Creating Psychological Safety Leads to Happy Teams

Have you ever loved being part of a team? It’s a great feeling. Often, it doesn’t even matter what you’re working on as a group. Everyone shows up to work with enthusiasm, and all members support one another. The feeling of being on the team makes you excited to go to work every day. You could be digging ditches in the rain, but as long as you get to do it with that team, it’s going to be a positive, inspiring experience. Read more on Creating Psychological Safety Leads to Happy Teams…

Questions to Ask Your First Prospective Tech Employer

Working in technology today is a great place to be. The question isn’t really if you’ll get a job as you leave school, but rather which one you’ll take. New grads have a lot of power in the marketplace. I would encourage you to wield that power wisely as you weigh the first move in your career.

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The Pros & Cons of 5 Different Development Career Paths

In my last post about tech careers, Begin Your Career with the End in Mind, I encouraged you to think about what you want from your time on the planet. I also challenged you to think about your career as a tool to get you to your final destination.

As you launch out from a degree in computer science or a related field, there are five different directions you could go. I’m going to take a critical look at each of these, hopefully helping you understand the options available and decide which types of jobs will help you live your best life. Read more on The Pros & Cons of 5 Different Development Career Paths…

Why Software Rewrites Often Fail – and How “User Goals” Can Fix Them

Over the last few years, Atomic Object has gotten more and more inquiries from companies who want to replace old custom software. These programs are often written in antiquated languages that few of today’s developers know. And most are dramatically below today’s standards for how software should look and act.

Unfortunately, it’s become clear that replacing an old system is often much more expensive than developing a completely new custom software product. Read more on Why Software Rewrites Often Fail – and How “User Goals” Can Fix Them…

A Tale of Two Approaches to Innovation – IxD vs. Proto/Test

“So you can’t go out and ask people, you know, ‘What’s the next big thing?’ There’s a great quote by Henry Ford, right? He said, ‘If I’d have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me ‘A faster horse.’” – Steve Jobs, 2008

This quote from Steve Jobs was very much on my mind this summer when Alan Cooper sent out a series of tweets about differences between interaction design (IxD) and the prototype/test/learn (proto/test) approach to product development.
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Coding Bootcamps Have a Fundamental Problem

One of the aspects of my role at Atomic Object involves hiring new employees. Throughout this process, I’ve come in contact with a lot of graduates from coding bootcamps across the United States. To date, none of these graduates have been a good fit for Atomic. This fact has led me to start formulating a theory: Coding bootcamps might have a fundamental problem. Read more on Coding Bootcamps Have a Fundamental Problem…

“Most Advanced, Yet Acceptable” Software Design

Ever had a refreshing ice-cold Mexican Coca-Cola in that sweet glass bottle? The bottle just looks and feels right. Now close your eyes. Imagine the Shell Oil logo. It became so iconic that the company dropped its name from the displays at their filling stations. What about the fuselage of Air Force One? It pops instantly into mind, right? Anyone who has ever been to Johnson Space Center in Houston will also remember the interiors of Skylab and the Apollo moon mission capsules. All these objects are the work of one man: Raymond Loewy. Read more on “Most Advanced, Yet Acceptable” Software Design…

Why and How to Discuss Design with Developers

In Art & Design School, design critique can be brutal. It’s often focused on judging whether or not work is “good” or “bad.” Reviews of work can be scathing, leaving art and design students running from the studio in tears.

Many professors say that critique is part of preparing students for work in a real world where creative directors possess brutal egos focused on crushing their underlings. I’m not sure that world is anything but a delusion. I’m also skeptical that this form of critique does anything but leave students scarred with bad memories, hesitant to throw themselves into collaborative environments.
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