The Atomic Accelerator is Powering Up!

Roughly six months ago, we announced that Atomic would be launching an Accelerator program in 2016. I’m very excited that after much planning and preparation, the members of our first Accelerator cohort will be arriving shortly, and we’ll be kicking things off!

Our Accelerator Participants

We have four graduates joining our Accelerator program in Grand Rapids this year:

  • Daniel Kelch is on a plane to Iceland today after finishing his Computer Science and Mathematics degrees at GVSU.
  • Rachael Miller studied Computer Science at the University of Michigan and has spent several summers interning with Microsoft.
  • Andrew Peterson is wrapping up his Computer Science degree from Calvin and has interned with Atomic, Vibration Research, and CQL.
  • Alex Zurek is graduating with a degree in Computer Science from Grand Valley State University and has recently completed an internship with Spectrum Health.

Alex, Andy, and Dan were also all contestants in our 2015 Atomic Games.

A photo of all Atomic Object employees standing by a lake.

Onboarding Updates

It’s rare that we have so many new Atoms join an office at one time. We’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to revisit our onboarding process and try some new ideas. Some changes that we’re experimenting with this year are:

  • We’ve invited our new Accelerator Atoms to all our social events for the last several months, including our 2016 Atomic Con. We’re hoping that this makes the first day and week a little easier for each of them as they’re coming in knowing a lot of names and faces. They’ve also seen me embarrass myself singing karaoke horribly at Atomic Con, so that should take the edge off a little.
  • Our CEO Carl Erickson is taking the whole group for a road trip this summer so our new Atoms can learn about our culture, vision, and values directly from our founder. I’m very jealous of this opportunity, and we’re encouraging our Accelerator members to take advantage of the time to ask big questions. Getting to know senior leadership is often the last step folks take before truly feeling settled in a new company, and we’d like them to get a jump on this step.
  • We’ve traditionally provided folks with a great deal of information on their first day. We’re choosing to slow down the schedule this time around, focusing on key information to get our new hires socially connected and comfortable with the operational details needed to get through the first weeks. We’ll leave the rest for follow-up meetings. We’re also providing each Atom, prior to their arrival, with a detailed schedule for their first week. We want folks coming in feeling comfortable that they know the agenda and are prepared for it.
  • We’re creating a tailored bootcamp for each new Atom. We’ve had them fill out a survey detailing their experience with a number of the platforms we use most commonly. We’ve used this information to match them to the projects that fit best. During their first day, we’ll introduce them to their project team, give an overview of the project tools and languages, and put together a plan to bridge the gaps between what they know and what their project requires. We’ll be time-boxing this of course–we want these folks to join their teams as soon as possible–but we want to give each Atom some time to learn the vocabulary and concepts needed to follow along during those first weeks on the project team.

I’m really excited about seeing this program coming to life. We’re very much looking forward to having our new Atoms joining the team, and we hope it’s a wonderful and rewarding summer for everyone.