Highlights from My First Year at Atomic


My first AO-versary just passed, so this seemed like a great time for a little reflection.

Atomic Con

Although November might not have been the best time of year to move to snowy Michigan, it was a great time to start at Atomic Object. After only about a week on the job, I attended the first Atomic Con, a mostly technical internal conference where Atoms from each office came together to teach, learn, connect, and share. This was a perfect time to meet my new colleagues and immerse myself in the group’s culture.

Project Highlights

I worked on three great projects during the last year, and in the process, I learned a ton:


For my first assignment, I worked on an iPhone app called Quell. In addition to learning iOS, Objective-C, ReactiveCocoa, and a variety of other tools, I developed an appreciation for sincere test-driven development and highly decoupled software architecture. By building an app out of highly tested, very small single-responsiblity objects, we can have confidence in our software’s quality and make changes quickly in the future.

I’m proud to have written software that, together with an innovative wearable device, improves the lives of people who suffer from chronic pain. Check it out!

Nexgen Inquiry

My next assignment was on the NexGen Inquiry team. Apart from learning modern web development with Ember.js and Ruby on Rails, I learned a lot about establishing efficient workflows that scale as the team grows.

This project made me a big fan of agile product ownership. Check out this video to get a feel for it:

We released the product this summer.

Current Project

My third project is a new, unannounced product for an existing client.

I’m enjoying the technical variety. We’re building an AngularJS web app and working with several .NET backend services. I’m also excited about the business value we’ll create: The app will increase efficiency for our client and their customers, saving them time and money and increasing their competitiveness in their industries.

Data & Looking Forward

At Atomic, there’s a tradition of celebrating milestones with data, so here are some numbers from my first year:

  • 1,931 billable hours punched to four different clients
  • 1,863 commits affecting 31,529 lines in seven git repositories
  • 20 job applicants reviewed and/or interviewed
  • 3 of them were hired!
  • 8 blog posts written

I look forward to seeing what the next year will bring. I’m particularly excited about the next Atomic Con and our new building!

  • Drew Hoover says:

    What an awesome experience! I hope I get this kind of diversity at my first job out of school. This is your first year as an Atom, but is it your first full-time job out of school?

    • John Ruble John Ruble says:

      Thanks for the comment, Drew! It has indeed been an awesome experience.

      I’d definitely recommend a consultancy like Atomic for the start of a developer’s career. Shawn shared some thoughts about this in another post earlier this year: https://spin.atomicobject.com/2015/08/21/developer-first-job/

      This wasn’t my first full-time job out of school. If you’re interested, you can read about my and other Atoms’ backgrounds on our bio pages, linked from the periodic table here: https://atomicobject.com/team

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