Most developers have been beaten down by time-to-market pressures in developing new products, from time-to-time. And some more than others… depending on the culture, maturity, and size of the organizations they operate within.
As time wears on in these tough situations, morale takes a nose-dive and bitching ensues as a way to cope. Digging yourself — and especially the team as a whole — out or these ruts is a difficult undertaking. Deep ruts are almost never caused by a single factor, and as a result, can’t be overcome by a single magic solution, nor in a short period of time. It takes patience, time, and persistence to get the train back on the tracks to allow the team to thrive once again, or maybe even for the first time.
But it can be done. Read more on Getting the Train Back on the Tracks – Turning Complaints into Solutions…
It’s been a couple of months since my previous company, SRT Solutions, was acquired by Atomic Object. I remember how nervous I was when Atomic Object was first mentioned in the office. I really loved working at SRT, and I was having a hard time believing that there was another place where I could be just as happy. After all, I worked with developers who were passionate about development. How many other companies can compete with that? I was about to learn that Atomic Object could.
I remember four of us drove out to Grand Rapids to visit the main Atomic Object office to get a feel if this would potentially be a good fit. When we first walked onto the main floor, I couldn’t help but be impressed by the space. It was warm and open, and it seemed to invite us in. There was a quiet buzz of activity not too different than from that of a busy coffee shop. It just felt like a great place to be. I hadn’t even talked to anyone yet, and I was already drawn to Atomic Object.
Read more on Becoming an Atom: Fears & Reality…
I recently had the opportunity to travel up to the fall career fair at my alma mater, Michigan Technological University, with fellow MTU alum and Atomic developer Jeanette Head. We had a great visit. It was exciting to be back on campus looking for engaged, smart software developers to join our team, and I left seriously impressed by the number of great connections we made.
If you’re wondering how to get my attention at a job fair, or when applying for a position at Atomic Object in general, here are a few hints. Read more on How to Get My Attention at a Job Fair…
Recently I’ve been taking a look at Vijay Kumar’s book 101 Design Methods: A Structured Approach for Driving Innovation in your Organization,” hoping to glean some new ideas and tools to add to my own practice of design.
In the introduction, Kumar underscores the idea that innovation is not just for executives and business stakeholders, or just for practitioners: the most successful innovation comes out of fruitful collaboration between team members whose roles cross traditional organizational boundaries.
“Once an innovation initiative is defined, teams of managers, designers, researchers, marketers, and engineers must figure out how to act on it…Innovation requires a much broader scope of understanding than other business practices. The designers and technologists developing new offerings must not only know how to innovate on a tactical level, they must also comprehend the strategic objectives and wider implications of their work. In the old model of incremental innovation, strategy was conveyed to practitioners in the form of business requirements, objectives, and specifications. Documents clearly outlined the boundaries of the solution…but in the emerging world of leapfrog and disruptive innovation, practitioners must be empowered to question previously held assumptions…and explore unaddressed market needs and opportunities. This requires…a deep understanding of the business strategies behind their work, of where and why the company is trying to innovate in the first place.”
Read more on Exploring a Balanced Approach to Product Development…
I had a long-time programmer tell me: “Once you know a few programming languages, you pretty much know them all. At the end of the day, programming is all just variables, conditionals, loops, and so on.” If you’re nodding your head in agreement, it’s time to seek out more interesting programming paradigms!
Several of my fellow Atoms and I attended Strange Loop 2013 last month. There were a huge number of awesome talks on a wide variety of programming topics, including several that challenged my assumptions about what concepts are really essential in computer programming.
Here are three programming paradigms featured at Strange Loop 2013 and the Emerging Languages Camp that blew my mind. These paradigms aren’t new to computer science, but I found them fascinating, and I hope you will too! Read more on 3 Mind-Blowing Paradigms from Strange Loop…
If you’re reading this, you have probably ended up in a stranglehold of a mountain of seemingly-insurmountable “technical debt” at some point or another in your career. And you are probably also wondering if I have some magic recipe to extricate it from your future?!?
Or maybe you, like me, have, once again, run into the wall of resistance when you want to address a structural mess that’s makes everything you do more time-consuming than it should be. Maybe you inherited it? Maybe you wrote it? Maybe you have been building this house of cards for months — or even years — as you’re pressured into delivering features in less time than you really need to do them justice…
Whatever the backstory is, you’re in a slump, and “un-slumping yourself is not easily done.” (Thanks to Andy Brandt for identifying these categories.) Read more on Poor Structure and the Growing Burden of Tech Debt…
Girl Develop It (GDI) is a not-for-profit organization with chapters around the world, dedicated to providing affordable and accessible instruction and mentorship to women interested in software development.
Upcoming GDI Detroit events at Atomic Object include:
Bringing GDI to Detroit
GDI Detroit was founded and is organized by Erika Carlson, now a software developer at Detroit Labs, and Michelle Srbinovich, Digital Director and current interim co-general manager at WDET radio.
Read more on Atomic Object ❤s Girl Develop It…
I’m pleased to announce that Atomic Object is opening an office in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Unlike when we started our office in Detroit last year, we’re opening our doors in Ann Arbor with a small, but strong and diverse team of developers. Our acquisition of SRT Solutions positions us to be part of the vibrant technology and software ecosystem centered around Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan.
We’re operating out of the former SRT Solutions office at 5th and Washington in the heart of downtown (shown above — yeah, you could probably say we have a thing for old brick buildings…)
Read more on Growing through Acquisition: Atomic Welcomes Former SRT Solutions Employees…
I’ve frequently spent time at Atomic’s Detroit office this summer, and I’m excited by downtown Detroit’s cycling opportunities. So far, my 3 favorite places to ride in downtown Detroit are:
1. The RiverWalk
I’ve been rinding the RiverWalk between 6am-7:30am. During that time period the RiverWalk has light traffic and the early-morning crowd is usually cheerful and friendly. The RiverWalk has been a great place for cruising, warming up, or easy spinning.
Cycling Detroit RiverWalk
Read more on My 3 Favorite Places to Bike in Downtown Detroit…
Also posted in Culture, Reviews Tagged cycling
If you are not sensitive to the different personality types in your company or team, you are probably missing out on significant innovation and growth opportunities.
DISC types overview from ccie31104.wordpress.com
The majority of Atomic employees have taken taken DISC assessments facilitated by Darrell Crawford from The Vantage Group. The DISC assessment maps personality types across the categorical spectrums of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.
I suspect many companies are pushed forward (e.g. reinventing products or services, entering new markets, rethinking current practices) by people high in the Dominance (High-D) and Influence (High-I) categories.
Read more on Are Some Personalities More Innovative?…
Also posted in Culture Tagged innovation