Delphi
Services
 
Profile
  Starting his IT career as a Systems Programmer at the IBM UK headquarters in Portsmouth in 1983, Neil Moffatt has gained a breadth of experience in mainframe and PC software design, development and usage, including :

  • Assembly language programming (mainframe and PC)
  • SQL database programming (mainframe and PC)
  • PL/1, Rexx programming (mainframe)
  • C, Java, Delphi programming (PC)
  • HTML, Java, PHP, ASP, MySQL web programming
In particular, Neil specialises in software usability*, an often neglected aspect of software construction.

Neil can call on a number of associates also experienced in the IT industry.

If you are interested in any of the services below, please :

Contact Neil

Programming consultancy
  The Delphi Basics web site was written partly to address the limitations of the Help system that ships with Delphi. Since it provides just a grounding in Delphi, many users seek help on more advanced aspects.

Neil provides limited free programming support to these users of the site. More involved consultancy can also be provided on favourable commercial terms.

Software design
  The traditional devlopment process involves some or all of the following :
  • Requirements gathering #
  • User role/task anaylsis #
  • External design #
  • Internal design
  • Coding
  • Testing
  • Documentation #
  • Packaging
  • Post release maintenance
Neil can provide usability consultancy support for the # marked stages. By being external to your organisation, Neil can provide an independence that is more likely to be sympathetic with user requirements.

Software code, test and document
  As a commercial developer, Neil provides programing services for small and medium sized businesses.

The work starts with one or more visits to the customer site to gather requirements and interview users. The application requirements and design are documented and agreed by both parties before code/test proceeds.

User acceptance tests are then performed on the software in a number of review/change cycles.

Subsequent to acceptance, optional support/maintenance can be provided.

Portfolio
  In the past few years, Neil has been involved in the following :

Montagu Nurses

Design, code and test of a booking system for the Montagu Nurses agency in London, England. The application is used all day by the computer-shy booking agents, requiring fine tuning of usability.

Written in Delphi, communicating with an SQL Server database.

Further development work on other applications is ongoing.

SPC UK

Delphi consultancy initially provided to SPC UK, a rubber compound manufacturer in Yorkshire, England.

This is planned to lead to a full suite of Delphi based applications to automate their complete production and administration operation, starting September 2003.

Avexxis

Delphi consultancy to Avexxis, an American multi-channel software developer.

They are embarking on an extension to their existing application to use a Delphi thin client front end. Ongoing.

Homeopathy web site

Designed and coded a web site for Miranda Parsons, a homeopath based in Cardiff, Wales.

This single page web site was designed to visually correspond to her hand out booklet.

Physiotherapists web site

Designed and coded a replacement web site for City Physio physiotherapists, based in London, England.

The remit was to keep things simple, and easy to use. Ongoing content support is performed on this site.

'Go' web site

As secretary of the Cardiff Go Club (Go is an Oriental board game), Neil designed and coded this site using ASP and MySQL.

The site provides dynamic information such as event dates and game records.

Delphi project

This is a background task that Neil has undertaken as a continuance of the Delphi Basics concept.

Now that the site is established (about 5,000 hits per day), it is clear that there are enough programmers out there that would really rather that Borland bring their help system up to date.

Taking this as a premise, Neil has developed a prototype replacement for the help system that overcomes the major limitations of the existing system.

Neil plans to take this, and a collation of Delphi usability improvements (see Borland Delphi user wishlist) as a presentation to the Borland Corporation. Users wishing to contribute to this should contact Neil.


*Software usability
  In business, software should be seen as a tool that enables a user to achieve things. All too often, software design is instead focussed on technology - the coder's viewpoint - at the expense of users.

Usable software works with a frame of reference centred around user roles and tasks.

Designing an application that will delight your users will often take longer. This is the harsh reality of user centred design, but the long term benefits are huge.

For further reading on this matter, see Usability books.

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