Joseph L. Mabel: Resume

Available only for short-term consulting

As of December 2020, I am semi-retired and available only for short-term consulting, mainly in the areas listed immediately below as my skills/strengths. I also remain available for a half-day or full day of "pair programming" as a means of coaching a developer. I retain strong connections with IT and development teams in Seattle and Bucharest.

I also remain an administrator and active participant on the English-language Wikipedia and on Wikimedia Commons (the media repository related to Wikipedia)which may be relevant for some clients. I'm also on Wikidata, but not an admin there.


40 years in the software development industry, both as a hands-on contributor and in management, both contract and permanent.

Technical Personnel Management: Consensus-building, team-building, training and management of technical personnel up to and including managers. Coordination between technical and non-technical personnel.

Software Development: Specification, design, programming, debugging. Emphasis on data structures, object-oriented design, efficient algorithms, flexible configuration, graphics, and user-friendly interface. Extensive experience in numerous computer languages, notably JavaScript/jQuery and PHP (full stack developer through the 2010s) and C++ (more than once taught advanced C++ classes to the developers at a company where I was employed). Pretty solid in web technologies, though those change fast. Expertise in internationalization, CAD, web-centric and database-centric development.

Project/Program Management: Scheduling and estimation, requirements gathering, functional specification, risk identification and management. Expert in turning around troubled projects.

Vendor/Client relationships: Estimating/bidding projects, managing relationships. Experience on both sides of the vendor/client interface, both domestically and internationally.

Communications: Strong written and oral communicator. Documentation experience includes technical and process standards, specifications, API documentation, user documentation, and preparing software systems for source licensing. Very big on code review, see separate article. Multilingual. Worked as a freelance writer prior to my involvement in computing.

Problem-solving and flexibility: A broad range of experience including both regular and contract employment in a variety of environments. Feasibility studies, overall systems design, database and data structures work, close work with people from a variety of cultures and a variety of professional backgrounds.

User experience: this doesn't easily fit a resume format; see this related article I've written about user experience.


Builders' Exchange of Washington (BXWA) 🔗, contract
Software Contractor (August 2010-March 2018; still consulting)

Front-end and back-end development, plus project management, for graphics-intensive web-based applications for the construction industry.

Designed and implemented Fastbid 3, a web-based measurement/takeoff tool (basically a stripped-down CAD system for the construction industry). Fastbid 3 allows builders and subcontractors to view and mark up plans and specs, take measurements, share takeoff markup, and make useful calculations during the bidding process. This graphics-intensive program is a full, far more portable, browser-based replacement for a compiled C++ application, Fastbid 2. In its basic configuration it provides a near-perfect emulation of that application and matches or exceeds the performance of that compiled application; I've also implemented extensive new members-only features, including realtime data-sharing; by now, the added features constitute the majority of the system.

Since October 2012, Fastbid 3 has been BXWA's default system for new users, and they have steadily migrated their legacy users; I continued to add advanced features until 2018, which are slipstreamed into the live site. Customer perception has been very positive, and BXWA memberships have been steadily on the rise.

I architected, designed and implemented both the front and back ends of this complex graphical web application, mostly jQuery/JavaScript/HTML5 and PHP/PostgreSQL, including highly interactive HTML5 Canvas graphics that work effectively on both PCs and Apple iOS devices. Through expedient use of JavaScript and HTML5 Canvas, the application can achieve better graphics downsampling than the browsers' default.

My role has also included about half of the project management and a good deal of research, as well as reverse-engineering some previously undocumented binary file formats. Further work for BXWA has included stripped-down SaaS version of FastBid for other plan centers, as well as numerous internal tools ranging from administrative dashboards to tools (graphical and otherwise) to import construction drawings from a variety of formats for use in FastBid.

Sound Structural Solutions 🔗, contract
Software Contractor (November 2017-January 2021; still consulting)

Consulting, project management, and hands-on development to bring a database-intensive internal web-based systems to a greater maturity level and to implement new features. Because this is an internal system that encodes their business methods, details of this work are confidential, but as long as you are in no way their competitor, after we sign a mutual non-disclosure I can discuss far more than I can write here.

Prior experience:

Accretive Technology Group in Seattle, Washington.
Software Development Manager (January 2008-February 2009)

Managed an e-commerce intensive, Internet-centric software development group. Combined people management, project/program management, and occasional hands-on tech work to bring a software department successfully out of perpetual "maintenance mode" and evolve it into a group capable of taking on major new projects. Turned a system that was essentially undocumented when I joined into something that new, mid-level hires could understand. Vastly improved specification processes, bug tracking processes, etc. Drove internationalization of company's online products. Led an evolution from focus on individual features to a greater focus on capabilities and configurability.

Contracting/Consulting 2001-2007

From 2001 through 2007 I was contracting and consulting. Major projects included:

Saltmine (1997-2001)
Director of (Software) Development

Managed and advised on software development projects, both web-centric and otherwise; handled client contact with several key clients; cooperated with Business Development personnel in client pitches; estimated and bid projects; hired, supervised and trained technical managers, developers (chiefly C++ developers), software QA personnel, project managers; helped set company and departmental standards in technically-related areas; also served as a development lead directly involved in the specification, design, and development of software, especially three-tier web-centric applications, ISAPI DLLs and GUI-intensive Win32 development.

Major projects included:

While Director of Development, also served as Acting Director of Software QA (Jan-June 2000) and managed the IT department through a management transition (Aug-Sept 2000). Conceived, developed, and conducted a series of training sessions for working developers; topics included advanced C++, internationalization and localization, and (for QA) fundamentals of database modeling and programming.

Orca Medical Systems (1996-1997)
Program Manager

Chief author of database and GUI specifications for a Windows- and SQL Server-based medical records system, later a product of Spacelabs, Inc.

Active Voice Corporation (1991-1996)
Software Architect, Project Lead

Software Architect for ReparteeTM, the flagship product of the world's then-leading manufacturer of PC-based voice mail. This highly multi-tasking voice mail system integrates with third-party e-mail and various proprietary LAN-based applications.

Functioned simultaneously as both Project Manager and Development Lead for Repartee 7.4. Over the course of 18 months, led and motivated my team to successfully deliver what was, at the time, the largest project in the history of the company.

Repartee 7.4 provided an architectural foundation for Active Voice and NEC products into the early 2010s. Among the key features of the project were: merged three separate code bases, each offering significant unique features; converted from 16-bit code and non-preemptive multi-tasking to 32-bit code and preemptive multi-tasking; expanded from 36 to 60 simultaneous voice conversations, while improving performance; added features in support of fault tolerance; improved system configurability; improved modularity of code; allowed on-line backup; improved granularity in the locking scheme to remove limitations on certain operations occurring simultaneously; improved APIs to maximize forward compatibility; allowed analog networking of multiple voice mail systems.

Other achievements at Active Voice:

HealthWare Corporation (1989-1991)
Senior Software Engineer

Portable Cellular Communications (1988-89, contract)

Transformed software specific to a single cellular phone rental company into a production system which formed the basis of Cellular Technical Services, a joint venture with Nynex.

Energy International (1987, contract)

MegaCADD (1983-1988)
Co-founder, Senior Software Engineer

Led team that developed the first effective PC-based three-dimensional modeling tool for architects.

Azurdata (1983 contract; no relation to the present-day company of the same name)

Key member of a team that designed and implemented software for a a pioneering handheld inventory-gathering device.

Telematic Products (1982 contract)

Key member of a team that designed and implemented a fault-tolerant table-driven system to gather telephone billing information and relay this to a central billing computer.


M.S. in Computer Science, University of Washington 🔗 (Seattle, WA 1981). Master's thesis describes my design of the interactive symbolic debugger included as part of DEC's Pascal-36. Other major projects while in graduate school included a LISP interpreter and a preprocessor to translate concurrency specifications into C code to manage semaphores.

B.A. Cum Laude in Mathematics, Wesleyan University 🔗 (Middletown, CT 1977).

Languages (human):

Spanish:Proficient written language skills, moderate-to-strong spoken language skills.
Romanian:Proficient reader, moderate writer, moderate spoken language skills. Have worked professionally in Romania.
German:Moderate written and spoken language skills.
Samples of translations from all of these languages (and several others) available on request.
Also moderate ability to read other Romance languages (e.g. French, Italian, Catalan, Portuguese).

Languages (computer):

SQL:Solid, approaching expert.
C/C++:"Native" but haven't kept up with post-2010 libraries, standards changes, etc.
Java:In a pinch, but it's been a long time.
Pascal, FORTRAN:Expert, but of course not recent.
Also have successfully implemented commercial software in several other computer languages, including PERL and various dialects of BASIC.

Last modified: 23 February 2021

My e-mail address is Normally, I check this at least every 48 hours, more often during the working week.