Atomic Spin

Answering “How Long Will This Take?” and Other Impossible Questions

Atomic Spin

As we decide where to focus, figure out the best way to implement things, or evaluate costs on any project, we hear the same questions: “How much will this cost?” Or “When will it be done?” Or even technical questions like, “How many records can this process per second?”

You Need to Be Involved with SoftwareGR

Atomic Spin

Are you a software designer or developer looking to connect with others in West Michigan? How about an owner of a software consultancy who would like some exposure to potential new employees? Maybe you lead a department of software designers and developers and would like to expose them to new ideas?

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Atomic Welcomes an IT Operations Engineer and a Delivery Lead

Atomic Spin

This spring, Atomic gained a Delivery Lead in Ann Arbor and an IT Operations Engineer in Grand Rapids. Now that they’ve settled in, I asked each of them to tell me about themselves and what it’s been like working at Atomic. Stephen Guyton. Stephen is Atomic’s new IT Operations Engineer.

Agile Misconception #2: We Don’t Need Documentation

Atomic Spin

Documentation means a lot of different things to different people. I’ve also found it’s one of the top five topics to cause a developer to cringe. If you’ve used a waterfall software development process, you’re all too familiar with documentation.

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From Build to Buy: The Path to Better Analytics for Your Application

Speaker: Ardeshir Ghanbarzadeh, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Logi Analytics

Making the transition from building your analytics in-house to investing in a third-party embedded solution can be complicated.Watch this webinar with Ardeshir Ghanbarzadeh, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Logi Analytics, for tips on making the transition as smooth as possible, and getting on the right path to better analytics for your app!

Villainous Personas – Anticipating the Users You Don’t Want

Atomic Spin

You know and use personas for a majority of your projects, but I’m here to tell you that you may have missed a category of user. A very important one. A not-so-friendly one. Users Who Mean Harm. Let’s pretend you’ve created a beautifully functioning and user-friendly app.

Want to be a Better Consultant? Learn to Work Strategically

Atomic Spin

Looking to level up your consulting skills? One thing I’ve observed among our more senior Atoms is a mastery of approaching work strategically. What Do I Mean by Strategy? As consultants, we juggle a lot of different concerns and goals.

How to Avoid Stakeholder Gridlock on Your Software Project

Atomic Spin

Have you ever been to a meeting that involved a dozen or more people, that constantly went too far into the weeds, that couldn’t come to a consensus, and that left you feeling like nothing was accomplished? It was horrible, right? You probably never want to have that experience again.

Starting Strong – 5 Ways to Establish Good Team Dynamics & Norms

Atomic Spin

You just kicked off a project, and it went well! Everyone is happy, hopeful, and on the same page. But how do you keep that momentum and camaraderie going? As a Delivery Lead, here are five things I try to do at the beginning of every project. Run a Team Norms Exercise.

Why Your Big-Team Software Project Needs a Utility Player

Atomic Spin

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.

Data Analytics in the Cloud for Developers and Founders

Speaker: Javier Ramírez, Senior AWS Developer Advocate, AWS

You have lots of data, and you are probably thinking of using the cloud to analyze it. But how will you move data into the cloud? In which format? How will you validate and prepare the data? What about streaming data? Can data scientists discover and use the data? Can business people create reports via drag and drop? Can operations monitor what’s going on? Will the data lake scale when you have twice as much data? Is your data secure? In this session, we address common pitfalls of building data lakes and show how AWS can help you manage data and analytics more efficiently.

Choosing the Right Software Partner, Part 4: The Engagement Management Process

Atomic Spin

A strong engagement management process keeps complex, custom software development projects on track for success. It’s essential that you (the client) are regularly involved in conversations about budget, scope, and key decisions.

Choosing the Right Software Partner, Part 3: Evaluating Experience

Atomic Spin

Experience is the best teacher. When evaluating custom software development partners, it’s important to know if your potential partner has a track record of success with companies like yours and projects of similar complexity.

Reviving the Handwritten Thank-You Note: Tips, Tools, and a 4-Sentence Template

Atomic Spin

I’m pretty sure you already think handwriting thank-you notes is a good move. So why don’t you more often? Does it seem old-fashioned? Too much work? Overly time-consuming? Not sure what to say? Do you associate it with notes you had send to your aunt, thanking her for your itchy birthday socks?

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Creating a Fast, Easy Daily Log with Bear & aText

Atomic Spin

I am a big note taker, mostly because I tend to be forgetful. No matter how significant or recent a discussion may be, I often forget the details of what was said or decided–unless I take effective notes.

How to Choose the Best Embedded Analytics Solution to Modernize Your Application

If you are looking to modernize your application to improve competitiveness, then one of the quickest wins you can have is to embed sophisticated analytics that will wow your existing and prospective customers.

Choosing the Right Software Partner, Part 2: Evaluating for Great People

Atomic Spin

Engaging with a service firm isn’t like buying a product. It’s about hiring a set of people to do work on your behalf. Yes, the company as a whole matters, but you also need to be confident that the people there have the right set of skills for your project.

With Jetpack, Android Development Has Leapfrogged iOS

Atomic Spin

Over the past six years, I’ve done a lot of iOS development (and written a lot about iOS ). I would say it’s been the primary focus of my career. But as a software consultant, I need to be flexible, and I’ve done my fair share of Android development as well.

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My Long, Winding Journey to “Software Developer”

Atomic Spin

If you take a look at our team page today, you’ll see a little chart showing that almost all of our makers have a college degree, save one very small slice. That slice is me. My journey to becoming a software developer at Atomic is quite distinct because I chose that unique path.

Choosing the Right Software Development Partner (with or without an RFP), Part 1: Evaluating Longevity

Atomic Spin

Finding the right custom software development firm for your project is a tough job. Even a thorough RFP process won’t save you if you’re not looking for the right things. Software projects are notorious for being late, over budget, and frustrating.

Why Smoking Costs Employers More Than They Realize

Your employees are smoking, and at a cost of $7,000 per year for each employee who smokes, that adds up - fast! This free report will show you how an effective cessation program pays for itself.

How to Set a Budget for Your Custom Software Project

Atomic Spin

Software is never done—there are always more features and functions you could add. So how much should you budget for a custom software project? Some companies keep throwing money at the project without any budget at all.

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

Atomic Spin

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.

Four Steps for Inheriting a Codebase

Atomic Spin

In the last two years, I’ve worked on a few projects passed on to me by other teams.

Is Your New Feature Worth It?

Atomic Spin

When you’ve created a successful application, it is tempting to relentlessly add new functionality. You think that if you stop building, you’ll fall behind. New features bring in new business. They show your existing users that you are still active and adding value.

Nine Developer Enablement Practices to Achieve DevOps at Enterprise Scale

In this eBook, Christian Oestreich, a senior software engineering leader with experience at multiple Fortune 500 companies, shares how a metrics-driven mindset can dramatically improve software quality and enable DevOps at enterprise scale.

Wireframing for Non-Designers – A Crash Course

Atomic Spin

Wireframes are not just for designers! As a software maker, you can and should be using them to eliminate risk and validate concepts. These tools benefit the entire team, and they can be created by any member of the team.

Wireframing for Non-Designers – A Crash Course

Atomic Spin

Wireframes are not just for designers! As a software maker, you can and should be using them to eliminate risk and validate concepts. These tools benefit the entire team, and they can be created by any member of the team.

Getting Ready to Break Everything (in 5 Easy Steps)

Atomic Spin

Every project eventually hits a point where a big change needs to be made, and it’s going to break everything. And you’re going to be the one stuck putting it back together.

Seven Quick Strategies for Effective Scrum Stand-Up Meetings

Atomic Spin

The daily stand-up meeting is an important component of the SCRUM process. It helps the whole team stay in-sync and up-to-date on what’s happening with the project, and it alerts everyone to blockers as soon as they become an issue.

Machine Learning for Builders: Tools, Trends, and Truths

Speaker: Rob De Feo, Startup Advocate at Amazon Web Services

Machine learning techniques are being applied to every industry, leveraging an increasing amount of data and ever faster compute. But that doesn’t mean machine learning techniques are a perfect fit for every situation (yet). So how can a startup harness machine learning for its own set of unique problems and solutions, and does it require a warehouse filled with PhDs to pull it off?

Creating Psychological Safety Leads to Happy Teams

Atomic Spin

Have you ever loved being part of a team? It’s a great feeling. Often, it doesn’t even matter what you’re working on as a group. Everyone shows up to work with enthusiasm, and all members support one another.

Want to Write Clearer Code? Follow the Cooperative Principle

Atomic Spin

Lately, I’ve noticed a transition in my craft as a software developer. While I once devoted almost all of my mental energy to getting code to run properly, I’m now putting more thought into writing clear and maintainable code.

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Three Ways to Build Trust & Safety as a Team Leader

Atomic Spin

More and more studies have shown that the most effective teams are the ones whose members trust each other and feel “psychologically safe.”

If You Build It, Will They Use It? Assessing Your Client’s Change Management Readiness

Atomic Spin

A software project can’t be called “successful” unless it’s implemented successfully. And believe it or not, there’s a lot that software consultants can do to help with successful implementation.

5 Signs It's Time to Replace Your Homegrown Analytics

If you built your analytics in house, chances are your basic features are no longer enough for your end users. Is it time to move on to a more robust analytics solution with more advanced capabilities? Follow this free guide for tips on making the build to buy transition.

Software Exposes People Problems that You Can’t Ignore

Atomic Spin

Image credit : Alan D Cirker (CC BY 3.0), via Wikimedia Commons. Software, and computers in general, are excellent at enforcing process. But process is often in direct conflict with people. So what happens when a new software system is thrust upon people?