Information Architecture: A Whole-Team Discipline

Information Architecture has exceptionally broad-reaching consequences. It affects the software we build, the business model behind it, and the way people interact on all sides of a product. No project can afford to leave team members out of the IA circle.

Fortunately, it can be very approachable.
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ReactiveCocoa – Cleaning Up after replay, replayLast, and replayLazily

A while back, I wrote a post comparing replay, replayLast, and replayLazily. Thanks to some investigating by Brian Vanderwal, I recently learned that one needs to be careful when using a replay operator (or multicast/connect directly) with an infinite signal as its source.

This blog post refers to the older ReactiveCocoa 2.x Objective-C library. I’m guessing that the newer Swift versions have the same behavior, but I don’t actually know for sure.
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Emacs vs. WebStorm for Node.js Development

If you’ve ever worked with me, or read my blog posts, you know I am an Emacs junkie. Emacs is my first and last editor, and I’ll happily spend hours making it just the way I want it.

Lately though, I’ve been doing a lot of Node development and feeling some pain from using my favorite tool. I also recently ended a large Java project where I had been using IntelliJ as my editor, since it was much more advanced than anything Emacs could offer. Since I had been using IntelliJ and some other JetBrains products, I was aware of WebStorm, their IDE geared towards JavaScript development. Read more on Emacs vs. WebStorm for Node.js Development…

Finding iOS Memory Leaks with Xcode’s Instruments

It seems that despite your best efforts, at some point, you will have to track down a memory leak. In Objective-C, Automatic Reference Counting takes away much of the pain of memory management, but you still need to be careful to clean up after yourself.
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How to Showcase Your Development Skills as a Busy Student

When you’re putting together a software developer resume or emailing a prospective company, including links to projects you’ve (co-) created can vastly improve your chances of convincing people to hire you. But how do you build a portfolio of projects when you’re a student who also works, takes care of family members, or has other responsibilities that make the words “side project” sound like a distant luxury?

I can’t lighten your load, but I can share what I did to showcase my work—which was enough to get an interview with Atomic. Read more on How to Showcase Your Development Skills as a Busy Student…

8 Software Conferences to Check Out in 2016

One of the great things about working for Atomic Object is how strongly we value professional development. While software conferences are a significant expense for Atomic, they’re also incredibly valuable to us: no one wants to hire a has-been consultant, so it’s important to stay sharp and up-to-date. One way we accomplish this is by sending makers to conferences each year.

As a recent hire at Atomic, I wasn’t sure which conference to attend, so I asked my fellow Atoms for their suggestions. Here’s a list of eight 2016 conferences that could help you deepen your expertise in one area or learn about something completely new.
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Turn Your Website Content Inventory into a To-Do List

Recently, while redesigning a website with a tremendous amount of content, we were feeling a bit overwhelmed. We decided to create a content inventory to help us keep track of the current content, and identify which parts needed to be removed, changed, or left unaltered.
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Evaluating Property-Based Testing Through a Random Walk

Lately, I’ve been interested in property-based testing. It’s a sort of “Monte Carlo”-esque approach where you execute your application randomly (rather than according to strict scripts) and test that it never reaches an invalid state.

It has proven usefulness in lower-level software (such as implementations of data structures), but I’ve been wondering if it could be applied at a higher level. I’ve been wanting to apply it to a web app to test its domain objects and possibly also run it at a higher level, such as through a REST API.
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Managing Multiple BLE Devices in iOS

With the onset of the Internet of Things, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has become a popular choice for connecting interesting new devices to the smart phones we all carry in our pockets.

In dealing with BLE on iOS devices, I’ve had great success with iBeacons and single devices. However, when dealing with multiple BLE devices in iOS, things get tricky. Read more on Managing Multiple BLE Devices in iOS…

Why is Your Team Falling Behind? Ask ‘The Penny Game’

One of the chief concerns of a software development team is managing work. We even have our own jargon—user stories, tasks, chores, bugs, epics, sprints—terms we use to help juggle assignments and stay organized.

But even a smart, hard-working team full of disciplined developers can fall behind, failing to meet deadlines and feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. To understand why work piles up like this, it helps to look at a different but similar industry: manufacturing. Read more on Why is Your Team Falling Behind? Ask ‘The Penny Game’…

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