Joseph L. Mabel

I am currently working full-time on contract the Builders' Exchange of Washington (BXWA) external link. I expect to be doing this until early 2015, possibly a bit longer. However, if you have a small consulting project I'd be glad to talk & see if I can squeeze it in, and of course I am interested in possibilities for mid-2015 and onward.


Over 25 years in the software development industry, in both technical and management positions and in both contract and permanent positions.

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 C++ and JavaScript/jQuery. Familiar with most major Web technologies. Expertise in internationalization, CAD, web-centric development.

Project 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. 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.


Builders' Exchange of Washington (BXWA) external link, contract
Software Contractor (January 2010-present)

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, to take measurements, share takeoff markup, and make calculations useful 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 has matched it for performance; I've also implemented extensive new members-only features, including realtime data-sharing.

Since October 2012, Fastbid 3 has been BXWA's default system for new users; I continue to add advanced features, which we are slipstreaming into the live site. Customer perception has been very positive, and BXWA memberships are on the rise.

I designed and implemented both the front and back ends of this system, mostly jQuery/JavaScript/HTML5 and PHP/PostgreSQL, including highly interactive HTML5 Canvas graphics that work effectively on both conventional PCs and Apple iOS devices. My role also included about half of the project management, the bulk of the software systems architecture, 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 of FastBid for other plan centers, as well as numerous internal tools ranging from administrative dashboards to tools used in importing construction drawings from a variety of formats for use in FastBid.

Through expedient use of JavaScript and HTML5 Canvas, the applications I've built produce better graphics downsampling than the browsers' default, and this complex graphical web application runs even on iOS devices.

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. Combining people management, project/program management, and occasional hands-on tech work, successfully brought a software department out of perpetual "maintenance mode" and evolved it into a group capable of taking on major new projects. Took a system that was essentially undocumented when I joined, and turned it 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 still in use today. 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 Washingtonexternal link (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 Universityexternal link (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):

PHP:Solid, approaching expert.
Java:In a pinch.
FORTRAN:Expert, but not recent.
Pascal:Expert, but not recent.
Also have successfully implemented commercial software in several other computer languages, including PERL and various dialects of BASIC.
Back to my home page.

Last modified: December 22, 2014