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…

Writing a Gender-Neutral Job Description for Developers

As our CEO Carl Erickson wrote last week, we’re trying to build a more diverse team, focusing first on gender diversity.

I was asked to look at how we market our job openings and find ways to reach more female candidates. One of the first things I discovered was the idea that job descriptions themselves can be oriented toward one gender and discourage members of another. Read more on Writing a Gender-Neutral Job Description for Developers…

Diversity for Diversity’s Sake? – 9 Reasons We Want to Be Gender Diverse

We’ve been working for several years to improve the gender balance at Atomic Object, largely because we held “diversity is good” to be self-evident.

But the last six to nine months, as we’ve been changing out benefits and practices in pursuit of this goal, I’ve been thinking about why diversity is good. Read more on Diversity for Diversity’s Sake? – 9 Reasons We Want to Be Gender Diverse…

A Model for Leaders of Leaders

Atomic Object is an organization full of wicked-smart innovators. It’s a wonderful group of people, and I feel privileged to be a part of it. But in an organization like AO where we are all leaders, authors, and presenters of one sort or another, how does one lead?

When I look at Mike, Shawn, Darrell, Mary, and Carl, I’m so impressed with the way they collectively captain this ship. It’s no easy task. Sometimes, I think it’s akin to trying to herd a group of cats. We are all smart, independent and have our own goals. Our tendency is to scatter. How do these folks manage to keep us together and moving in any direction at all? Here’s what I’ve discovered through my own observations of leadership at Atomic.
Read more on A Model for Leaders of Leaders…

How Atomic Evaluates New Project Opportunities

At Atomic Object, we are in the fortunate position of having many individuals and companies reach out to us for our software development and design services. However, this high demand sometimes puts our company in a position of choosing which projects to take on out of a field of many great opportunities. Read more on How Atomic Evaluates New Project Opportunities…

8 Characteristics of a Software Developer at Atomic

For most of our history, Atomic has been hesitant to be too specific about the kind of developers we look to hire. Because our work and client base are diverse, we’ve stuck to words like “smart,” “generalist,” and “culture fit”—hoping to cast a wide net and bring in a lot of candidates.

We’re embarking on a big hiring push (well, big for us: 10-12 developers over the next 1.5 years), so I decided to shake things up a little. I’d also read that job descriptions with specific requirements and expectations tend to bring in a more diverse and qualified group of candidates. Read more on 8 Characteristics of a Software Developer at Atomic…

First Contact to Offer – Atomic’s Developer Interview Process

Much like working with our clients to design and build an application, putting together an interview process involves balancing competing constraints. We want plenty of time to get to know candidates, but keep time investment within reasonable bounds for everyone involved. We set up defined tasks and scenarios but also want to leave room for open-ended conversations and work.

Read more on First Contact to Offer – Atomic’s Developer Interview Process…

Clients Aren’t Customers – They’re Teammates

The Detroit Lions have been having a tough year with their kicking game. They are on their third kicker this year, and the season is only half over!  As a Lions fan, I was happy to hear the kicker say this:

“If they send me out there, they’re not sending me out there to just kick the ball. They expect points.”

– Matt Prater, Detroit Lions field goal kicker

I felt that this guy understands it’s the results that matter. (Let’s just forget that he missed his first two fields goals this year.) We want him to go out there and kick the ball, sure. But we also want the result of the kick to get us some points! Read more on Clients Aren’t Customers – They’re Teammates…

Anticipating Your Clients’ Needs

Over the years, I have learned and observed others at Atomic Object anticipating the needs of a client to ensure that, if an issue does arise at a future date, we can react quickly and minimize any complications. Taking the time to anticipate future needs and putting yourself in a position act on them shows that you give a shit and have the client’s best interest in mind.

Here are a few needs I think are important to try and anticipate. Read more on Anticipating Your Clients’ Needs…