A Moral Justification for Diversity In Tech – Why “Good for Business” Isn’t Good Enough

This past weekend, a memo by a Google employee criticizing the company’s diversity goals and practices was leaked to the media. The memo presents sexist and thoroughly debunked views about women, and the ensuing conversation about diversity has been both heated and informative. I have found, however, that there’s something mostly missing from this conversation: a moral case for diversity.

Read more on A Moral Justification for Diversity In Tech – Why “Good for Business” Isn’t Good Enough…

More Than a Policy – What Dealing with Workplace Harassment Looks Like

Atomic does a great job of cultivating a healthy work environment within our own building. We’ve got strong core values, great people, and high expectations for kindness, respect, and community. We don’t often need to exercise our policies around harassment, workplace sexism, or other forms of mistreatment.

However, despite our best efforts to find collaborators who fit our culture well, we don’t always have full knowledge or control over the people we’ll be working with.

So, what do we do when something does go wrong?
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How Pair Lunches Encourage Diversity & Bring Atoms Together

Atomic Object offers some great benefits to its employees, but my favorite is pair lunch. The rules of pair lunch are simple: Any two Atoms can go out for lunch, and AO will cover the bill. Pair as often as you’d like, as long as you don’t lunch with the same person twice in one month. Read more on How Pair Lunches Encourage Diversity & Bring Atoms Together…

Improving Our Support for New Parents

We recently took a look at some of our benefits to see if there were improvements we could make in support of our efforts to grow Atomic in diversity and numbers. Having a diverse team makes Atomic better and stronger, and we want to grow the number of women we employ while continuing to make Atomic a welcoming and supportive place for all Atoms to thrive.

Coming out of that review, our top priority was to strengthen our overall parental leave policy. Read more on Improving Our Support for New Parents…

GVSU WIC Workshop – Write Your Own Language!

We were thrilled to welcome Grand Valley State University’s Women in Computing Club to Atomic on February 27th for a one-day programming workshop.

We decided to work through writing a simple language and provided participants with an introduction to the challenge, a set of unit tests to guide them through the implementation, and coaches to jump in with suggestions as needed. Oh, and plenty of food and drinks to keep everyone happy and energized through the day. Read more on GVSU WIC Workshop – Write Your Own Language!…

Toward Fair Pay – Evolving how we Evaluate & Compensate Employees

Fair pay matters a lot. It’s important to our business that we attract and retain top talent, and it’s important to me personally. I care about the Atoms at Atomic; they’re my friends. For them, and for my own personal integrity, I want a fair and consistent value exchange for everyone at Atomic.

We recently modified our compensation evaluation process to a more routine—and hopefully more fair—system (judged by consistency). Read more on Toward Fair Pay – Evolving how we Evaluate & Compensate Employees…

Avoiding Bias in our Job Interviews with Scripts & Personas

I hate the idea that we might miss hiring an awesome teammate at Atomic Object — especially if we lose the opportunity for a stupid reason like an unintentional bias in our interview process. Several of us recently read Thomas Ptacek’s post about fixing broken developer interviews, which has spurred our efforts to improve our ability to gather consistent, concrete, unbiased information about candidates throughout Atomic’s hiring process.

As a result, we’ve added two things to our toolbox that we believe are helping avoid harmful bias in our interview process: an interview script, and personas. Read more on Avoiding Bias in our Job Interviews with Scripts & Personas…

Writing a Gender-Neutral Job Description for Developers

As our CEO Carl Erickson wrote last week, we’re trying to build a more diverse team, focusing first on gender diversity.

I was asked to look at how we market our job openings and find ways to reach more female candidates. One of the first things I discovered was the idea that job descriptions themselves can be oriented toward one gender and discourage members of another. Read more on Writing a Gender-Neutral Job Description for Developers…

Volunteering at Hour of Code

Photo by Junfu Han of MLive

On December 10th, 2015, Jeanette and I joined Estabrook Elementary School’s Hour of Code event as coaches. Our job was to encourage and guide students through what was, for many of them, their first formal introduction to computer science. For us, it was an introduction to people who, in 20 years’ time, might work with us. I was especially glad to be there because I live across the street from Estabrook, and some of the kids who go there are my neighbors. Read more on Volunteering at Hour of Code…

Diversity for Diversity’s Sake? – 9 Reasons We Want to Be Gender Diverse

We’ve been working for several years to improve the gender balance at Atomic Object, largely because we held “diversity is good” to be self-evident.

But the last six to nine months, as we’ve been changing out benefits and practices in pursuit of this goal, I’ve been thinking about why diversity is good. Read more on Diversity for Diversity’s Sake? – 9 Reasons We Want to Be Gender Diverse…