Atomic’s Curriculum for Teaching Young Developers about Design

Created for recent Computer Science grads, Atomic’s Accelerator program is designed to supplement their development training and get them up-to-speed fast on higher-level consulting practices and skills. Participants in Atomic’s Accelerator Program make a commitment to study on top of their 40-hour work week, and they receive significant coaching and training in project management, team leadership, and handling customer relationships.

In recent weeks, I’ve had the fun and energizing opportunity to lead the design-focused portion of our Accelerator curriculum. Members of Cell Zero have been doing three to four hours of reading homework on design topics each week, complemented by two-hour discussions in which we unpack and distill our learnings.
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Teaching and Learning with Atomic Roundtables

Recently, Atomic Object Grand Rapids created a new lunchtime practice that we call Roundtables. The concept is (intentionally) simple. Roundtables happen on the first and third Thursday of each month in our café space. We keep a sign-up sheet on the side of our refrigerator. Anybody is welcome to sign up to host on a topic of their choosing. 
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One Simple Question to Improve Your Visual Design Skills

“Why?”

This is the question you need to be asking yourself.

Good interface design is a series of carefully thought-through decisions that were made with the user in mind. This is true throughout the entire design process: from the initial idea through defining requirements, sketching and wireframing, interaction design, and on into the visual design phase.


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Technology and Computer Science Resources for Kids in West Michigan

Photo Credit: The Midwest Tech Project

 

Earlier this month, I represented Atomic Object as part of a panel at The Second Annual Power Up Technology Fair put on by The Midwest Tech Project and held at Baxter Community Center. There, I spoke with parents who had variations of the same question: How can I expose my son or daughter to the opportunities afforded by a career in technology?
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Some Design Up Front: Why ‘Sprint Zero’ is Not Enough

Over the past several years, agile software teams have recognized the necessity of welcoming designers into their ranks. At the same time, organizations throughout the industry have struggled with and offered different perspectives on the “best way” for designers and developers to work together on agile teams. Read more on Some Design Up Front: Why ‘Sprint Zero’ is Not Enough…

The Delivery Lead: A New Type of Maker

Atomic is adding a new type of maker called the Delivery Lead to our lineup. Recently, we’ve recognized ways to enhance the experience of our clients and teams and build better software in the process. The Delivery Lead position is the result of more than a year’s worth of experimentation in this area. As one of the first to hold that position at Atomic Object, I’d like to introduce the Delivery Lead role and share the context for how we got here.
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Your Design Review will Succeed or Fail in the First 5 Minutes

It’s the moment that every designer both loves and dreads: the design review with your customer or stakeholder.

Whether you realized it or not when you set out to become a designer (I’m guessing “not”—I’ll admit that I didn’t), effective communication and presentation are core parts of a designer’s job—and these skills set the excellent designers apart from the rest. Read more on Your Design Review will Succeed or Fail in the First 5 Minutes…

Product Review: Sense Sleep Tracker by Hello

I love sleep. I also love data. Recently, I was in the process of doing some competitive analysis for the design of some upcoming sleep tracking features in our customer Neurometrix’s Quell mobile app, and I came across Hello’s Sense sleep tracker. I was intrigued. This is my Sense sleep tracker review after using for almost four months.

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Using Project Design Principles to Set Priorities & Stay on Track

Giving and receiving design feedback in the product development process is difficult—so difficult that there are whole books written on the topic. Most software stakeholders don’t approach the software development process with an innate knowledge of how to effectively critique a design, and many designers do a poor job of teaching them how to do this at the beginning of a relationship. Read more on Using Project Design Principles to Set Priorities & Stay on Track…