Ashley Rolfmore

Ashley Rolfmore | Oxford Computer Consultants

In 2004 as an end user I single handedly took offline an operational back office system of a mobile phone retailer. 14 years later I am a software product manager. I fight for the end users and customers for a flagship back office product in social care that has over 50% of the market in England. I use evidence and research to prioritise empathy and shared understanding, so I can make helpful products with great user experience.

Back to 2004. I pressed the F-key which was labelled as “list vendors”. This was a poignant lesson in the usual quality of back office software systems. They are often flaky, with poor performance, and poor usability leading to a terrible user experience. I wanted to change that.

I kept learning, and asking questions in basic retail and administrative roles, and this pushed me toward change management and configuration of back office systems.

Six years ago I moved into system transformation in social care for Oxford Computer Consultants, helping a large number of local authorities implement a configurable software product for social care finance. But it wasn’t enough to configure and ensure the data was good quality and was aligned to the business process. After talking to my customers and users on various projects, I wanted to make the software better for them.

That meant understanding our customers in a different way to before, and delivering our software differently. Moving toward an Agile delivery methodology, collecting more frequent customer feedback, introducing user personas to create empathy for our customer and user goals with the sales, marketing, development and support teams.

It also meant guerrilla tactics to encourage diverse talent to stay at Oxford Computer Consultants – founding the tampon club (http://www.tampon.club) there, or informally mentoring new staff to ensure they had someone else to talk to, or giving formal and informal kudos to management for colleagues who have been providing an excellent contribution but aren’t natural self-promotors, or discouraging non-inclusive language and behaviours.

I also want to contribute to the software community as well, so I have recently started volunteer at codebar.io to encourage more diverse talent to be involved in software.


Beverley Newing

Beverley Newing | Oxford Computer Consultants

Beverley Newing

Over the space of a year, Beverley has gone from English and German graduate to Front End Developer at Oxford Computer Consultants. She realised her passion for this when she started out 2016 working as a Programmes Associate at Code First: Girls, working in a team of three to organise, set up and manage events and courses for a community of 4,000+ women across the UK.

From there, she went on to accept a Web Development placement at Zooniverse, the world’s largest citizen science platform, based at the University of Oxford, where she developed her tech skills, before accepting a second internship at Oxford Computer Consultants where she furthered her learning. She now sits in their diverse Front End team as a developer, and proactively brings in skills she picks up externally into her day job, with workshops and passion.

Alongside this career change, Beverley has volunteered extensively to help others get into tech, too. She founded the Oxford chapter of codebar, and now co-organises it with three others. As a team, they organise monthly coding workshops for underrepresented groups to start to learn to code with local developer volunteers. It is a very beneficial addition to the local tech community. She also volunteers on the Oxford Code First: Girls courses, to help teach young women how to build their own websites from scratch. She was invited to and ran a HTML/CSS workshop for teenagers at the Oxford Greenlight 4 Girls day this year, did a talk on diversity at a large local meetup and is always tirelessly thinking of the next way to diversify the Oxford tech community.

For just over 3 years until September 2016, she also volunteered extensively with Three Rings CIC, a volunteer-run organisation that provides volunteer management software for around 350 volunteering organisations in the UK and further afield, including many branches of the Samaritans. Three Rings CIC absolutely revolutionises how these organisations work.