• A week of work experience

    Isabel Li

    Hi, I’m Isabel. I’ve always wanted to get into coding and hoped to start at Codebar, Oxford, but was too young. However, through my contact with Codebar I met one of the organisers, Beverley Newing, who’s part of the front-end development team at OCC. Beverley was really helpful and after lots of emails, involving her sending me a lot of resources, and me thanking her a lot, she kindly offered me work experience at OCC. Day 1 I was introduced[...]

  • Technical Chapter 12

    Mike Buckle

    The OCC Innovation Delivery teams – Fusion, Trilobites, Puffin and the OCC UX Design Studio – hold regular Technical Chapter meetings to help advance cross-team knowledge sharing. The meetings cover a wide range of topics, usually around technologies used in on-going project work, but also on tools and techniques that benefit the development process. Docker Compose [Fusion]​​ Compose is a tool for defining and running multi-container Docker applications. Operando has lots of modules, each one being a Docker container and[...]

  • Technical Chapter 10

    Mike Buckle

    OCC Innovation Delivery hold fortnightly Technical Chapter meetings to help advance cross-team knowledge sharing. The meetings cover a wide range of topics, usually around technologies used in on-going project work, but also on tools and techniques that benefit the development process. IIS ​ARR (Application Request Routing)​​ Greg told us about his experience with ARR. This IIS component is required when you want to forward requests to another machine on a port that isn’t port 80. One of the settings is[...]

  • Software at the heart of the matter

    Sally Croft

    Pharmaceutical companies spend millions developing new drugs but around half of all candidates never make it to market because they are discovered to have an adverse effect on the human heart. The most common problem is arrhythmia – abnormal beating – which can occasionally prove fatal, so pharmaceutical regulators demand strict testing standards and clinical trials before new medicines are released. Even then, a significant number of drugs are subsequently withdrawn because of previously undetected side effects. Researchers at the[...]

  • Modelling the reality of business

    Sally Croft

    In 2003, a software engineer named Eric Evans, who had spent many years guiding large businesses through the process of building software, published a groundbreaking software design book in which he introduced an approach he called domain-driven design. The idea was the result of thinking about what actually led to success in his business projects: fruitful interactions with the client, analysis of the business problems being solved, building teams which thoroughly understood both the business and the software, and the[...]

  • Every step of the way

    Sally Croft

    Much of today’s most innovative software is created by academics, pushing the boundaries of computer simulation to explore, for example, ever more detailed models of scientific and medical phenomena. Often during this academic journey, potential commercial applications become apparent. Helping a client meet the many and varied challenges of commercialisation is a key role for OCC’s Innovation Delivery Team. ‘The process of commercialising research software is very broad,’ says Dr Reynold Greenlaw, Director of the Innovation Delivery Team. ‘Some research[...]

  • #upfront Oxford

    Beverley Newing

    On Friday the 24th, we sponsored the #upfront workshop in Oxford, which was widely attended by OCC staff. This was a public, evening workshop for helping people build up their confidence and work on their public speaking skills, through a variety of fun and engaging exercises. #upfront run a series of confidence workshops, with the aim of encouraging and elevating new voices on and off public stages. #upfront’s vision is to make the stages around the world more diverse and[...]

  • Molly Watt on Accessibility

    Matthew Standage

    Last month Molly Watt gave a talk at UX Oxford ( ‘Is your window open to all?’ ) on accessibility and inclusive, mostly in digital environments on the web. .@MollyWattTalks starting her talk on accessibility at #uxoxford pic.twitter.com/ptHcumdFHl — UX Oxford (@UXOxford) January 12, 2017 Molly Watt is an inclusive technology evangelist and accessibility and usability consultant. She is also the co-founder of the Molly Watt trust, a charity raising awareness of Usher Syndrome. Molly has spoken at a number[...]

  • Introducing our front end intern

    Beverley Newing

    At the start of January, I joined Oxford Computer Consultants as a Front End Intern. I’ll be here for another 5 months in the UX Design Studio, building up my Front End skills. Read on for more about me, what I’m doing, and my first impressions of what it’s like to work here… My Background I graduated with a degree in English and German Literature in 2015, but I’ve been slowly transitioning into tech since then. I worked in admin for[...]

  • Government Digital Outcomes Specialist

    Mike Buckle

    OCC are pleased to have been selected as a supplier to the Digital Outcomes and Specialists 2 services on the Government’s Digital Marketplace. This new accreditation complements OCC’s existing registration as a G-Cloud supplier. As a Digital Outcomes supplier to the Government: OCC project teams can work on technical architecture and develop prototype systems for Government agencies and the NHS, provide specialists on digital applications and supply user research studios to facilitate end user usability testing of existing and new[...]

  • Helpful accessibility tools

    Matthew Standage

    We use a number of tools to help us design products that meet accessibility standards. These are some of the tools we use to quickly test our software for conformance against common accessibility problems. Colour Contrast Analyser The colour contrast analyser from The Paciello Group helps designers determine the contrast of text and other visual elements. This allows us to determine the legibility of these elements, provides a pass/fail assessment against WCAG 2.0 colour contrast criteria and also simulates several[...]

  • Generating documents with user editable templates

    Chris Henry

    OCC’s product development team is currently working on new web-based components to extend our existing ContrOCC product to provide specialist corporate finance functionality tailored to local authority requirements. Each new component is being written from the ground up, and we are taking the opportunity to review our technology choices even where we have some prior experience. A particular area of interest is document generation. Although our products are based on core financial, contract management, and case management features, each of[...]

  • Low carbon network innovation conference

    Mike Buckle

    We exhibited at the Low Carbon Network Innovation conference (LCNI) again this year. LCNI brings together distribution network operators, National Grid and energy industry suppliers to network and present the innovative ways they are responding to current challenges in the energy industry. As the industry reduces its reliance on carbon-based energy sources – which are concentrated, predictable and controllable – in favour of more distributed and variable green alternatives, the challenge is to maintain electricity and gas supplies and respond[...]

  • Improving our products by meeting users’ and customers’ needs

    Mariana Morris

    At OCC we are always looking at ways to improve our social care products to meet our customers’ and users’ needs. As part of the design process, we run a series of sessions with stakeholders* and users**. Each type of session has different objectives which are described below. Stakeholders interviews The aim of stakeholder interviews is to understand the business and features requirements. We aim to get a complete perspective on the requirements, so we talk to representative stakeholders. These are one-to-one[...]