I am a Researcher and Educator interested in a range of topics in Computing Education, Software Engineering, and Accessibility. Check out my Projects for more details.
I am one of the Principal Investigators (PI) at the Human-Centered Future Computing lab at BITS Pilani, KK Birla Goa Campus.
Start here if you want to work with me.
Ph.D. in Computer Science & Engineering
The Ohio State University
M.Tech. in Computer Science & Engineering
IIT Bombay, India
B.E. in Computer Engineering
NITK Surathkal, India
Two of our papers are accepted for the ICSE'24 conference’s Software Engineering Education and Training Track, to be held in Lisbon, Portugal in April, 2024. The International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) is a CORE A* conference, a flagship conference in software engineering.
A UserWay study in 2021 indicates that an annual global e-commerce revenue loss of approximately $16 billion can be attributed to inaccessible websites and applications. According to the 2023 WebAIM study, only 3.7% of the world’s top one million website homepages are fully accessible. This shows that many software developers use poor coding practices that don’t adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). This research centers on software professionals and their role in addressing accessibility. This work seeks to understand (a) who within the software development community actively practices accessibility, (b) when and how accessibility is considered in the software development lifecycle, (c) the various challenges encountered in building accessible software, and (d) the resources required by software professionals to enhance product accessibility. Our survey of 269 software professionals from India sheds light on the pressing need for accessibility education within the software industry. A substantial majority (69.9%, N=269) of respondents express the need for training materials, workshops, and bootcamps to enhance their accessibility skills. We present a list of actionable recommendations that can be implemented within the industry to promote accessibility awareness and skills. We also open source our raw data for further research, encouraging continued exploration in this domain.
Despite recent initiatives aimed at improving accessibility, the field of digital accessibility remains markedly behind contemporary advancements in the software industry as a large number of real world software and web applications continue to fall short of accessibility requirements. A persisting skills deficit within the existing technology workforce has been an enduring impediment, hindering organizations from delivering truly accessible software products. This, in turn, elevates the risk of isolating and excluding a substantial portion of potential users. In this paper, we report lessons learned from a training program for teaching digital accessibility using the Communities of Practice (CoP) framework to industry professionals. We recruited 66 participants from a large multi-national software company and assigned them to two groups: one participating in a CoP and the other using self-paced learning. We report experiences from designing the training program, conducting the actual training, and assessing the efficiency of the two approaches. Based on these findings, we provide recommendations for practitioners in Learning and Development teams and educators in designing accessibility courses for industry professionals.
A continually existing skills gap in the technology industry’s workforce prevents many organizations from creating truly accessible products and services according to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards, increasing their risk of alienating and excluding a significant portion of users. Software professionals’ low accessibility skills are largely attributed to the lack of coverage of accessibility topics in the Computer Science (CS) curriculum. While prior literature explores some active-learning pedagogies like project-based learning and delves into incorporating accessibility topics in the CS curricula, game-based learning to teach accessibility has not been explored enough. This study aims to develop and assess the effectiveness of a serious game to teach accessibility to computing students and software professionals.