Machine learning. Artificial intelligence. Deep learning. Once purely seen as buzzwords, these concepts were eagerly discussed in theoretical conversations and lofty imaginings of what our future may hold. But now we find ourselves firmly in the data age, where artificial intelligence has become a critical tool in processing the staggering amount of information we produce. Machine learning techniques can be used to crunch the numbers and spot patterns where the human brain cannot. Researchers are implementing their latest findings into[...]
As expected, today’s Budget announcement reiterated the commitment to a shake-up of social care funding in England. There are still unanswered questions about the level of additional funding required to implement the proposals. Here we explore the areas which local authorities may need to consider when estimating these costs.
In this article we will be examining the fifth criterion under the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines “Adaptable” guideline. You are likely familiar with the “type” attribute that many input fields support, for example <input type=”text” />. Common types include number, date, checkbox, etc. More niche types include email, tel and password. These are extremely useful, and often cue the browser to offer different behaviour for input. However, those types don’t provide much indication of the purpose of the information. For[...]
ContrOCC Web is our project to migrate the market leading social care finance system ContrOCC from a desktop-installed client application to a modern, browser-based system. Customer first Customer demand sparked this change, and we have kept user and customer requirements at the front of our plans. We are keeping the overall layout of the interface the same as before so that existing users will find it easier to adapt without additional training and support. The objective is to develop a[...]
Earlier this year OCC embarked on the sponsorship of the Fellow for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at the University of Oxford’s Reuben College. To celebrate this OCC Directors and our Fellow, David Clifton, held a series of discussions exploring AI and David’s research.
Dominating the news over the past few days has been the announcement of the long-anticipated reforms to health and social care in England. Naturally, the question of funding has remained central to the debate. Measures have been proposed to raise £36bn over the next 3 years through the introduction of a 1.25% health and social levy, along with an increase in dividend tax. Initially however, this levy will be used to fund the NHS, and then eventually be diverted to social care. OCC’s work is intrinsically linked to that of local authorities in the social care sector. We are watching closely to determine the potential impact of the reforms on social care funding on our products. In this insights article, we explore whether any substantial changes have been introduced since Dilnot’s first reform proposals in 2011 and take a look at the potential challenges.
This time we’ll be looking at the second of the criteria under the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines “Adaptable” guideline: When the sequence in which the content is presented affects its meaning, a correct reading sequence can be programmatically determined. As with our topic last month, the main issue we are trying to avoid here is for a screen to look perfectly fine visually, but to create problems for assistive technologies such as screen readers. This could occur where the visual[...]
We will be continuing our series of insights articles on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines by looking at the first of the criteria under the “Adaptable” guideline: Information, structure, and relationships conveyed through presentation can be programmatically determined, or are available in text The real crux of this one is that we can make a screen of our application look perfectly comprehensible to a user approaching it purely visually, while a user approaching the same screen using a screen reader[...]
What is refactoring? Refactoring is a process of changing an application’s code and its structure without affecting functionality. Its goal is to bring the code up to date with appropriate standards and patterns, making the code simpler, more generic and less repetitive. Well-designed projects can help developers understand and maintain the code more easily, resulting in fewer bugs and faster development. New team members need less time to familiarise themselves with the product and can follow the existing structure with[...]
Before we get onto the tips, if you’re not familiar with why software accessibility is important, have a read of this short blog post from the head of accessibility at the Government Digital Service. “When I talk about accessibility, I’m using it to mean that people are not excluded from using something on the basis of experiencing a disability. Accessibility means that people can do what they need to do in a similar amount of time and effort as someone that does not have a disability. It means that people are empowered, can be independent, and will not be frustrated by something that is poorly designed or implemented.”
Our senior developers at Oxford Computer Consultants have started a series of developer tips based on our decades of experience. The theme of this first set of tips is tools and is aimed at developers early in their careers. Play and experiment Our first tip is to find time to play and experiment. Not only is this fun, but trying new things helps you learn more about your software tools. One of the reasons that children learn faster than adults,[...]
Within our Innovation Delivery (ID) team our UX designers work very closely with our developers to deliver intelligently designed products for our clients in the health, engineering, and science sectors. Our designers need to transfer their ideas or designs of a digital product for development. There are numerous design collaboration tools on the market – at ID we have been using Zeplin and it has made a noticeable difference in improving our teams’ workflows. It has become our single source[...]
This article describes the steps that aspiring developers should take to learn the skills that they will need to become a C# Developer.
A study conducted in 2020 into the effects of Covid-19 on Software Developers’ wellbeing, found that “disaster preparedness, fear related to the pandemic and home office ergonomics all affect(ed) wellbeing or productivity.” As such, this article provides practical tips on how to reduce fear related to the pandemic, improve home office ergonomics and increase productivity.