Software makers, like surfers, need to be ready for unexpected problems. We need to “surf with our knees bent,” using a stance that takes the unexpected into account. Here are four ways you should adjust your stance to avoid being thrown into the water… metaphorically.
Atomic Object was founded by a computer science professor, and during the company’s earlier stages, it only employed developers. That legacy is still felt today in the tooling we use to run the business. Case in point: We use a code repository tool—Subversion (SVN)—to securely store, manage revisions, and control access to some business documents. […]
I suspect almost everyone reading this blog has taken notes before, especially in a classroom setting. As my career has progressed from college student to professional developer and finally to a managing partner, I’ve also found that note taking is useful while developing software. In fact, note taking is a transferable skill—one of those abilities […]
The “Hopes and Fears” Design Thinking exercise is a great way to foster discussion around our client’s worries and hopes about the project, especially early on in the process. For a recent project, I was researching ways to get more actionable output from the exercise. I found a fantastic blog post from Innovator Ltd on […]
Software is never done—there are always more features and functions you could add. So how much should you budget for a custom software project? Some companies keep throwing money at the project without any budget at all. But they can miss out on early client feedback and end up wasting money on the wrong things.
Conferences are for learning. But if you go with colleagues, they can also be a great way to build relationships and learn from each other. I’d call this a “group conference”—when three people who know each other attend a conference and plan to spend time together while they’re there. I was thinking about this a […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
Last week I attended the 5th annual 2017 Digital PM Summit with three co-workers, all of whom are Atomic Object Delivery Leads. The Summit made me reflect on the role of a project manager and the challenges that go along with it.