• How to make information, structure and relationships accessible

    Luke Canvin

    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[...]

  • When and how to refactor your code

    Katarzyna Abratkiewicz

    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[...]

  • Accessibility Insights: Providing Alternatives to Non-text Content

    Luke Canvin

    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.”

  • Developer Tips: Tools for Developers

    Tim Palmer

    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,[...]

  • Better Design-Developer Handover with Zeplin

    Isis Bakhshov

    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[...]

  • Factors Affecting Code Performance

    Neil Bevis

    “Premature optimisation is the root of all evil”. Whilst that famous quote from Donald Knuth has some truth it, thinking about performance early on when designing and writing code can be a very good thing too. This article explores this and gives practical tips and advice that Software Engineers could use when writing software, that might yield better performance benefits with less effort.

  • Oxford Computer Consultants’ ContrOCC solution now available in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace

    Nick Warner

    OXFORD, UK — 7th January 2021 — Oxford Computer Consultants (OCC)—a supplier of tailored social care, healthcare, and education software solutions to local authorities—today announced the availability of ContrOCC in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, an online store that provides applications and services for use on Microsoft Azure. OCC customers can now take advantage of the scalability, high availability, and security of Azure, with streamlined deployment and management.

  • Traceable Project Development With Azure DevOps

    Tim Palmer

    Companies within the Health and Research sectors often operate in regulatory environments with additional auditing obligations to meet. This includes with regards to traceability within their custom software tools (including item history, item tracking, issue tracking). As such, OCC use Microsoft Azure DevOps tool chain for software development. This article explores what Azure DevOps is and why you should be using it.

  • Digital Accessibility: How To Ensure You Are Getting It Right

    Marisa Bhagwandin

    "The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone, regardless of disability, is an essential aspect." (Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and Inventor of The World Wide Web) Digital Accessibility is about ensuring that content produced is accessible to all. This is not just a moral and legal requirement but is also good business. This article delves into the benefits of paying close attention to digital accessibility, includes information on automated accessibility testing tools and manual testing methods and an interactive exercise.

  • Optimisations and pitfalls in Entity Framework

    William Frankish

    There are plenty of reasons to choose Entity Framework as your database ORM (object-relational mapping) over something like Dapper that exposes SQL directly. But if you don’t know what EF is doing under the hood, it is dangerously easy to write innocuous looking code with abysmal performance. This article show you how to get optimal performance from your queries and how to avoid the worst pitfalls.