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.

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Atomic at MICWIC 2017: Connecting with Our Peers

Recently, Atomic has been talking about what we can do to support our women developers and continue to increase our gender diversity. In addition to recruiting from the next wave of awesome new graduates coming out of our local schools, we’re also looking for ways to connect with other women developers in our area to share experiences and ideas.
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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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Introducing ENIAC Six: Atomic’s Room Named for the Women who Programmed the ENIAC

The various meeting spaces in Atomic’s new building will be named after designers and developers we value for their contributions to their fields, and to our history as a company. As renovation on our building continued, we realized we had an additional room to name. Atomic’s last meeting room is named after the little-known group of women who programmed the ENIAC—the world’s first all-digital, Turing-complete, general-purpose computer. Read more on Introducing ENIAC Six: Atomic’s Room Named for the Women who Programmed the ENIAC…

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…

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!…

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…

Jeanette Head on Empathy, Being Ignored, and the Do-it-Yourself Future of Development

This is the third in a series of interviews with Atomic makers.

Meet Jeanette Head: snowboarder, Girl Develop It teacher, and software developer at Atomic Object. I recently sat down with Jeanette to learn what drew her to development, the special challenges she faces, and why she loves to teach people to code. Read more on Jeanette Head on Empathy, Being Ignored, and the Do-it-Yourself Future of Development…