Latest Software Developments

Every software development undertaken has been developed using the object oriented methodology. This ensures a set of modular classes are developed that can inherit from one another.

Bespoke Project Management System using React and Redux

As apart of one of my contracts, I was tasked with developing a bespoke project management system allowing internal and external clients to view and update the status of a project at any given time.

The system was built using the very latest technologies as of when I wrote this article which were: React, which is an open-source framework built by Facebook for rendering the interface and managing the components, Redux which is another open-source framework for managing the the state of the application and allowing for actions to be distributed throughout the system, Socket.IO – another open-source that creates and manages a persistent connection between a client and server yielding realtime interactions between the user and the system to happen instantly.

Another requirement was that it had to interact with another system (also built by me) for executing an internal process. This was achieved by allowing both systems to talk to each other using APIs.

Furthermore, Bitbucket was used throughout the project so that a log of each iteration of the system was recorded and the repository can be cloned to additional developers when the system expands and lastly, Webpack was used so that resources and assets are compressed and various other scripts executed upon when compiling for live production.

If your looking for a bespoke software solution then feel free to contact me with your requirements by going to this page.

Virtual Concierge for Falcon Hotel in Bude

The Falcon Hotel approached me to develop an interface for a virtual concierge in their reception area.

The system works by updating itself every night from various sources. All of the ‘Bude Activities’ section is retrieved from the Bude Tourist Information website every night. If any pictures are added or removed, these changes will also be updated on the virtual concierge. The same is true of any content modifications.

Any events that are added to The Falcon Hotel website, are also automatically transferred to the Virtual Concierge every night.

If your looking for a bespoke software solution then feel free to contact me with your requirements by going to this page.

Scraping Web Application and Bot using Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing

As an ongoing contract, my role involves developing a bespoke scraping infrastructure and UX that manages a bot, for scraping data across the internet to be analysed.

The system is built using some of the latest frameworks and technologies – Bootstrap, React, Tensorflow and Spacy. When a scrape is started, it initialises and executes a job for the bot. The bot will then scrape the data it needs whilst also performing various jobs such as getting the data ready to be stored in the system.

While its scraping, if any problems occur such as captchas, these will be dealt with automatically by the Bot. It will also log these events and send notifications for debugging purposes.

After the data has been scraped, the bot will then run a number of machine learning algorithms, such as classification and image recognition as well as identifying objects required for analysing. With every iteration the machine gets more intelligent. The machine is supervised in the form of controlling the data that it learns from.

Custom Built Google Chrome Extension for Manual Scraping

Developing automatic website scrapers can sometimes be challenging due to how modern websites are built. Some of these challenges are the continuous layout changes, captchas, bot patterns, paginations, being anonymous, logins and websites that populate new content by continuously scrolling.

I was tasked with developing a Google Chrome Extension that would help with speeding up manual scraping. The biggest benefit of developing a plugin is that the user can load a website as if they are browsing it normally which reduces all the challenges automated scraping is faced with.

The plugin was built in such a way that it allows the user to click anywhere in the page and automatically extract the text. The text is then passed through to a system which is then translated, cleaned and mapped to certain fields in the system. A summary is also visible showing the scraping progress.

Google Extension for Ad Hoc Building / Website Cleaning

To help with the development of  an automatic website scraper, a number of steps can be taken. One of these steps is reducing the noise on the website. Secondly to create an automatic xPath extraction which basically defines the path to a certain element within the website.

I was tasked with developing a Google Extension that automatically removes the noise whilst also automatically calculating the xPaths for all the required fields from within the website. These fields are then passed to a system which then starts the automatic scraping.

Digital Drinks Menu for the Hotel Hotel, Bude, Cornwall

Rupert from the Falcon Hotel approached me to produce a digital interactive drinks menu with the intention of improving the experience for their customers whilst they enjoy a relaxing meal at the Falcon Hotel.

The result is a bespoke system that is clean, clear and easy to navigate, to be viewed on both mobile and tablet devices. These devices will be available to anyone on arrival at the restaurant. I paid close attention to the mobile version of the site, enabling customers to retrieve the information they need as quickly and easily as possible.

The menu can also managed by the staff, allowing prices and drinks to be edited and changed at any given time.

If you’re looking for similar Bude Solutions, whether its a bespoke system to automate your business processes or you are interested in having a similar digital drinks menu created, then please feel free to contact me by visiting my contact page here.

PHP Development: 3rd Party Bookings Integration for VisitBude

I was approached by Tourist Information Centre to integrate a 3rd party bookings system into their existing system, as a part of the website’s revamp, whilst still allowing staff at Bude TIC to continue adding/modifying new pages to the website without interfering with the booking system.

Using the 3rd Party API documentation, I set about creating a bespoke WordPress plugin to interact with the booking data from their system, using PHP as the programming language. This allowed me to develop a page showing which of the accommodations in the system were available to book, for both online and telephone/offline bookings. After a booking has been selected, the data is then passed back up to their system with the parameters  arrival date, departure date and many others for them to process the booking. All this is done seamlessly between Bude TIC and the 3rd Party company. I then created a bespoke availability calendar using the data from the 3rd Party system to make it easier for the pupil when searching for a booking.

The main issue with this project was understanding how WordPress would retrieve its data from the 3rd party system when viewing an individual accommodation. The solution involved mapping accommodation entities in the 3rd party system, to the accommodations posts created in WordPress. This in turn allows accommodations to be created in the booking system, enabling staff at Bude TIC to link it to an accommodation post within WordPress.

Whilst developing the plugin, I made sure all programming standards and practices as set out by WordPress were used. This ensures any future updates to the core of WordPress does not affect the website.

For all your cornwall software development needs, get in touch by telephone or drop me a line to start discussing.

Working with Dean has been an integral part of the re-design, branding and continuous marketing of Bude and developments to the VisitBude website.  He is consistently able to take our brief and work his magic in creating a strong, impactful result that has seen positive feedback from locals and visitors to the area. We continue to work with Dean on numerous projects and value his input when required.
Mark - Director, Bude Area Tourist Board Ltd.

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Dean is a personable individual that gets on well with those around him. He is focused and dedicated to producing his very best at all times. His work is second to none and I can’t recommend him highly enough. He’ll transfer your business in no time at all. He has shown that he can turn ideas into reality and I recommend him to anybody – he will not let you down!

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