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…
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…
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 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?…
Posted in Culture Tagged innovation
Software development keeps me constantly on my toes. I am always learning and growing my knowledge about languages, techniques, and extensions. Sometimes it can be downright exhausting. Google, Stack Overflow, Wikipedia, Forums, and blogs are always on my reading list. Seeing that I can keep up with the ever changing technology environment, I started applying similar techniques to my life as well.
Money usage and time usage are key areas to focus on when iterating on personal optimization. These are a few questions I use to start figuring out what areas of life can be optimized:
- Where do I spend a majority of my time and money?
- Are these things worth the investment?
- What can I do to optimize the spending in those areas?
Read more on Constant Personal Optimization…
As we humans share our lives with other humans, it’s unavoidable. We will occasionally hit those times (not too often, hopefully) when we mess up in some way, big or small, and we need to make it right with someone.
When we do insult, inconvenience, or otherwise hurt someone, the best path forward is to sincerely apologize — respond directly to the person we hurt, addressing the unique situation with empathy.
Making the Right Apology
Different mistakes call for different apologies. The apology for an unintended insult clearly needs to be expressed differently than the apology for causing a fender bender in traffic.
Read more on The Structure of a Real Apology…
A few months back, I had the chance to go to Sweden as part of a craftsman exchange Atomic does with the Swedish firm Citerus. For one week I was able to join a team in the middle of a pre-existing project. Outside of the daily work on the project, I was able to see Stockholm and experience another culture heavily influenced by media from the United States.
Immediately after returning home, I was unsure what I learned from the whole experience and was a little disappointed. But thinking back a few months later, the experience reinforced many things I already knew and taught me a few new aspects of life and software development in another country.
Read more on Pair Programming Abroad…
The “T-shaped person” has long been held up as a holy grail in the software industry. Supposedly, it is the thing you ought to be striving for as a person and the people you ought to be hiring.
I’ve always disagreed.
I think that, especially within a small team or an innovation services firm like Atomic Object, the ideal candidate looks more like a broken comb. (Many thanks to Jared Spool for introducing this term in his talk Is there a T in Team?” at the 2012 Balanced Team meetup in Chicago.)
Why I’m a Broken Comb
Here’s what being a Broken Comb person means to me:
Read more on Of Software Designers & Broken Combs…
I’ve been working at Atomic for just over three years. In that time, I’ve learned a lot about designing great custom software. But I’ve also learned about working with people.
I work with some good, caring people. Atomic’s 5 value mantras pave the way for a work environment in which people are able to make great software in a sustainable and suitable way. But I wanted to point out some of the “intangibles” that come with working in a great environment.
The values that matter to me, or anyone, in a work environment aren’t always easy to identify. But they’re important. They make up the stuff that keep us doing our jobs well. They give us a foundation. These values matter. These values are human. Read more on Three Values that Matter to Me in a Work Environment…