Building a Siri/iOS HomeKit-Enabled Garage Door Control with Raspberry Pi – Part 1: Hardware

This summer, I decided to explore home automation using a Raspberry Pi. I thought that it would be fun to control my garage door with Siri/iOS HomeKit and spent some time building a basic controller using JavaScript and some nice Node.js packages.
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Seven Tips for Starting a New Job – A Quick Guide to Getting Settled

I joined Atomic about four months ago, and during that time, the office has also welcomed a new cohort of wonderful Accelerators and interns. Their excitement reminded me of all the great advice I’ve gotten about starting fresh from bosses, parents, mentors, and peers over the years.

I’ve been keeping a mental list of what has worked well for settling into my new role. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of a new work opportunity, whether it’s your first job or your fifth.
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A Moral Justification for Diversity In Tech – Why “Good for Business” Isn’t Good Enough

This past weekend, a memo by a Google employee criticizing the company’s diversity goals and practices was leaked to the media. The memo presents sexist and thoroughly debunked views about women, and the ensuing conversation about diversity has been both heated and informative. I have found, however, that there’s something mostly missing from this conversation: a moral case for diversity.

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Finding Your Path to a Second Career in Software Development

When I went back to school to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science, I found that I wasn’t alone. Even though I already had one degree and a few years of work experience, I went to study groups where I was the youngest person in the room.

Lots of people are investing in a second career, and for good reason. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and IT occupations are slated to grow almost twice as fast as the national average and pay more than twice as much. The the ratio of open jobs to new grads with CS degrees is 10:1. Read more on Finding Your Path to a Second Career in Software Development…

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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Review: Withings/Nokia Health Steel HR Smartwatch

Author’s Note: Shortly after I wrote this review, the Withings family of products was moved under the Nokia name, receiving a new branding treatment and a new app as a result. While my Steel HR Smartwatch has the Withings name on it, the product is now owned and sold by Nokia.

I’ve had my Withings Steel HR smartwatch for a little over a month now, and I want to share my first impressions. Read more on Review: Withings/Nokia Health Steel HR Smartwatch…

Self-Managing People Are Smart about Asking for Help

In my experience, people who truly excel in their careers are always self-managing. They accomplish more, they discover more opportunities for themselves, and (as Verne Harnish says in Scaling Up) they’re the sort of people that smart organizations hire and rely on.

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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…