Don Barthel - Professional CV

749 West 63rd Avenue
Vancouver BC V6P 2H1

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I'm the past part owner of two successful startups and numerous failed ones. During my 22 years in the technology industry my focus has been primarily developing computer applications and websites but I also have some experience with marketing. I've worked in and managed small teams my whole professional career. I'm accustomed to working in an agile fashion that leverages technologies to "stand on the shoulders of giants".


I really enjoy building things. In my personal life I work with my hands: woodworking, crafting, DIY projects. In my professional life I am a software developer that seeks out opportunities to learn new coding concepts, to craft code, and to build systems by assembling pre-built components in creative ways. Perfection is often not my goal; I find that creating the best system with limited resources can be intellectually rewarding.

Even though the early part of my career was Microsoft centric, I'm now a disciple of Open Source. I've spent the past 12 years building web sites and marketing them. I have a very solid understanding of server side technologies (Linux, HTTP protocol, caching) but have concentrated lately on client side programming (Javascript and its frameworks).

I work with virtualization (VirtualBox, VMWare, and a little with Amazon Web Services), Linux on the server, Windows and Mac and Linux on the client, I can author HTML, write and debug CSS on Firefox (Firebug) and Chrome and Safari and even IE, code in Javascript and PHP and Python, design schemas in MySQL and Postgres, and even have some artistic sense drawing elements in vector and bitmap editors. Two areas that I want and need to pick up on are automated testing and continuous integration.

I have experience managing people, especially technical people. My style is not to "crack the whip" but to engage my reports as team members. I prefer my team members to be self motivated so I don't have to spend too much time checking their work. I like to delegate and bring the best out in people. I don't rigidly follow any particular development methodology nor any single management doctrine. Instead I prefer to borrow practical ideas and apply them in common sense ways.

I'm opinionated but allow that differences of opinion come from different professional and life experiences. I like to leverage the experience of others and learn from them. I'm not afraid to admit that I am wrong, my ego will allow it, but have the confidence to believe that I am often right.


HTML, CSS, Javascript
PHP, Python, C, some Java
MySQL, Postgres, SQL query writing
  Also NoSQL, notably Firebase
Numerous frameworks (PHP: Laravel,
  CakePHP, Zend; Javascript: ExtJS, JQuery)
HTTP, caching strategies
Managing small teams
Giving presentations
(Guerilla) Marketing
Business negotiations
Having a design sense

New: Functional Programming (Ramda) and Functional Reactive Programming (Bacon.js)






Sep 2014 - Present, Founder @ is a Single Page App implementing a hockey scoreboard that allows a scorekeeper (or two, etc., in collaboration) to operate a virtual scoreboard for hundreds of viewers to watch.

The app is completely client side except for the database (Firebase). The server only serves static files (some HTML, CSS, and lots of Javascript) to the client browser. This makes scaling automatic: an increase in users brings their own compute capacity, leveraging the client without needing additional server capacity.

Except there are tasks that should only be done on the server. So I've recently added a node.js component that listens to a queue waiting to performs these tasks:

  1. Downloads images from other sites (team logos) to serve from
  2. Makes screenshots of the scoreboards of completed games using the headless browser PhantomJS.
  3. Forwards emails to the site's owner from the Contact Us form.

This node.js app has no UI, operates completely in the background, and so isn't directly exposed on the Internet.

Oct 2013 - June 2014, Chief Technology Officer @ ethicalDeal

Maintained the 'daily deal' system and prototyped the database and framework for the new 'social sampling' system.

Jan 2013 - Jul 2013, Chief Technology Officer @ Saxum Commerce

Managed the development team for Saxum Commerce, an "Ecosystem Management Platform" which powers the marketplace for a software vendor's entire value chain.

Oct 2003 - Oct 2010, President and Systems Manager @ (

Co-developed as President and grew the business then acquired a 100% stake in the business. Sold the company to Black Press in June 2007 and then managed the technology group of

Sep 1999 - Sep 2001, Associate Vice President @ ACCPAC International (now Sage)

Managed the Options Group (add-in products acquired with Softline Systems Inc.)

Oct 1993 - Sep 1999, Vice President @ Softline Systems Inc.

Directly managed the development of software products. Also actively involved with business direction and marketing.

Feb 1991 - Oct 1993, Owner @ Keela Computer Consulting

Software Programmer then owner.

Jan 1990 - Feb 1991, Software Programmer @ Crystal Services (now Business Objects/SAP)

Software Programmer on ACCPAC Plus Purchase Orders system.

Nov 1983 - Aug 1987, Sales Associate @ Eatons Department Store

Part time during high school and early university.



Sep 1985 - Jan 1990, BSc Computer Science @ Simon Fraser University

Areas of concentration: databases, computer graphics, electronics, physics, economics

References - available on request

John Goossen (my former business partner at Softline Systems Inc.)

Janet Fraser (my co-director at, the Marpole neighbourhood group in Vancouver BC)

Sarah Wu (friend, former business partner, former employee I hired at

Michael Wilkinson (I hired as a software programmer at

Chandana Wanigasooriya (technical colleague at Saxum Commerce - Australia)

Kathleen Friesen (parent of player on the amateur female hockey team that I managed)

Adriane Carr (Vancouver City Councillor, I helped on her election campaign and with affairs at the Green Party of Vancouver)