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A Culture of Learning

A little over 5 weeks ago, I took on the role of an apprentice at Atomic Object. I was forewarned that I would be learning a ton, and I have certainly done so. From my own exploration and studying in the evenings to the prompting and prodding from co-workers, I can say I have learned far more than I was expecting, and I am only half way through the internship. About half of my learning has been in technical and business operation, the rest has been about how to be a better geek. Atomic Object is a culture full of learning.

Atomic Who?

Atomic Object’s values are: care deeply, share the pain, teach and learn, and own it. Here it’s all about becoming a better geek and team player. Atoms care deeply about all aspects of their work, their clients, and their career. We share the pain, taking on tasks and everyday activities that we might not like in order to benefit the company and clients. Through caring and sharing the pain, Atoms own their work and their relationship with their clients and the community.

The biggest value I have seen in practice every day is “teach and learn.” From day one I have been challenged to grow, to build my knowledge of development languages, development processes, and business practices. Daily there are interruptions in work to help out another team or to ask for help ourselves. The office is full of sketches and drawings on the white boards, illustrating the exchange of ideas and learning between the Atoms. Teaching and learning is an every day part of being an Atom.

Not only do Atoms teach and learn in the office, but also in the community. From the recent local BarCamp GR event to national conferences, Atoms both attend and present. Local events give plenty of opportunity to do both teaching and learning, and plenty of the Atoms are regular attendees. I have yet to attend anything locally, but plan to as soon as I can.

Why it Matters

In my short time here at Atomic Object, I have really seen that this is not just a job to the Atoms I work with, but a way of life. Many of us have side projects, places where we enhance our skill. No, the projects aren’t mandated, but something we naturally do, to learn and build our skill set for the future. Designing and developing are not just the things we do to bring in the paycheck, we do these things because we enjoy learning and harnessing technologies to produce extraordinary work.

From my daily interactions with other Atoms, the team is much more close knit than just a standard work group. From stopping at the local restaurants after work to attending both software and non-software related events, the team thrives off of community. I have really felt at home in this group, sharing passions to build and grow my knowledge and have others there to get help from and to give help as they build their own skills. I am amazed at how awesome Atomic Object is to work at, being able to wake up every morning ready to learn new things, to build quality software for our clients.