Why Your Big-Team Software Project Needs a Utility Player

Projects with big teams introduce a slew of interesting problems–problems like keeping developers fed with multiple tracks of work, understanding areas with large technical risks, and sharing knowledge. On a recent project, we developed a role to help solve these problems. I call it the utility player. In this post, I’ll define the role, the […]

Your Backlog Isn’t a To-Do List – It’s Self-fulfilling Prophecy of Success or Failure

Your backlog is an imperfect, always changing, self-fulfilling prophecy for how your software will be built. Not only that, but at a software consultancy like Atomic, it’s also a prophecy for how the engagement will end and deliver on your brand promise. All this to say: Tending to the backlog is one of the most […]

Five Steps for Tying Up a Project Unexpectedly Cut Short

As consultants, we always have to be prepared for the unexpected. In rare cases, the surprise can be that a project is suddenly wrapping up. This can happen for a number of reasons. It could be a clerical error in accounting that resulted in the project unexpectedly reaching the limit of its budget. It could […]

Navigating the Rough Seas of Cultural & Technological Changes

When companies make technological changes to keep pace with their industry, they inevitably have to make culture and process changes, too. And those are often significantly more difficult. I was struck recently by similarities between modern corporate culture changes and those described by Dan Carlin in one episode of his Hardcore History podcast.

Wizard Consultant Skills – Protection Spells for Saying “No”

Atomic is home to lots of very high-level wizards. Their abilities and specialties span the whole of the software craftsmanship space, and each one has their own skill set to leverage when tackling the many unique problems that come through our door. I’m not a very high-level wizard yet, but I’ve found that deliberately striving […]