Deborah Roberts: Web Developer @ DAC
What was your HE course?
The course that I did was BSc (Hons) Web Development.
What is your job title and role?
My job title is web developer/technical auditor at the Digital Accessibility Centre (DAC). My role varies to include design and development of small SME websites, Mobile Apps, technical auditing, accessibility testing and reporting on larger websites including clients such as Channel 4, Money Advice Service, HMRC, Lloyds, Santander and many more.
Could you briefly describe the organization you work for?
The organisation I work for deals with the accessibility testing of digital products to WCAG 2.0 standards. We have a team of expert testers that have a range of disabilities and use various Assistive technologies to ensure that these products are accessible and inclusive to all.
Which skills learned at University are helpful to you in your job?
The skills that I learnt at University that I have found help me are web design and development skills, report writing, how to research and meet deadlines and the final project that I undertook relating to accessibility and accessibility guidelines.
Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?
I can be involved in any part or all of the process depending on how many audits are on-going. I could be working with the testers where I analyse code as they find accessibility issues with a website or mobile app in relation to their assistive technologies. I will then find the reason for the problem and offer companies a solution for fixing it.
I will then complete a technical audit and compile a report. This process is then followed up with a conference call with project managers and developers/designers to discuss a way forward for compliance.
I have also been involved in training developers, designers and project managers in creating accessible products, selling the service to clients and presentations.
A colleague and I also developed the Accessibility ‘hub’ for Virgin Media’s website.
What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?
I do enjoy getting out of the office and visiting companies all over the UK and seeing how they work. I have recently been to HMRC offices after being involved in a piece of work for them, along with Channel 4, ITV and Virgin. But the part that I like is the analysing of code, finding the reason why a screen reader for example is not working with the code and finding a way of fixing it. It is also nice to see the fixes that I have suggested being implemented and no longer causing my blind colleagues an issue.
Do you have any advice for students who would like to start a Career?
Yes, work hard and stay focussed, if you’re determined you’ll get there.