About

Data-Designs.co.uk and Data-Designs.com were set up to allow me to sell my software online.  I have been writing and developing software since the mid-1980s.  In 1988 I got a job as a college lecturer teaching computing and general IT.  Since then I have developed a number of software packages, mainly based around Microsoft Access and Visual Basic.   I have designed various pieces of software designed for general use and have, occasionally, actually made money out of it.


BTEC Tracking Database

My specialist area has always been databases and in 2003 I was asked to assist a colleague who was responsible for the BTEC National Diploma. This qualification had come back in as our primary level 3 vocational qualification and my colleague had decided that a spreadsheet was not enough to handle the new ND.  Although teaching databases herself she was having trouble with the design and asked me to help her with it.  With my experience as a database designer, several years working on BTEC programmes and having already designed a tracking system for GNVQs as a team leader on that vocational programme, I was in a prime position to help to develop an effective system.  I went away over the Spring half-term holiday and came back with the core of a system based in MS Access.  By Easter that year we were successfully tracking student progress and as the year finished we were able to offer a clear and accurate picture to students and staff of final results.

Since starting work on the BTEC Tracking System it has undergone many changes and revisions (although the core is the same as it was in Spring 2003), is widely recognised by my colleagues and students to be both easy to use and invaluable in tracking progess.  It now tracks all variations on the new 2007 syllabus (NA, NC and NC)  and also works with the First Diploma.  I took over as programme coordinator of the ND in 2006 and, although having less time to spend on development work, continue to maintain and update it.  A big advantage as a developer is that I use the package myself as a teacher and programme coordinator,  bugs are tracked down and useful new bits whenever I, or colleagues, think a tweek is necessary.

The BTEC Tracking Database is used on other BTEC programmes within the college and has been trialled by others outside the college.  By offering it outside the college I am offering other course teams the ease and power of a professional program to track their student's progress.  At the same time, as I rapidly reach retirement from full-time teaching, I look to the future, continuing to develop tools for the teaching community and anyone else who wants powerful, interactive, small-scale data handling systems designed.

Any Other Offers

As I gain more time to develop software again I look forward to designing systems for people both within the teaching community and outside it.  In my early years before full-time teaching took over, I designed a range of system from simple membership type databases to business import tracking systems.  If you have a system that needs designing contact me and I will let you know if it is possible.  See my products page for more information.

And Finally

My degree and masters were in history and have always been interested in this subject.  You might find it strange to see a Historical Links page on a database design site, but why not.  You will find bits of my family history and other random links there. Have fun!
I also am quite handy and have done lots of little jobs for people, if you want to do more goto my Will Do It site.