Looking for the Perfect Double Major or Minor to Go with CS? Try the Humanities

When I first got to college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study, let alone pursue as a career. I decided to start off as an English literature major because I liked reading and I thought it would teach me to more effectively express myself and analyze the things I saw and read.

Eventually, I tried a few classes in the computer science department because they worked with my schedule and I thought they would be interesting. All it took was one semester of programming in Java, and I was hooked—I knew I wanted to become a software developer. I felt torn, though. Would I give up my English major? Were all the classes I had taken a waste? Read more on Looking for the Perfect Double Major or Minor to Go with CS? Try the Humanities…

Turn Travel with Colleagues into Your Professional Superpower

Over the past year, I’ve spent dozens of hours in a car, train, or plane next to a coworker. We Atoms travel together between offices and to client sites, outreach events, and conferences.

I’ve always loved traveling. The passing landscape provides the perfect backdrop for a nap, catching up on email, or staring out the window with my headphones turned up. Travel for work is another story. When traveling with colleagues, these behaviors can waste an opportunity to meaningfully connect with my travel partner. Read more on Turn Travel with Colleagues into Your Professional Superpower…

What to Try When You’ve Tried Everything Else

Developing custom software is tough. There are numerous unknowns and tradeoffs at every stage of a project—each with unique short-, medium-, and long-term consequences in several dimensions. As a consultant, my job is to help people navigate those complex tradeoffs, and to build an app that will help my clients do what they do better, faster, and cheaper.

As a developer, my job is to implement those tradeoffs with code that remains flexible and easy to change. I need to focus on the kind of flexibility that my client is likely to need—without spending time and budget building in the kind of flexibility that they’ll never use. If my software is a jacket, the trick is sewing in just the right amount of pockets, and not one more.

The constant tension of the competing tradeoffs in a software project can lead to some nasty bouts of internal conflict and indecision. If I’m not careful, that indecision can lead to wasted time and effort that don’t provide value. Here are a couple of ways that I break through to find a solution when I’m not sure what to do next. Read more on What to Try When You’ve Tried Everything Else…

Conferences with Colleagues – 6 Ways to Do it Right

Conferences are for learning. But if you go with colleagues, they can also be a great way to build relationships and learn from each other. I’d call this a “group conference”—when three people who know each other attend a conference and plan to spend time together while they’re there.

I was thinking about this a few weeks ago, when more than 25 Atoms attended the 2018 Strange Loop Conference (which we highly recommend). I’ve participated in many group conferences during my time at Atomic. Here are a few ways to make the most of them. Read more on Conferences with Colleagues – 6 Ways to Do it Right…

Your Team Needs You! – The Power of Being an “Active Follower”

Good leaders get a lot of credit—and they deserve it. But leaders (and teams!) can only thrive if they have active followers.

What do I mean? Let me tell you about an experience I had this year in a very different situation—kayaking off the coast of New Zealand. Read more on Your Team Needs You! – The Power of Being an “Active Follower”…

Unpacking the Confidence Code, Part 5 – Growing in Confidence

In the sixth chapter of The Confidence Code, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman discuss some tactics anyone can use to build their confidence.

Fail Fast

This chapter begins with Kay and Shipman introducing the idea of failing fast–an idea that even they seemed uncertain of at first:

Read more on Unpacking the Confidence Code, Part 5 – Growing in Confidence…