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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My 5 Steps for Tackling Stress

Deadlines, miscommunication, conflict. Regardless of what our jobs, projects, or responsibilities may be, we all face these things during our careers. If not handled properly, the stress from these issues can expand to other areas of life, quickly becoming unmanageable.

That’s why it’s critical to learn how to manage stress. While I’m not an expert in the field, I have had some experience dealing with stress and have learned a few things along the way. I’d like to share some tips that I have found useful when dealing with stress in my life.
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You’re Not the Only Imposter at the Office: 6 Strategies for Dealing with Imposter Syndrome at Work

Do you ever get the feeling that you don’t have any business doing the job that you do? That everyone else knows exactly what to say, while you trip over your words like a toddler in clown shoes? Yeah. Me too.

I work at one of the most prestigious software consultancies in Michigan, building multi-platform applications that are in active use by people who seem pretty happy. We have a rigorous interview process. But most days, I feel like the hiring team must’ve been asleep on the job when they let me in. Read more on You’re Not the Only Imposter at the Office: 6 Strategies for Dealing with Imposter Syndrome at Work…

Three Reasons to Say No

We’ve all been there–a coworker, a friend, or an organization approaches you and asks if you can do something: “Can you host the XYZ meetup tonight?” You want to say, “Yes! of course!” because who doesn’t want to be helpful? But I know what you’re thinking… “Ugh, really, another thing? Fine, I’ll cancel going to my child’s performance tonight… I guess…”

Oftentimes, the best thing for everyone is to say “no.”

Image credit : Karen Gunton

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Hacking “Time Out” and Forcing Myself to Take a Break

I have a bad habit of banging my head against a problem instead of taking a step back to clear my thoughts. I’m a D on the DISC profile, and I blame that for my tendency to keep attacking a problem full-tilt rather than re-evaluating my approach.

Rationally, I’m well aware of the benefits of taking a break. But in the moment, I just want to keep going for that next dopamine kick that comes with each minor breakthrough. Never mind that if I took a break, I might see that my whole approach is flawed, because “slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” Or as I like to think of it, “slow is smart, smart is fast.”
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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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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…