TIDS Progress Update – Live Platform Testing

TIDS Progress Update - Live Platform Testing Since the last update back in July, we are pleased to announce that the TIDS hardware has successfully been installed onsite at the first of our trial stations.  For the next 5 months, the TIDS system will remain in place to assess both its accuracy and how effective the audible deterrent is. Currently the system is being run without the audible deterrent element in order to ascertain the accuracy of the trespass detection element. For the duration of the test phase there will be an ongoing [...]

By |October 21st, 2021|Company News|

Exposed to the Elements – Trespass Identification and Deterrant System (TIDS) is Put to the Test

Exposed to the Elements - Trespass Identification and Deterrent System (TIDS) is Put to the Test Back in November last year we announced our participation in an SBRi funding call from Network Rail to produce a system aimed at reducing trespass across the UK rail network. Since then, alongside the continued development of the software element behind the system, we have been busy working on our preparation for the upcoming onsite testing period. Alterations to Hardware Set Up In our original outline the plan was to install a pole to which the different pieces [...]

By |July 16th, 2021|Blog Posts, Company News|

Solving the Resource Conundrum

Solving the Resource Conundrum Picture this. One minute all is fine and dandy, you have access to all the resources you could possibly need, then bam an unexpected challenge arises. Suddenly you find yourself lacking the capacity to meet the new need. What are your options? Typically when companies find themselves facing this conundrum, three possible options are laid out in front of them: 1) They can bolster the number of permanent internal staff Certainly a viable solution where demand has increased and is not expected to diminish again for the foreseeable future. Yet, not so great a solution for [...]

By |December 21st, 2020|Blog Posts|

IR35, Here it comes again …

IR35, Here it comes again ... In 2021 the reform to IR35 Off-Payroll rules is to be rolled out to the private sector. As before the reform will only affect companies that do not meet the following attributes: an annual turnover below £10m fewer than 50 employees or a balance sheet showing less than £5.1m in assets Any company unable to meet these criteria will now be responsible for determining the IR35 status of its workers. This will also include the status of contractors already under contract before the introduction of the reform. Whenever a contractor is deemed [...]

By |December 10th, 2020|Blog Posts|

Improving Rail Safety With Autonomous Trespass Detection

Improving Rail Safety With Autonomous Trespass Detection Network Rail and Innovate UK released the Innovation in Railway platform end and edge technology funding call through the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRi) in December 2019. It is known that trespass on the railway causes a significant disruption to the operation and thus, the general public. Trespass can happen for a variety of reasons, for example, short-cuts, fare evasion, vandalism, suicide and theft. Figures recently published by Network Rail reveal that within the first month of lockdown alone, passenger and freight trains were disrupted 1,024 times which resulted in over 380 [...]

By |November 2nd, 2020|Company News|

Avoiding Repeated Test Behaviour Across Multiple Tests with Test Fixtures

Avoiding Repeated Test Behaviour Across Multiple Tests with Test Fixtures For anyone who has had the pleasure of writing/maintaining tests for code that require the use of external dependencies, you will (hopefully!) have incorporated the use of a mock of a function/object. In gMock, you need to define the behaviour of a mock via the EXPECT_CALL & ON_CALL macros in each test before it is used. When multiple tests rely on the same use of a mock, the common method I see far too frequently is to either, copy-paste the mock's behaviour across each test case that relies it, or [...]

By |September 24th, 2020|Articles|

Quality – An Aid to Produce Consistent Rubbish?

Quality - An Aid to Produce Consistent  Rubbish? Another year has passed, and myself and a colleague have hosted a BSI auditor for our annual ISO9001/TickITplus check-up, and in fact this was more than the regular check, in that it was our 3-year re-certification audit, the biggie! So why do we do it!? Why spend the time, effort and money on it? ‘Because it is what our customers expect’, true, but our processes and procedures go beyond what is required for the standard. The actual reason is simple, it makes us better, and has helped us improve as [...]

By |August 27th, 2020|Blog Posts|

The Hazards of Legacy Systems

The Hazards of Legacy Systems Being the owner of a software system with a dedicated customer base sounds like the kind of position one would like to find themselves in. At least until it gets superseded and you have to face dealing with a legacy system. Many developers have a strong dislike of legacy systems and consider them problematic for a variety of different reasons. Reliance on Antiquated Hardware Software running on antiquated hardware can rapidly become a heavy expense, potentially going so far as to outweigh the cost of replacing both of the software or [...]

By |July 28th, 2020|Articles, Blog Posts|

How to Test Without Access to the Test Environment

How to Test Without Access to the Test Environment In many of our previous articles, we have expressed the importance of achieving a high standard of testing. Potentially blocking this achievement, several factors can come together to affect the quality of your testing, factors that include your test environment. As the virtual office that forms an essential part of any testers working day, a well-built test environment will allow a developer to simulate the conditions that a system will, and could, experience once moved into operation. However, it is not unusual for a developer to be without access to [...]

By |June 30th, 2020|Articles, Blog Posts|

Safe Through and Through: Developing For Safety Related Systems

Safe Through and Through: Developing For Safety Related Systems Software systems should always be both robust and reliable, however the moment you introduce a safety element, this need for reliability increases significantly. The level of safety required is governed by the severity and frequency of the hazards identified. Though safety related systems do not have the full responsibility for hazards such as loss of life that safety critical systems do, a malfunction or failure would pose a significant risk to the people involved i.e. the passengers on a train. Everyone will be aware of software development lifecycles, but there [...]

By |June 24th, 2020|Articles, Blog Posts|