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…
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…
Back in January, we invited Glyph to join our office for six months as part of us supporting the Detroit startup community.
Last week, the Glyph team moved to their own office in Ann Arbor. Mike Vichich, one of the co-founders, showed pictures of their new digs. It was a open floor plan with exposed brick walls — very similar to our office.
Read more on Glyph Moves from Atomic Object Detroit to New Office…
Also posted in Community, Startups
“Nothing extraordinary is ever achieved through ordinary means.” -Scott Belsky
My experience this year at 99U has left me holding on tight to something extraordinary. I can only describe these two days as a perfect dream, a place I want to hold onto and remember as if it were yesterday. As a designer, my senses are fine-tuned to pick up all the details, and from 99U I only expected… perfection. Okay, I knew my sights were set high — but I didn’t anticipate the extent to which they would be surpassed.
Read more on A First Experience at 99U: Through the Lens of a Designer…
The local AIGA chapter hosted another round of Design for Good April 12-14. Design for Good parallels Give Camp in many respects, but from the design community instead of the development community. Dustin and I attended the event this year, lending our services to The Creative Youth Center and the Well House.
I had the privilege of working with the Well House as the project lead. We had a passionate and skilled team ranging from graphic designers to copy writer.
Read more on Design for Good 2013…
Atomic Object will be presenting two talks at the Great Lakes Software Excellence Conference (GLSEC) on April 29.
Time-based Estimates Are For Suckers; Size-based Is The Way To Go – David Crosby
Dave will discuss the benefits of using relative complexity estimation to achieve better results.
Read more on Atomic Object Presenting Twice at GLSEC 2013…
Also posted in News Tagged glsec
On the weekend of March 22-23, a group of educators, their students, and industry professionals came together at Calvin College’s Prince Center for the Michigan Celebration of Women in Computing or MICWIC. Along with my colleague Carl Erickson, I had the privilege of attending this event and getting to know some of the best and brightest new minds studying computing in the state of Michigan. Read more on Atomic Object at the Michigan Celebration of Women in Computing…
On March 27, 2013 Local First held its 5th Annual Sustainable Business Conference. I was invited to speak on a panel about sustainability initiatives in business. My fellow panelists were Marcia Rapp of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Kris Spaulding of Brewery Vivant, and Matt VanSweden of Integrated Architecture. Bill Smith of CompuCraft was our panel’s moderator.
Participating on this panel gave me the chance to share some of the aspects of sustainability that are important to Atomic Object. I gave the audience a sense of Atomic’s strong culture and the sustainable business practices we have adopted since we opened our doors in 2001.
I won’t claim that we’ve flawlessly executed on all of our many sustainable business efforts, but experimentation and improvement trump perfection. And pragmatic beats dogmatic in our complex and dynamic business environment.
Read more on Sustainability at Atomic Object…