Building Your Network After Relocating

There’s no doubt that relocating can be both stressful and exciting. I recently moved from Philadelphia to Ann Arbor to join Atomic Object as a Delivery Lead. I was attracted by Atomic’s strong values and long-term approach to software development as well as the concept of this blog.

Although I was excited to join Atomic, I was nervous about leaving my native Philadelphia. As I planned my move, I worried that I’d lose some of the benefits of a broad network—strong mentors, sponsors, and easy access to feedback and advice from a diverse group. Read more on Building Your Network After Relocating…

Two Resources for Introducing Young Developers to Testing and Quality

At Atomic, we’re doing a great job of taking on and training up new grads to be excellent developers through our Accelerator program. I recently gave a talk to introduce them to some testing concepts and quality attributes that they should be thinking about in their work. Read more on Two Resources for Introducing Young Developers to Testing and Quality…

The Mental Stages of Programming

The other evening, I was figuring out how to implement something on a personal project. While I was working, I was also texting my thoughts to my significant other. In the span of roughly 30 minutes, I sent him a series of messages that demonstrated my mental stages of working through a programming problem in a humorous (and possibly dramatic) fashion, and I wanted to share them here.
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Three Tips for a Positive, Effective Team from Casey Watts

I recently heard the excellent talk “A Neurobiologist’s Guide to Mind Manipulation” by Casey Watts at EmberConf. Part of the talk focused on techniques for keeping a positive attitude, so no one shuts down or shies away from discussion during the project.

Basically, having positive, active teammates leads to a more effective team. Here are a few of the tips I took away from this talk.
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How to Balance Multiple Projects without Losing Your Sanity

Working in a consultancy can often mean juggling multiple projects and media at once. This work style certainly keeps me from ever getting bored, but if not managed properly, it can also cause some unwanted stress.

However, if I plan my days well, they can be perfectly curated to keep me focused and get the job(s) done. Here are my tips for creating that balance. Read more on How to Balance Multiple Projects without Losing Your Sanity…

Emotional Intelligence, Part 4 – Improving Your Self-Awareness

This is the fourth and last post in a series on the excellent book Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Drs. Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves. The book segments emotional intelligence into four areas: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

The authors identify four areas of emotional intelligence. Image credit : Dillan.

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Stay Sharp by Standing While You Work

Many of us here at Atomic take advantage of height-adjustable workstations, or “standing desks.” Some of the claims made in support of standing desks may be difficult to detect (burns calories!) or require time to verify (lowers obesity risk!), so I won’t reference any of those in this post. What I do have is first-hand experience. Read more on Stay Sharp by Standing While You Work…

Four Lessons Learned while Troubleshooting CAN Bus Communication with my Subaru

I recently started a fun personal project involving two of my favorite things: cars and software. Modern cars come with plenty of software on board, controlling everything from engine behavior and stability to door locks and entertainment. The software already running on my Subaru does plenty of interesting things, but I’d really like to see more live information from its engine control unit (ECU). So I’ve taken the only logical next step: building a digital gauge. Read more on Four Lessons Learned while Troubleshooting CAN Bus Communication with my Subaru…

How I’m Building a Full Life Post-College

After high school, I worked full time for a couple of years before attending college. In total, it was nearly nine years from the time I left high school until I earned my undergraduate degree. As soon as I began attending college full time, I was excited for the day I would finally graduate.

But by the time I was getting ready for my graduation ceremony this past December, my excitement had vanished. Read more on How I’m Building a Full Life Post-College…

10 Tips for Creating a Job-Winning Design Portfolio

We recently opened up our lovely new home to college students from AIGA West Michigan to host their annual student portfolio review, WIP It Into Shape. It kicked off with a panel discussion, followed by a few hours of portfolio reviews.

Overall, I was very impressed with the work shown. Upon some reflection, I realized I had repeated the same advice for improving portfolios a few times. In fact, they were the same tips I gave to students last year, and the year before. This made me think the information needs to be more broadly available. So today, I’m going to share my tips for creating a job-winning portfolio. Read more on 10 Tips for Creating a Job-Winning Design Portfolio…