In a nutshell

Working directly with customers, with no risk and lots of flexibility, Mainwave is a proud pioneer of freelance software services fit for the 21st century.

No agencies, no hassle

I’ve been freelance since 2005 and have never had to rely on agencies to find work. I’ve managed it by direct networking and building great customer relationships that lead to repeat work and glowing recommendations. It’s been very refreshing – a simpler, clearer, better way of working.

No risk

Resourcing a project can be difficult, and the impact of appointing the wrong person with the wrong skills can be catastrophic. That’s why I offer you a risk-free phase, written into our contract, that guarantees you pay nothing if you’re not 100% happy with my work. This means I own the resourcing risk, not you. And I never claim to have skills I don’t, or massage my CV to match the job spec.

Don’t you wish all contractors worked that way?

Super flexible

As I work directly with you, I’m not restricted to the typical 6- or 12-month blocks favoured by agencies. I’m happy committing to you for just a few days or weeks while your project gets off the ground or you’re waiting for long-term budget approval. And when the project takes off, I’ll be happy to extend on an ad-hoc basis to help you see it through to a successful delivery.

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C# and .NET

I’ve designed, built and deployed large-scale, data-driven systems using C#, .NET, SQL Server, Entity Framework, ASP.NET, MVC, Web API and Windows services. I’ve built systems hosted on-premises as well as on Azure and AWS. Most of the systems I’ve built have had a mobile component too, with either a separate mobile-specific user interface or a full set of web services to support native mobile clients.

The major solutions I’ve delivered to date include:

  • Websites, management portals and mobile app APIs for a popular recruitment app
  • All server-side components for a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution for iOS, Android and Windows Phone
  • Back-end services for a major UK utility provider’s website
  • A system powering mobile marketing campaigns, enabling sophisticated customer interaction and CRM features via any mobile phone using SMS, e-mail and mobile web content
  • A workflow management system for the education sector, allowing users from different organisations and sites to manage and track business processes, share and collaboratively edit forms and documents, and manage their users and affiliated organisations

In delivering these and other systems I’ve designed and implemented all of the following:

  • Large relational data schemas
  • SQL Server data access layer using both T-SQL stored procedures and Entity Framework
  • Class libraries and Windows services using C#, .NET and MSMQ
  • JSON and SOAP web services using ASP.NET Web API and WCF
  • Web-based user interfaces using ASP.NET and MVC, complemented with standard open web technologies

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Much of my professional life has centred around mobile software development. I’ve worked on just about everything, from apps through embedded software and operating system components all the way down to device drivers.

Most recently I’ve been working on a diverse range of Android projects. I’ve worked as lead Android developer on a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution, where I also implemented C#/.NET server-side components. Before that I was a lead developer on a team developing a bespoke, touch-driven, full HD user interface and device drivers for an audio mixing console running a custom build of Android. I also developed an Android version of the popular Guardian Eyewitness iPad app which I sold to the Guardian in 2012.

I’ve also worked on more niche platforms, developing a suite of apps (including Reuters News Pro, Sainsbury’s and Audioboo) for Nokia developed in C++ using Qt, and calendar and time-zone OS components for the MeeGo platform.

My mobile work stretches right back to my early days in the industry, when I spent many years writing SymbianOS software in C++ for clients including Nokia, Fujitsu, Motorola, Siemens and Symbian. In 1999 I was part of the UK team working on the Ericsson R380 – the world’s first smartphone.

Finally, I’ve also developed server-based mobile systems that interact with the phone via SMS and mobile web content. For more detail on how those were developed, head over to the C# and .NET section.

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Web apps

I build web apps for desktop, tablets and phones using HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3 and standard reusable frameworks like jQuery and Modernizr. For back-end development I’m particularly experienced in PHP and Perl. Modern open web technologies certainly aren’t just for web sites: they’re an excellent platform for delivering capable, responsive, multi-platform applications with short development times.

My biggest HTML5 project to date is a fully-featured book reader for iPad and Android tablets. Unfortunately it’s a private system so I can’t publish a link, but you can see some screenshots in the gallery.

It boasts all the features you’d expect to find in a book reader: multi-title bookshelf, bookmarking, sticky notes, text highlighting, offline reading and more. It also has features you might only expect to find in a native application, such as localisation and a full multi-touch UI for tablets.

Implementing it involved using lots of new web technologies such as:

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About Mainwave

Photograph of Mark Whitaker Mainwave was founded by Mark Whitaker in 2005 and is based in Manchester, UK.

I have worked in the software industry for over 20 years in a variety of companies and roles. Before founding Mainwave I was Vice President of a software house in Manchester where I managed large projects for major international clients such as Nokia, Disney and Avaya.

I’ve also worked with much smaller companies, right down to one-man bands. I’ve experienced the growing pains that organisations of all sizes go through as they enter new phases of their development.

I’ve worked as a software engineer, technical consultant and project manager. I have designed and written software for all sorts of devices, from phones to servers, and have delivered training courses and conference papers worldwide.

I hold an MSc in Computing Science from Newcastle University, as well as a 1st Class BA (Hons) in German and Management Studies from the University of Leeds and an MLitt in German Studies from Newcastle University.

I founded Mainwave on core principles of quality, honesty and trust. Everything I do is carried out to the highest standards, with the key aim of improving the quality and efficiency of your business. I communicate clearly, from the very first point of contact, so that my dealings with you are always well understood and agreed. My goal is to build trusting, long-term relationships that truly benefit all involved.

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Get in touch


Phone: +44 7920 051795

Twitter: @mainwave

LinkedIn: Mark Whitaker

GitHub: markwhitaker

StackOverflow: Mark Whitaker

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What my clients say

Mark is very strong technically. Mark came up with elegant solutions to complex problems and moved very quickly to ship impactful improvements. He is passionate about clean, easy to read, reliable, well-tested code. Mark brought so much positive energy to the team with his enthusiasm about high quality code.

The design proposals Mark produced were really well structured and covered all possible edge cases. Mark always kept people around the company in the loop about his work, whether it was written communication, or presenting in front of the whole company. In short, he is great at communication.

Hiring Mark is a no-brainer and I believe any team would be happy to have him.

Martin Konicek, Senior Software Developer, Synthace

Mark is able to translate complex business requirements into simple solutions and moreover, explain those solutions to different target audiences effortlessly.

I completely trust in any engineering solution provided by Mark. All his solutions are carefully analysed and always taken into consideration based in all possible pros/cons.

In sum, Mark is must to any development team that deals and wants to solve complex problems.

Orlando Pereira, Scientific Technical Manager, Roche

Mark was brought in as a heavyweight developer with an excellent reputation (which he lived up to). I was impressed by his professionalism, attention to detail, competence and productivity. He was highly effective and had a strong positive influence upon the project.

Louis Mehr, Product Manager, Calrec Audio

We’ve always valued Mark as a safe pair of hands who can take ownership of a task or project and be trusted to deliver it to our complete satisfaction. He has a real attention to detail, understands the full scope of an assignment without missing peripheral issues and spots potential problems well in advance. As a result the work he produces is always of the highest quality.

Jim Carroll, CTO, Mobica

Mark joined a project team at Mando to help us deliver a major upgrade to a large client’s web platform. His work was of an impressively high standard from the start, and his flexibility was a great asset as the project ebbed and flowed. I’d be more than happy to work with Mark again or recommend him to others.

Ian Finch, Managing Director and Founder, Mando

Mark was helpful in mentoring some of our more junior developers, showing them ways in which they can improve their skills. He is good at taking direction and is not afraid to ask pertinent questions. In short, if you are looking for a strong all-round technical lead or lead developer, you do not need to look any further than this man – I would have no hesitation in recommending him.

Mike McQuillan, Technical Director, m-send