“Owning It” Every Step of the Way

Building custom software is costly, complicated, and sometimes emotional. A well-executed project must hew to a fine line to navigate many constraints successfully, threading the needle between cost, timing, purpose, user needs, technical constraints, maintainability, extensibility, and operational considerations.

An idea for a product is just the beginning. To find success, you need a broad view of what’s important, the willingness to proactively go above and beyond, and careful planning. We call this collection of attributes “owning it”—personally investing ourselves in the success of our projects and seeing them through to success. Read more on “Owning It” Every Step of the Way…

Three Great Talks at Next Month’s GLSEC 2016

This year’s Great Lakes Software Excellence Conference (GLSEC) will be held Monday, May 16 at GVSU’s Eberhard Center in downtown Grand Rapids. This year’s theme is The Mobile Movement.

GLSEC brings in fantastic local, regional, national, and international speakers. Image credit : SoftwareGR

GLSEC will have fifteen talks this year, spread across three rooms. I won’t be able to attend all of them, but there are three I’d be especially bummed to miss. Read more on Three Great Talks at Next Month’s GLSEC 2016…

Introducing a 6th Atomic Value: “Think Long-Term”

We’re expanding our company values to include “Think Long-Term.”

Articulating our values is a team effort. Read Carl’s post “Company culture maintenance: Adding a 6th Atomic value” to learn how we got here.

Following through on our values is also a team effort. I wanted to know how Atoms defined “Think Long-Term,” so I asked them. Below are some of their answers. Read more on Introducing a 6th Atomic Value: “Think Long-Term”…

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…

Improving Our Support for New Parents

We recently took a look at some of our benefits to see if there were improvements we could make in support of our efforts to grow Atomic in diversity and numbers. Having a diverse team makes Atomic better and stronger, and we want to grow the number of women we employ while continuing to make Atomic a welcoming and supportive place for all Atoms to thrive.

Coming out of that review, our top priority was to strengthen our overall parental leave policy. Read more on Improving Our Support for New Parents…

GVSU WIC Workshop – Write Your Own Language!

We were thrilled to welcome Grand Valley State University’s Women in Computing Club to Atomic on February 27th for a one-day programming workshop.

We decided to work through writing a simple language and provided participants with an introduction to the challenge, a set of unit tests to guide them through the implementation, and coaches to jump in with suggestions as needed. Oh, and plenty of food and drinks to keep everyone happy and energized through the day. Read more on GVSU WIC Workshop – Write Your Own Language!…

Justin Kulesza on Containerization, the Appeal of Variety, and Building a Reputation as an Expert

Meet Justin Kulesza: generalist, hardcore cross-country skier, and Operations Engineer at Atomic Object. I recently sat down with Justin Kulesza to learn about his job building the invisible infrastructure of a software company. Read more on Justin Kulesza on Containerization, the Appeal of Variety, and Building a Reputation as an Expert…

Toward Fair Pay – Evolving how we Evaluate & Compensate Employees

Fair pay matters a lot. It’s important to our business that we attract and retain top talent, and it’s important to me personally. I care about the Atoms at Atomic; they’re my friends. For them, and for my own personal integrity, I want a fair and consistent value exchange for everyone at Atomic.

We recently modified our compensation evaluation process to a more routine—and hopefully more fair—system (judged by consistency). Read more on Toward Fair Pay – Evolving how we Evaluate & Compensate Employees…

How We Practice Open-Book Management at Atomic

I’ve been part of Atomic for 10+ years, and it’s easy to forget some of the dreadful feelings and experiences I’ve had in other companies where transparency in financial performance was not part of the culture like it is here.

If you’ve had the experience of being kept in the dark on financial performance, have you ever found yourself wondering: Read more on How We Practice Open-Book Management at Atomic…

Avoiding Bias in our Job Interviews with Scripts & Personas

I hate the idea that we might miss hiring an awesome teammate at Atomic Object — especially if we lose the opportunity for a stupid reason like an unintentional bias in our interview process. Several of us recently read Thomas Ptacek’s post about fixing broken developer interviews, which has spurred our efforts to improve our ability to gather consistent, concrete, unbiased information about candidates throughout Atomic’s hiring process.

As a result, we’ve added two things to our toolbox that we believe are helping avoid harmful bias in our interview process: an interview script, and personas. Read more on Avoiding Bias in our Job Interviews with Scripts & Personas…