Why (and How) Developers Should Care about Design [Video]

Design is essential to software product development, and developers have a crucial role to play in good software design.

Atomic’s path to understanding what design does (and all the various activities covered by that seemingly simple word) began when our company was a few years old. We were turning out great code, and we were predictble with time and budget, but we’d started to notice that:

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The True Cost of Hiring Your Own Developers

I recently caught up with a technology entrepreneur whose startup had succeeded in creating innovative technology. He was justly proud of what they achieved, and he’s now partnered with a much larger company to sell and support their product all over the world. One important thing he learned in their three-year run? Building a software team is not what he’s good at. Read more on The True Cost of Hiring Your Own Developers…

Your Success Is Our Success – On Symbiosis in Professional Services

We’d be lost without our clients. And I don’t mean that in the obvious way that any company needs revenue to survive. I mean it more figuratively, as in: We wouldn’t know where to go, or why to be together, or, really, why to even exist. Our mission is to pursue success for our clients as if it were our own. Our clients provide the goal that our project teams help reach. It’s a wonderful symbiosis.
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Our Visit from Hillary Clinton

Yesterday at about noon, our Grand Rapids office hosted a visit and Q&A with presidential candidate (and former Secretary of State, Senator, and First Lady) Hillary Clinton.

We have a broad spectrum of political affiliations at Atomic, so this may seem like a strange choice. But hosting this visit was not meant as an endorsement or other show of support. Atomic Object does not have a political opinion, nor do we (as a company) donate to political candidates.

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Diversity for Diversity’s Sake? – 9 Reasons We Want to Be Gender Diverse

We’ve been working for several years to improve the gender balance at Atomic Object, largely because we held “diversity is good” to be self-evident.

But the last six to nine months, as we’ve been changing out benefits and practices in pursuit of this goal, I’ve been thinking about why diversity is good. Read more on Diversity for Diversity’s Sake? – 9 Reasons We Want to Be Gender Diverse…

Atomic HQ Plans New Home on Wealthy Street

You know what happens when a company grows? Well, lots of things actually, but the one on my mind for the last year or so is outgrowing our physical space. Our home in Grand Rapids at the corner of Wealthy & Diamond really isn’t big enough for us anymore.

We love the neighborhood we’ve worked in since 2003, and we’ve been a part of the revitalization that’s taken place on Wealthy Street. We’re deeply rooted in this community, and we’d prefer to keep it that way. Read more on Atomic HQ Plans New Home on Wealthy Street…

8 Questions to Ask before You Automate

This post is revised and republished from Carl’s blog at Crain’s Detroit Business.

Innovation is not exclusively about revolutionary new products or services. Extending an existing offering or improving an internal business process can be an important form of innovation, too.

When I talk with business owners about using software to automate an existing business process, the request usually goes something like this: “We have this clunky process to do X which uses an old buggy application (or spreadsheets or email). It drives the people who do the work crazy. We’re growing and really need to automate the whole thing. Can you help?”

Of course, custom software and even automation is not always the answer. Given the cost of software development, jumping into a project too quickly can doom the hoped-for return. I always start with a few crucial questions: Read more on 8 Questions to Ask before You Automate…

2 Under 40

I nominated both of our managing partners in the Grand Rapids office this year for the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” recognition. Atomic has always believed strongly in the power of pairs, and Mike Marsiglia and Shawn Crowley exemplify why that is.

Since 2009 when they left development positions and effectively apprenticed themselves to me, Shawn and Mike have grown significantly in the scope and depth of their responsibilities and made invaluable contributions to Atomic. In January of this year, we officially pulled the trigger on our succession plan, and they took the titles Managing Partner, Grand Rapids, in addition to their Vice President roles, which span our multiple offices. Read more on 2 Under 40…

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Ask Us to Sign your NDA

Nondisclosure agreements are legal contracts that limit one or both parties from disclosing information covered by the NDA. They can be used to protect trade secrets, business plans, customer lists, sources — in short, pretty much any aspect of business. They tend to be short and are readily understandable by non-lawyers.

You may be surprised to find that Atomic Object usually doesn’t sign NDAs at the first stage of a potential relationship. We don’t do this entirely from our self-interest, we just think that you don’t really need one, and you’re better off without one. Read more on 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Ask Us to Sign your NDA…