Why I Organized and Ran a Conference

I helped organize and run the recent Balanced Team 2015 Summit. Before the event, you certainly could have asked me, “Why did you decide to organize this conference?” and I would have given you an answer. But not the answer I have now, right after reading the initial feedback. Read more on Why I Organized and Ran a Conference…

Fighting Log Entropy – 4 Simple Rules

Screenshot / Merijn Vogel / CC BY 2.0

While certainly not the most elegant of debugging techniques, logging to a console is sometimes the most effective technique, and in many cases it’s your only lifeline. During development, sometimes a simple “I am here” print statement can be a life saver.

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CodeRunner: A Generalist’s Swiss Army Knife


Working as a maker at Atomic Object means being a generalist. Generalists must be able to quickly move between projects, languages, and tech stacks. We are expected to quickly pick up new languages and technologies–drawing from our expertise in the technologies that we already know well.

One tool I’ve found useful in picking up new technologies (or just trying things out) is CodeRunner. CodeRunner bills itself as a “code editor for Mac.” It’s an editor that’s preconfigured to build/run code in a variety of languages. In this blog post I will describe some of its features and cover how I’ve used it in my work. Read more on CodeRunner: A Generalist’s Swiss Army Knife…

expect()ing the Unexpected

Our tests were crashing. They ran fine individually, but when run as a group, certain tests sometimes failed with a spectacular memory access error.

After experimenting with skipping some of the tests, I was able to narrow it down to tests that ran immediately after some database calls. (This was a mobile project for iOS, and we were using Realm.)

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Setting Up a Raspberry Pi without a Monitor or Keyboard

There are a lot of how-to’s online describing ways to set up a Raspberry Pi without a monitor or keyboard, but none of them are simple or straightforward. This will be.

I’m going to walk through how to do this on a Mac, but something like this should also work on Windows using internet connection sharing and the Event Viewer. Read more on Setting Up a Raspberry Pi without a Monitor or Keyboard…

Measuring Work – Email Sent and Received

I’m often curious about where my time goes during the work day. When I’m not working on a project or doing some specific tasks, a lot of my time seems to be spent reading or responding to email. The most hectic days for me often seem to be early in the week—Mondays or Tuesdays. I decided to measure how much email that I send and receive each day of the week to see if it correlated to my perceived levels of busyness. I wasn’t really sure if there would be anything actionable from measuring work in this way, but figured it would be an interested thing to have perspective on. Read more on Measuring Work – Email Sent and Received…

8 Characteristics of a Software Developer at Atomic

For most of our history, Atomic has been hesitant to be too specific about the kind of developers we look to hire. Because our work and client base are diverse, we’ve stuck to words like “smart,” “generalist,” and “culture fit”—hoping to cast a wide net and bring in a lot of candidates.

We’re embarking on a big hiring push (well, big for us: 10-12 developers over the next 1.5 years), so I decided to shake things up a little. I’d also read that job descriptions with specific requirements and expectations tend to bring in a more diverse and qualified group of candidates. Read more on 8 Characteristics of a Software Developer at Atomic…

Focus-Handling Methods for Qt Quick StackViews

On my current project, we’re building the GUI in Qt 5. It’s (mostly) open-source, has some really intriguing platform support, and Qt Quick 2 has a fairly advanced model for both keyboard focus and transitioning focus between widgets just with the keyboard.

When I started work on a spike to prove out some ideas I had about using a Qt Quick StackView to structure the navigation of our app, I still managed to run into some problems with transitioning focus between widgets. Read on for my solution. Read more on Focus-Handling Methods for Qt Quick StackViews…

Fighting Project Decision Fatigue with Policy

When it comes to matters of policy, our goal at Atomic has always been to provide “just enough” to avoid unexpected conflicts or confusion. We rely strongly on personal responsibility, transparency, and our self-organizing nature to bring order and direction to our projects and internal company workings.

Atoms enjoy the freedom this brings—we share the burden of learning and making things work the way they should without being bound by miles of policy red tape. We have to live out our “Own It” value mantra.

However, there is a potential cost for this freedom: decision fatigue. Read more on Fighting Project Decision Fatigue with Policy…

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