Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mars Hill is looking for a Software Development Engineer to create a next generation communication platform

For those who swing by to check on job listings it's clear that a bevy of new jobs at Mars Hill Church have opened up.

Take the Executive Pastor at the University District campus.

Almost two weeks ago there was this job

Inside Sales and Customer Service Representive

Mars Hill Church, the Resurgence (a ministry of Mars Hill Church) and our Global Audience have placed a high emphasis on Connect Accounts for our audience members. We don’t want to meet our Connect Account expectations, we want to exceed them. To accomplish this, we are hiring for an Inside Sales & Customer Service to steward this ministry channel well.

This role will place a high emphasis on relational skills and data management to capture information accordingly for our Accounts Team to serve these connect accounts with the highest regard. 
The Software Development Engineer will be part of a dedicated team to build a next generation communication platform through a variety of web technologies. This role will entail collaboration with many stakeholders and requires strong communication skills and a desire to delight your users is essential. You will need to be at the top of your game producing extremely high quality and performant code. 


  • Build a new communications platform from the ground up in a highly performant & maintainable way. 
  • Collaborate with a small dedicated team of designers and developers.
  • Interact with a developer ecosystem to multiply your fruitfulness.
Now this is a bit of speculation on the part of Wenatchee The Hatchet but why would Mars Hill be looking for a Software Development Engineer to be part of a dedicated team to build a next generation communications platform?  Is The City already completely outdated?  Wasn't The City hailed as the most creative, dynamic church-building resource Moe Girkins,president and CEO of Zondervan, had ever seen?  Didn't Mars Hill share how Zack Hubert built The City that was sold to Zondervan?  Hubert was once Pastor of Technology at Mars Hill and the sale of The City was a boon for Mars Hill though whether or not Hubert got paid any compensation for developing The City has never been answered.  Hubert isn't anywhere near Mars Hill these days, though, and doesn't list it as part of his professional history over at his LinkedIn profile now (though in the past it was relevant to his professional background enough to get mentioned).
So ... if The City was and is as fantastic as Mars Hill leaders have said it is why would Mars Hill even bother putting in a job notice for a Software Development Engineer specifically for the task of building a next generation communication platform?
The days of Mars Hill on The City are probably numbered.


Anonymous said...

These guys are always "going to the Next Level", aren't they?

Anonymous said...

WANTED "Inside Sales and Customer Service Representive"

Q: What are they selling?
A: Snake oil.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

The sales stuff seems pedestrian to me. The software development engineer suggests that MHC is interested in building and implementing a replacement for The City as soon as they can manage. Whether this entails a re:launch of the church that just passed a ceiling of complexity a few years ago, or not, remains to be seen. Implementing a replacement for The City within the relocated Central Operations (if they get the Bellevue property they want) would be a useful beta test, perhaps? But that's just guesswork based on which jobs, which real estate, and which plans have been made publicly available recently.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that TheCity is necessarily being obsoleted. It is only a portion of the overall software suite MH uses, I'd guess, the rest being the software the powers the Web site in all its complexity. That is what might be in view here.

But I don't know, since I'm not involved.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Could be. Only time will tell and it's impossible to be certain what the Software Development Engineer would be tasked with. If MH is planning to relocate Central Operations to Bellevue now might be a good time to reassess a whole network of systems and redesign them in advance so that when/if the real estate in Bellevue is obtained there's no need to deal with the infrastructural/data challenges that could be eliminated earlier. Just speculation there.

Anonymous said...

It's definitely to replace The City. When the City was built and maintained in-house it was easy to make tweaks. Since selling, in a lot of ways MH's hands are tied with regard to what they want to do with it, various modules, functionality etc. While the city is definitely thriving as its own thing, from MH's perspective as a customizable and usable tool it's broken. It was a good business decision to sell it at the time. But now they need something in house with the freedom to tweak as they see fit without the policy and procedure of dealing with a big third party that is catering to interests of many clients not just them.

Wenatchee the Hatchet said...

Zondervan paid, what, four million or so for The City? When did they turn enough profit to recoup the expense of that purchase? Anyone able to field that? If The City is profitable now then that's great for Zondervan. The sale of The City reportedly helped Mars Hill avoid being in the red but one of the lingering questions I've had since hearing of that sale is whether or not Zack Hubert saw a cent from that sale or whether Mars Hill retroactively treated The City as work-for-hire and kept the money from the sale.

If Mars Hill is really aiming to replace The City whoever builds it for them had best work on the assumption that he or she will be doing it work-for-hire just to be on the safe side.

Back to mods, what sorts of mods might a church want to make to The City that wouldn't be permitted now that it's owned by a third-party? Why wouldn't it still be a useable tool just because it's been sold to Zondervan?

Anonymous said...

Seems like MH could merely plagiarize a bunch of code from The City, tweak it a little, and "re-brand" it with an "M" logo - as some would argue has been done with other copyrighted material over the years.