As Ephesoft continues to grow, employees are a critical part of who we are as a company and represent our values, brand and drive innovation. Get to know one of our team members and enjoy many more interviews to come.

Mark Studer, Director, Software Engineering, SaaS Solutions

1 year at Ephesoft

Growing up on a farm in Rupert, Idaho can often give you a different perspective than the bustling world of high tech, enterprise software. Mark’s family farm had about 500 acres dedicated to growing potatoes, grain and alfalfa hay, where he grew up working the farm every day. During this time, he got hands-on training in mechanical and electrical engineering and developed his builder-and-fixer mentality. “When you run a farm you have to fix it yourself. You can’t always just call up a repairman to do it for you. I learned how to design and build things that would be easy to maintain while being sufficiently robust to handle the day-to-day wear and tear without breaking,” explained Mark. 

His family also had an early interest in computers and technology. “I’ve been working with computers since as early as I can remember. I remember playing Lemmings on our DOS computer when I was just a couple of years old. Soon after that, I was building our computers and hosting game servers out of our local ISPs office.” But it wasn’t all fun and games, literally. “There is no day off during crop season. The crops don’t care if you want to take a vacation day or aren’t feeling well. Instead of sleeping in during the summer, I had to get up at 6:30 a.m. every morning and carry pipe around. While I didn’t mind the physical part of the work, I knew what I really liked was the mental challenge and I wanted to pursue a career where I could use those skills every day.”

While attending Idaho State University and receiving his BA in Business Administration with an emphasis in Computer Information Systems, he got hands-on experience working for the University and the federal government flying around the country doing consulting. He had the opportunity to lead several large projects migrating network and data center infrastructure for the Department of the Interior. After Mark graduated, he moved to Boise, ID to work as a software engineer for Intralot. Eventually, he landed at Healthwise, a leader in evidence-based health education, technology and services where he was quickly promoted up the chain to Director IT Operations reporting to the CTO Kevin Harbauer, who is currently Ephesoft’s CTO. Kevin was tasked with building a best-in-class engineering team to support its SaaS solutions and turned to Mark to join him. 

“I was excited about being part of Ephesoft’s future vision. After meeting with Ike, seeing the strong leadership and the potential the team had, I knew this was the right fit,” explained Mark. 

What does a director of software engineering do at Ephesoft? Mark explained that in his role, he spends about 60-70% of his time in meetings and coordinating with other cross-functional teams. He also leads the architecture group for Ephesoft’s technology stack, working with senior engineers in what he calls “consensus architecture.” This includes architecting the platform used on AWS as well as designing and improving the teams development processes to produce high-quality code and enable fast iteration cycles. The rest of his time is spent on development tasks, code review, feedback, training, mentoring and hiring. “I’ve always liked doing development work, but I also have a passion for operations. The combination of both helps build scalable secure infrastructure while focusing on DevOps processes allowing the team to fully automate our Continuous Delivery pipeline with 100% infrastructure as code.”

“One of the best things about Ephesoft is the team. People here are open to new processes and improvements. Despite being in business for 10 years, there’s a startup work-hard mentality and everyone wants to get things done,” said Mark. “My philosophy revolves around continuous learning and improvement. As soon as you stop these two things, you drown. This quest for always wanting to know more and how you can do it better is critical for engineering teams to be innovative.”

He is primarily focused on building the Semantik Platform and rolling out Semantik Invoice, the first of many Context Driven Productivity tools in the cloud. He is also involved in Ephesoft Transact, Cloud HyperExtender and Mobile products. It’s not always a walk in the cloud, however. Mark and his team are helping to improve internal tools and improve our employee experience so the whole organization can be more productive.

In his free time, Mark enjoys sports such as skiing, mountain biking, volleyball, tennis, bowling, golf and even skateboarding, many of which he has introduced to his girlfriend. He is also passionate about international travel and wants to see new places and culture. Accompanying him on the majority of his adventures are his only sister and brother-in-law, both of whom he is very close with and who currently live in Los Angeles. His parents still run the farm business in Rupert, Idaho. He admits he’s close enough to spend holidays and regularly visit, but far enough from the farm to be exempt from those 6:30 mornings and long manual shifts.