Ancient Stoic Wisdom for Writing Better Software

My time at a software company has shown me how much focus there is on the new: new smartphone and laptop models, new revs, new development boards, new languages, and so on. But what about the old? I’m talking really old, like “two millennia before the Unix-Epoch” old.

The Stoic philosophers Zeno of Citium, Epictetus, and Seneca spoke at length about logic, control, and truth–all terms we discuss as programmers, but with very different meanings and applications. Still, Stoic works have lasted for thousands of years. What lessons do the ancient Greeks have for an industry with an obsession for the newest, latest thing?
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Amazon Lambda Auto-Deployment For Your Alexa Skill Using AWS CLI

My latest project includes integration with Amazon’s Alexa voice service. My coworker Jordan already wrote an excellent post on how to get started writing your own Alexa Custom Skill. Amazon’s API makes it relatively easy to develop a new Skill, and with a number of languages to choose from (Python, Node.js, Java, C#, etc), developers can create a simple Skill in a weekend.

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Using Power Select to Create Interactive, User-Editable Drop-Downs

Ember Power Select is an easy-to-use, flexible and powerful component that I recently used to tackle some challenging front-end feature designs. My current project is a web portal where users can view and filter reports based on a large combination of different criteria. A recent project feature allows users to create filter combinations, save them, delete them, and name (and rename) them….all within a single dropdown. Read more on Using Power Select to Create Interactive, User-Editable Drop-Downs…

Eight Atom Editor Packages for Easier Web Development

I’ve never been one to customize my editor much: With a background in embedded systems, I wrote most of my (C) code in Notepad++. But part of agile development is embracing change. As I learned web development over the past year, I’ve started changing my editor to fit my workflow better.
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Introducing ENIAC Six: Atomic’s Room Named for the Women who Programmed the ENIAC

The various meeting spaces in Atomic’s new building will be named after designers and developers we value for their contributions to their fields, and to our history as a company. As renovation on our building continued, we realized we had an additional room to name. Atomic’s last meeting room is named after the little-known group of women who programmed the ENIAC—the world’s first all-digital, Turing-complete, general-purpose computer. Read more on Introducing ENIAC Six: Atomic’s Room Named for the Women who Programmed the ENIAC…

Authentication and Authorization: OpenID vs OAuth2 vs SAML

My current project at AO has provided a lot of opportunity to learn about web security and what’s going on when you click that ubiquitous “Sign in with Google/Facebook” button. As both a computer developer and an end user, I want applications that are secure without being too difficult to use.

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Career Lessons from an Electronics Lab

I recently had the privilege of being a lab instructor at GVSU for one of my favorite undergrad classes, “Intro to Digital Systems.”  Watching students go through the class that I took a few years back has been an interesting learning experience for me, and hopefully my students have learned a few things, as well. Read more on Career Lessons from an Electronics Lab…

How Pair Lunches Encourage Diversity & Bring Atoms Together

Atomic Object offers some great benefits to its employees, but my favorite is pair lunch. The rules of pair lunch are simple: Any two Atoms can go out for lunch, and AO will cover the bill. Pair as often as you’d like, as long as you don’t lunch with the same person twice in one month. Read more on How Pair Lunches Encourage Diversity & Bring Atoms Together…

8 Software Conferences to Check Out in 2016

One of the great things about working for Atomic Object is how strongly we value professional development. While software conferences are a significant expense for Atomic, they’re also incredibly valuable to us: no one wants to hire a has-been consultant, so it’s important to stay sharp and up-to-date. One way we accomplish this is by sending makers to conferences each year.

As a recent hire at Atomic, I wasn’t sure which conference to attend, so I asked my fellow Atoms for their suggestions. Here’s a list of eight 2016 conferences that could help you deepen your expertise in one area or learn about something completely new.
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