Three Ways to Cross-Examine Your Assumptions

Building software is hard. We struggle with asynchronous operations, distributed systems, and concurrency. When we are trying to figure out how to solve a given problem, we take an approach that is guided by a set of assumptions. These assumptions are critical tidbits of info that help blaze our trail toward making our plans a reality…

Until they don’t…’cause sometimes, they won’t. Sometimes, they guide us down the wrong path due to a flawed assumption along the way.
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Losing Focus? Recharge by Giving Your Brain a Break

The phrase “work smart, not hard” has been uttered for years, but too many people fail to heed that advice. There is a lot of scientific evidence that taking regular breaks from our work allows our brains to refresh, forcing us to step away from the grind and re-evaluate the big picture. Oddly enough, taking breaks can lead to increased productivity while spending less time actually working.
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Dysfunctional Team? It Could Be an Empathy Problem

Over the years of working on many different projects with many different people, I’ve noticed that the biggest problems seem to arise from a lack of a shared understanding. To overcome these hurdles and become more productive, we need to gain empathy for each other and the challenges we face. Read more on Dysfunctional Team? It Could Be an Empathy Problem…

Diagrams as Software Documentation – When a Picture Says it Best

Software documentation is all too frequently overlooked or becomes irrelevant, lost in the inevitable wave of change. Accurate documentation requires not only thought and execution, but maintenance, as reality changes.

One form of documentation that is too frequently overlooked is a diagram. Read more on Diagrams as Software Documentation – When a Picture Says it Best…

Just Point Your Defects Already!

We have been using agile workflows on our teams at Atomic since we were founded back in 2001. User stories have always required points, although there has long been a debate about whether or not a team should point defects. Usually, pointing defects is harshly discouraged, yet the argument has come up time and time again. Read more on Just Point Your Defects Already!…

Respecting the Value of Face Time

The way we interact and work with others has changed drastically over the past few decades. Email, chat, and teleconferencing have bridged huge gaps of geography and facilitated us to work across boundaries.

This flexibility has allowed individuals to work from home so they can tend a sick child or deal with other real-life complications. Work/life balance is tough, but these advances in technology have helped bridge the gap. While all of today’s communication options come in handy, there’s still real value in face-to-face communication. In this post, I’ll suggest when in-person meetings are helpful and offer some tips about how to conduct them.
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