Problems Happen; How Do You Deliver the Bad News to Clients?

We’d like it if things always went smoothly, but in life, they seldom do. This truth holds for custom software projects as well—we struggle with unforeseen bugs, scope creep, a third-party integration that doesn’t work, team velocity lower than expected, projects more complex than originally thought, etc. In these situations, it’s helpful to remember how to deliver bad news effectively, in a way that moves the project forward. Read more on Problems Happen; How Do You Deliver the Bad News to Clients?…

Projecting Total Project Scope in the Face of Uncertainty

Scrum-like Agile project management gives teams many tools for projecting progress and timelines. At Atomic, we diligently track budget and scope, but I’ve seen teams struggle with understanding the full scope of significantly complex projects early enough to make course corrections. Read more on Projecting Total Project Scope in the Face of Uncertainty…

Choosing a Cloud-Based Accounting Platform

I have recently been working on a system re-write project that involves replacing an older, custom accounting system. Naturally, I don’t want to re-invent the wheel: off-the-shelf (OTS) accounting software is cheaper to integrate than custom software and offers far more functionality.

There are so many cloud-based accounting platforms these days that making sense of the landscape can be difficult for a custom software developer. Accounting software is becoming increasingly commoditized as they move to the cloud. In this post, I’ll review the criteria I used to select a cloud-based accounting platform and mention a few that could be good choices for your next project. Read more on Choosing a Cloud-Based Accounting Platform…

Painless Shipping with GitHub Releases

All software developers who create a product need to think about how to deliver that product to their end users. We’re fortunate to live in a time when the internet has made releasing software much simpler. Not only that, but modern source control makes managing multiple releases relatively easy.

In 2013, GitHub announced Releases–an easy way to ship software to end users. In this post, I’ll touch on a few aspects of GitHub Releases that make it a compelling choice for software delivery. Read more on Painless Shipping with GitHub Releases…

Effective Pivotal Tracker: Tips and Tricks

Atomic Object uses a number of agile software management tools across our projects, but when given the choice, we (almost) always recommend Pivotal Tracker.

Pivotal Tracker is more opinionated about the software development process than some other tools on the market, but with that “limitation” comes a set of benefits—specifically its simple, intuitive user interface and turn-key setup. It’s not perfect, but it works well if you accept its limitations. Here are a few tips, tactics, and features I’ve learned working with Pivotal Tracker. Read more on Effective Pivotal Tracker: Tips and Tricks…

Get Better Software Estimates by Combining Different Perspectives

By Diliff (Own work) CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Estimating a custom software project is a difficult necessity that usually occurs before the project kickoff (what we like to call the “point of maximum ignorance”). And getting estimates right can have a significant impact on the overall success of a product. Read more on Get Better Software Estimates by Combining Different Perspectives…

UIStackView Tricks: Proportional Custom UIViews with ‘Fill Proportionally’

In iOS 9, Apple introduced a very handy new UI concept: the UIStackView. Stack views help us quickly compose sequential “stacks” of views without Auto Layout. UIStackView offers a number of distribution and spacing options in Interface Builder. If you’re unfamiliar with UIStackView, I recommend reading “Exploring UIStackView Distribution Types” first.

In this post, I’ll describe how to use the Fill Proportionally option with any custom view while enjoying fine-grained control over the proportions themselves. Read more on UIStackView Tricks: Proportional Custom UIViews with ‘Fill Proportionally’…