A Day in the Life of an Atom – Development

Working for Atomic Object, a day at the office can including many things, such as meetings, project kickoff, sales meetings with clients, or project leadership. It’s pretty fast paced sometimes.

I don’t know if there’s anything as a “typical day,” but I’m going to walk you through a development-heavy day on my current project, where I’m using some technologies that are newer to me.  

 9:00AM – Arrive


I arrive at the Atomic Object Ann Arbor office (affectionately known as AOA2), located in beautiful downtown Ann Arbor.

10:00AM – Just Coding

I’ve been working on my project — Bluetooth communication using iOS. Goal for the moment? Recognize and display the services and characteristics of Bluetooth devices within range.

11:30AM – An Impromptu Conversation


On a quick visit to the awesome AOA2 snack table,  Anne and I start a discussion about project deployment.  More specifically, we talked about the fact that we feel like deployment is challenging to do every time, for a lot of the same reasons.
Our ideas to address this include designing more black box style tests to run after deployment. Even though we practice Test Driven Development, black box tests can good at exposing bugs that TDD misses.  
We also emphasized the importance of setting up a deployment process with the customer before deployment: make sure they realize what kind of things they need to watch out for, and that they know exactly how to let us know there’s an issue so we can respond as soon as possible. Continuous deployment is helpful, and it allows the team to practice deploying the project and optimize the process.

12:15PM – Office Standup

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In AOA2, standup means everyone gets in a circle and shares what they’ve been working on.  It’s a nice chance to get perspective on what other people in the office have been working on. My update? I’m working on iOS Bluetooth communication.

12:30PM – Lunch


Immediately after standup, as is  AOA2 tradition, several of us eat lunch together at a big table in the office.  Lunch is a casual and relaxed chance to bond with coworkers and take a breather.

1:00PM – Project Standup


This is the standup for the project I’m on. We are on the phone with the customer to update them on the status of the work we are doing for them. On the agenda: velocity and prioritizing upcoming work. We also take the opportunity to clarify end goals with the customer and schedule a demo of completed project functionality.

1:45 – More Coding

Continued Bluetooth project work. Bluetooth device recognition is working, and I have been working on making it behave smoother and refactoring.

Though I generally engage in a lot of pair programming, today I’m working on my own. That doesn’t mean I’m alone though. We work in a co-located space, and we’re all talking about what we’re working on. Today that means database schemas and planning travel to a upcoming conference.

5:00PM – Spindown


Several of us went to the Jolly Pumpkin in Ann Arbor to hang out and chill after a week of work. It is an AO tradition to treat employees to beverages and conversation once a month, at an event we call Spindown.

So there you have it, a day in the life of an AOA2 software developer. Most of the day was spent coding (shocker, right?). For me, the AOA2 office is a laid-back, friendly place where I can get my work done and be engaged in the whole project as well as other projects going on around me. What’s your working environment like?