Profile of an Atom

When you’re looking for a home for your career, one really important consideration is who you’ll be working with. What’s the culture like? What kind of people will you spend your time with? I’ve worked at Atomic Object for a few years now — long enough to have observed and identified some characteristics that most, […]

Cross-pollinating Innovation Across the Organization

I believe frameworks that foster cross-pollination of ideas work better than top-down policy implementation when it comes to spreading knowledge and innovation across an organization. The Need to Share Knowledge and Innovation Atomic consists of self-managing teams that are organized around projects. Our projects can typically last anywhere from three months to over two years, […]

Generalist Makers: The Unicorns of the Software Industry

At software conferences, I often meet people who have titles. I’ve made connections with a bevy of “Information Architects,” “Usability Specialists,” “Visual Designers,” “Front-End Designers,” and even some “Project Managers.” They are able to quantify their role within one statement: “I write the HTML and CSS.” “I create the wireframes.” “I do usability testing.” Whenever […]

Problem-Solving Like a Generalist

I develop embedded software, but if you look on my coffee table, you’ll see books on a wide variety of programming topics — information retrieval, garbage collectors, and so on. This would strike some people as strange. Shouldn’t I be focusing on electronics or something? Yes and no. I consider myself an “embedded specialist,” and […]

Being a Generalist Makes Me Happy

What motivates you to work and create? If you were to ask me a year ago, I would have said that my motivation lies in the pride of making polished and elegant products. That’s still true for me today, but I realize that I had forgotten an important source of motivation and happiness: learning new […]

Poly-skilled Teams Deliver Products

A lot of what sets Atomic Object apart is our people – we work very hard to ensure we hire the best. But hiring great people isn’t enough. The best people need to be set up in an environment where they can use their skills effectively and translate their excellence into business value. Atomic’s strategy […]

Designers + Developers = Poly-skilled Teams

Atomic grew from a rich computer science culture that focused on coding and project management practices. Before we hired and integrated designers directly into our agile teams, we used to work with outside design partners. Although we liked our partners and respected their professional talents, working with outside organizations often resulted in several types of […]