-driven decisions. They enable organizations to streamline their practices and achieve greater scalability and predictive capabilities. AI is essential for navigating the complexities of digital transformations and ensuring successful and efficient DevOps implementations.
“DevOps is a complex maze that has many leaders frustrated. In many large enterprises, ‘DevOps’ is simply a buzzword they are striving to achieve but struggle with what the end state looks like or even where to start. There are many layers across the organization that are instrumental to truly executing on DevOps. DevOps is not something you go get a quote for and simply buy. It’s an evolving journey. Hornbeek takes you on the journey in a prescriptive way that leaders and practitioners can execute upon. I’ve seen Hornbeek lead F500 Enterprises on this multiyear journey firsthand. Hornbeek takes a complex web and breaks it down into an executable approach. He is adamant that engineering is critical on this journey, and drives the focus from that perspective. Marc’s insights will be of incredible value to you on your personal DevOps journey.” —Ryan Harmon, Strategic Account Executive, Trace3
“Before you hire your next DevOps consultant, I strongly recommend you first get a copy of Engineering DevOps by Marc Hornbeek. This is one of most impactful, well-articulated DevOps management toolkits you wished you had years ago. Marc’s multidimensional models of DevOps really help organizations understand how to engineer and scale a truly agile enterprise.” —Patrick Johnson, General Manager of Automation Platform Technologies, Spirent Communications
“When I first founded DevOps.com six-plus years ago, there were a lot of people talking about DevOps but not a lot of people who really understood DevOps. Marc Hornbeek was one of the people who understood DevOps. Marc understood DevOps from many different viewpoints as well, from a long, distinguished career in test engineering to managing a team and all the way to how DevOps could best be implemented across an entire enterprise. In his book, Engineering DevOps, Marc brings all of this together. Whether you are a single engineer looking to further your career with some DevOps knowledge or a C-level executive seeking to make your organization more competitive via digital transformation, this is a mustread book for you.” —Alan Shimel, Founder, Editor-in-Chief, DevOps.com
“An engineering mindset must carry through every aspect of software delivery from ideation to value creation to compete in a digital landscape. Marc Hornbeek, a well-known and award-winning IEEE engineer, provides solid guidance on adopting DevOps with an engineering perspective.” —Jayne Groll, CEO, The DevOps Institute