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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 …

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...

Solving the Resource Conundrum

Solving the Resource ConundrumPicture 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...

Quality – An Aid to Produce Consistent Rubbish

Quality - An Aid to Produce Consistent RubbishAnother 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 Hazards of Legacy Systems

The Hazards of Legacy SystemsBeing 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 At least until it gets superseded and you have to face dealing with a legacy system.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...

How to Test Without Access to The Test Environment

How to Test Without Access to The Test EnvironmentIn 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...

The Technical Workshop – How To Make Them Work For You

The Technical Workshop - How To Make Them Work For YouAnyone experienced in product design will understand just how valuable a facilitated workshop can be. Bringing together a project's key stakeholders into a single space allows for the exploration of diverse...

Developing Software for Safety Related Systems

Developing Software for Safety Related SystemsSoftware 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...

How to Choose an Outsourcing Partner

How to Choose an Outsourcing PartnerHaving recognised a need to outsource, and worked your way through the initial preparations, you are now in a strong position to seek out a suitable partner. Choosing an outsourcing partner is no trivial affair, so taking the time...

Preparing to Outsource: A How to Guide

Preparing to Outsource: A How to GuideSo you have recognised a need for external assistance. You have weighed up all of your options and concluded that outsourcing would be the best course of action. Now you are probably wondering what you need to do in preparation...

The Latest Company News

TIDS Progress Update – Live Platform Testing

TIDS Progress Update - Live Platform TestingSince 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...

Exposed to the Elements: Trespass Identification and Deterrent System (TIDS) is put to the Test

Exposed to the Elements: Trespass Identification and Deterrent System (TIDS) is put to the TestLast 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,...

Improving Rail Safety With Autonomous Trespass Detection

Improving Rail Safety With Autonomous Trespass DetectionNetwork 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...

Tried and Tested: Can Open Source Boost CCTV into the 21st Century?

Tried and Tested: Can Open Source Boost CCTV into the 21st Century?With funding from the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK, Zircon Software Ltd is working to find out whether security surveillance systems and associated analytics can work in a station environment...

Armed Forces Day 2019

Armed Forces Day 2019Armed Forces Day 2019 is rapidly approaching, and Zircon is pleased to announce that we are proud supporters of this years National Event. Hosted in Salisbury and running over the course of three days, 28th to 30th June, it is anticipated that...

End Of Year

End Of YearWith the end of 2018 drawing closer, it is an opportunity to reflect upon all that has happened this year and look forward to what 2019 will bring. This year has been a strong year for Zircon, as we continue to grow both in our customer base and our staff...

Another Year Over – 2017 From The Eyes Of Zircon

Another Year Over - 2017 From The Eyes Of ZirconAs we approach the end of 2017 I would like, as is the tradition for these things, to take a look back over the year at Zircon Software.  This has been my first full year heading the company and one that has proven to be...

Zircon Examines Drag Detection At The PTI

Zircon Examines Drag Detection At The PTI Earlier this month Rome’s metro system was abruptly thrown into the spotlight after a female passenger was dragged along a platform after sensors failed to detect that her bag strap had become trapped in the door of the train....

Zircon HMI Displayed At Connected Vehicle Conference

Zircon HMI Displayed At Connected Vehicle ConferenceLast week our MD, David Owen, attended the connected vehicle conference in Newcastle. During the course of the event Newcastle City Council displayed a video, as can be seen below, of the Gosforth Corridor trial of...

Compass 4D C-ITS Success

Compass 4D C-ITS SuccessZircon is pleased to announce that we have been successful in our bid to assist with the development of an android application as part of Newcastle City Council’s contribution to the Compass 4D project. Compass 4D is an EU funded project that...

Lets Talk Software

If you are looking for a team to support your current software venture and think Zircon can help you ensure project succes, we would love to hear from you.

IR35, Here it Comes Again…

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...

read more
Solving the Resource Conundrum

Solving the Resource Conundrum

Solving the Resource ConundrumPicture 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...

read more
The Hazards of Legacy Systems

The Hazards of Legacy Systems

The Hazards of Legacy SystemsBeing 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...

read more
How to Choose an Outsourcing Partner

How to Choose an Outsourcing Partner

How to Choose an Outsourcing PartnerHaving recognised a need to outsource, and worked your way through the initial preparations, you are now in a strong position to seek out a suitable partner. Choosing an outsourcing partner is no trivial affair, so taking the time...

read more
Preparing to Outsource: A How to Guide

Preparing to Outsource: A How to Guide

Preparing to Outsource: A How to GuideSo you have recognised a need for external assistance. You have weighed up all of your options and concluded that outsourcing would be the best course of action. Now you are probably wondering what you need to do in preparation...

read more
Why do people outsource?

Why do people outsource?

Why do People Outsource?Throughout our years of operation, we have had the opportunity to help many different clients realise the software components of their business goals. As one can imagine, to reach the position that we find ourselves in today, we have had to...

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Portfolio Management: The Final Hurdle

Portfolio Management: The Final Hurdle

Portfolio Management: The Final HurdleThrough our continuous improvement initiatives, we identified aspects of our approach to project management that could be improved upon and took on the challenge of developing and implementing a series of improvements. To meet the...

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What is IR35?

What is IR35?

What is IR35?Two years ago, businesses were frantically fortifying themselves against the introduction of GDPR. In 2021, the private sector will be bracing itself for the latest delayed reform to IR35 with the introduction of new off-payroll working rules. What is...

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Critical Success Factors

Critical Success Factors

Critical Success FactorsAs a general rule, human beings dislike change, preferring the sense of security and comfort that stems from consistency. However, sometimes, change is the best course of action. When we began the process of developing a new approach to project...

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Harnessing the Hybrid

Harnessing the Hybrid

Harnessing the HybridAs outlined in the previous article, having identified several shortcomings in our approach to project management, we sought to develop and implement a series of improvements. With our diverse business environment, we looked into the possibility...

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What is Embedded?

What is Embedded?

What is Embedded?As with most things in the world of software, should you foolishly ask the question 'what is an embedded system?' you will quickly find yourself at the epicentre of quite the heated discussion. In the red corner, you have the bare metal believers,...

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Artificial, Artificial Intelligence

Artificial, Artificial Intelligence

Artificial, Artificial IntelligenceIn the last entry to this Machine Learning blog series, we discussed Supervised Learning and its use of labelled training data to deduce the correct outcome. However, we didn't really point out that, in order to achieve decent levels...

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What Is Machine Learning?

What Is Machine Learning?

What Is Machine Learning?The introduction of Machine Learning has been a critical step forward in the development of Artifical Intelligence (AI) systems. As a result, it has received a lot of attention from researchers, hoping to test its full potential....

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The Other Side of Facial Recognition

The Other Side of Facial Recognition

The Other Side of Facial RecognitionRun the term facial recognition through a search engine, and you will find yourself faced with two different results. Firstly, you get the educational texts and tutorials that introduce you to the concept, inform you of what it...

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51 Months Later … Back in the Life?

51 Months Later … Back in the Life?

51 Months Later ... Back in the Life?Hello, my name is Juan and I am a software engineer at Zircon Software. The title of this post is related to my previous blog post for Zircon (Ten Months in the Life …, available on the company website). As one might expect, a lot...

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Please Take Care to Mind the Skill Gap

Please Take Care to Mind the Skill Gap

Please Take Care to Mind the Skill GapA while back, when Brexit was in its early stages, we posted an article to the Zircon blog questioning how a leave vote could impact those working in the technology industry. During the research for this article, we came across...

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Zircon Cloud Experience

Zircon Cloud Experience

Zircon Cloud ExperienceIf you keep an eye on the Zircon blog, you may have noticed that for the last couple of months there has been a common theme connecting each new article. That theme of course, has been cloud computing. Since the beginning of June, we have heard...

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May We Introduce You to Cloud Computing

May We Introduce You to Cloud Computing

May We Introduce You to Cloud ComputingTo those unfamiliar with the tech world, the idea of the cloud or cloud computing is truly mind boggling. In reality there isn't anything particularly spectacular about the cloud, and in this addition to the Zircon blog we will...

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Armed Forces Day 2019

Armed Forces Day 2019

Armed Forces Day 2019Armed Forces Day 2019 is rapidly approaching, and Zircon is pleased to announce that we are proud supporters of this years National Event. Hosted in Salisbury and running over the course of three days, 28th to 30th June, it is anticipated that...

read more
In the Beginning

In the Beginning

In the BeginningZircon is an up and coming company that, much like the software and technologies that we work with on a daily basis, is continuing to grow and expand with each passing year. However, sometimes in order to keep moving forward, you need to look back. So...

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Why Do We Test Software?

Why Do We Test Software?

Why Do We Test Software?Testing is a crucial part of any software development project, regardless of the industry, preferred methodology or how much you trust your development team. After all we all make mistakes. It is part of what makes us human. When it comes to...

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End Of Year

End Of Year

End Of YearWith the end of 2018 drawing closer, it is an opportunity to reflect upon all that has happened this year and look forward to what 2019 will bring. This year has been a strong year for Zircon, as we continue to grow both in our customer base and our staff...

read more
Do You Know If Your Project Failing?

Do You Know If Your Project Failing?

Do You Know If Your Project Failing?Did you know that a study by IBM found that only 40% of software projects successfully meet schedule, budget or quality targets? Or that a separate study by the Portland Journal found similarly concerning results, with between 65...

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It Doesn’t Have To Be A Man’s World.

It Doesn’t Have To Be A Man’s World.

It Doesn't Have To Be A Man's World.Hi, I’m Leanne and I have been a Software Engineer with Zircon for 6 years. People are often a bit surprised when they ask me what I do, as in such a male-dominated field I suppose I’m a bit of a rarity. I often get asked what made...

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The Art Of The Bodge

The Art Of The Bodge

The Art Of The BodgeA bodge, a kludge, a hack. All essentially the same thing. A quick and dirty solution that can be inefficient, hard to maintain or clumsy. Now I bet you are wondering how you could ever have a good bodge and, though I like the description above, I...

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The Apprentice – Not Fired Yet

The Apprentice – Not Fired Yet

The Apprentice - Not Fired YetArtwork Credit: Erika Zinser (view work on artstation.com)Hi, I’m Dave and I am undertaking a degree apprenticeship here at Zircon. The apprenticeship lasts for around 4 years and upon completion I will obtain a BSc (Hons) in Digital and...

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Railtex In Review

Railtex In Review

Railtex In ReviewLast month the NEC in Birmingham was host to the 13th iteration of Railtex, the largest rail exhibition in the UK, with well over 400 exhibitors from across the globe and from every aspect of the industry in attendance. With such expansive coverage of...

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Avoiding Work – A Trip To Brussels

Avoiding Work – A Trip To Brussels

Avoiding Work - A Trip To BrusselsOne of the most important parts of developing software is figuring out how to best avoid having to actually do work. By that I don’t mean fooling  around on various social media outlets all day; but rather making good use of existing...

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Quality Practices At Zircon

Quality Practices At Zircon

Quality Practices At ZirconIn last month’s article on the effect of speed on quality in Software Development, it was mentioned that Zircon implements a series of activities and practices to maintain a high quality standard on the work we produce, whilst helping to...

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The Perils Of Change

The Perils Of Change

The Perils Of ChangeGreek philosopher Heraclitus once said ‘Change is the only constant’ and that statement continues to ring true today, almost 2000 years later. Continuous improvement is the ongoing effort to achieve best practice and as a result improve a company’s...

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Can Anybody Be A Programmer?

Can Anybody Be A Programmer?

Can Anybody Be A Programmer?In 2014 the BBC announced that they would be supplying around one million year 7 students throughout the UK with micro-computers as a part of their Make it Digital campaign. The aim of this campaign is to inspire a new generation to ‘get...

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Standard[ised] Coding

Standard[ised] Coding

Standard[ised] CodingRecently I was handed a piece of code by a client “for my opinion”. A quick glance at the code and I was horrified! This particular piece of code was destined for a SIL0 subsystem of the safety critical embedded system that we were working on. Had...

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Compass 4D C-ITS Success

Compass 4D C-ITS Success

Compass 4D C-ITS SuccessZircon is pleased to announce that we have been successful in our bid to assist with the development of an android application as part of Newcastle City Council’s contribution to the Compass 4D project. Compass 4D is an EU funded project that...

read more
Welcome To 2016

Welcome To 2016

Welcome To 2016All the members of staff here at Zircon Software would like to take the opportunity to welcome everyone into the new year, and that we hope to see plenty of clients, old and new, throughout 2016. Despite the changing of the years our core business and...

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Ten Months in the Life …

Ten Months in the Life …

Ten Months in the Life ...This month we have a submission from one of our university placement students, Juan, who is coming to the end of his spell with us.  He wanted to take the opportunity to highlight his experiences from his time with Zircon and what it has...

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Railtex 2015

Railtex 2015

Railtex 2015Once again Railtex, the all encompassing showcase for technological innovation across all sectors of the rail supply market, is upon us and again Zircon will be present at the show. This year we’ll again be dusting off our model railway, which is always a...

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The End – and Happily Ever After

The End – and Happily Ever After

The End - and Happily Ever AfterOur series of articles on the different stages a software development project will go through from start to finish is now nearing completion.  In the previous post we discussed the subject of verification and validation, placing these...

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