If I’m doing something right, I enjoy getting validation as soon as I can have it. It feels good, I know my efforts are well-spent, and I can proceed down the path. When I’m screwing up, I want to know even sooner. Who wouldn’t? I need to stop what I’m doing, re-think, seek forgiveness, or try something new. I’m talking about everything from selling and planning projects, to tests and code, to interpersonal activity and personal habits. Feedback is good.
But is it really that simple? Rationally, I know inviting and accepting negative feedback is vital to improvement. But emotionally, I wonder if I really want to hear people saying mean shit about me or my work. No news is good news, right? Denial is a powerful wedge that can keep me in that state: if I can avoid negative feedback, I can tell myself I’m doing ok. This is really tricky to think about. If I can’t trust my own brain to evaluate my behavior, there’s no way to reason about a solution.
Luckily I don’t have to do it alone.
Read more on Thriving on Criticism…
Recently I had my first experience writing Clojure for a real world desktop application. Previous to this experience I had only written a handful of scripts and read a couple of books (Programming Clojure and The Joy of Clojure).
One of the challenges I faced writing Clojure in a complex desktop application versus contrived exercises was the apparent necessity of mutable state. Our application had configuration state that was loaded, updated, and saved. Moreover, certain data in the application could be updated throughout the session and affected a number of areas in it.
Clojure does not strictly prohibit state and it even has easy-to-use programming constructs to support it that are thread safe and even transactional. In the words of Uncle Ben, “with great power comes great responsibility.” It was important for me to reflect on whether mutable state was the right choice. And if it is, what’s the best approach to dealing with mutable state?
Lastly, I found myself speaking in and falling back on imperative programming patterns, and it was yet another challenge to move past it and embrace Clojure properly.
Read more on What I Learned on the Way to Clojure…
It can be stressful joining a new development team. Whether you are a recent college graduate or an established practitioner, you want your new teammates to know you are smart and committed to success.
Unfortunately, the desire to be respected and show our abilities can sometimes work against us. There is a delicate balance between passionate engagement and trying too hard.
Through the past 8 years of working with agile development teams, I’ve observed what has and hasn’t worked well for new members integrating with an existing team. I’ve distilled my observations into 5 tips that I hope you’ll find useful.
Read more on 5 Tips for Success When Joining a New Development Team…
Hiring is never easy, and hiring software developers is a pain. Hiring great developers can feel near impossible at times.
As Atomic searches for more developers and designers, I’ve found that open source software (OSS) can be a great hiring tool. OSS provides tools that many of us use everyday, like Firefox, Vim, Git, Linux, Ruby, Rails, and countless more. It’s a playground of exploration and learning from a large community of developers.
For that reason, OSS and its online presence can be a valuable member of your HR team. The open source community can help you find and learn more about a candidate’s:
Read more on 4 Ways Open Source Can Help You Hire Better Developers…
At one time or another just about every maker here at Atomic Object takes on the role of Team Leader. Usually it is one Atom leading a team of one or more other Atoms, other times one or two of us are working with a team of developers from our client’s company. In either case there are a number of traits commonly exhibited by our, and any effective team leader. Below I’ve detailed four of what I think are the most essential.
Read more on Four Traits of an Effective Team Leader…
You can feel it. It is real. Something bigger than all of us is happening. Do any research and immediately you learn about Detroit’s rapid decline of population and business. Statistics on crime and corruption paint an even worse picture. Drive two blocks and you go from stunning high-rise buildings and large iconic art to graffiti-covered abandoned and burned structures. It appears on its surface to be the lost American dream.
But look closer. Read more on Detroit: The Land of New Opportunity…