One of the reasons that I believe innovation services firms are so important to our economy is that they are incubators of talent. Whether a firm retains the talent it helps create and therefore makes it available to its clients, or whether the talent migrates to a product company, the economy and our communities benefit.
The structure of innovation services firm demands a lot from people. That in turn tends to attract people who are very serious about their craft and work. Passion, and the ability to focus on craft rather than a single product or career advancement, creates an ideal environment for young people just starting their work life. Because these firms also provide a natural home for more experienced people to practice and refine their craft, the young people have a source of mentorship and teachers.
Atomic’s internship and apprentice program is a clear example of this talent incubation role for those just beginning their careers. Two of our former interns started their own companies. Three went on to grad school. Twenty five were hired by either Atomic or other software development firms. Even in their steady-state, when they aren’t growing rapidly, innovation services firms incubate talent.
Recently we’ve said goodbye to several of our regular employees who have moved on to exciting new opportunities.
Back to school
Joseph came up to speed with Atomic development practices so quickly that he left a real hole in our mobile dev capacity even though his tenure with us was short.
In addition to years of good project work, Mike did a few other things here and there while at Atomic. Like rebuilding our very effective website five years ago. And starting what grew to be Atomic Embedded, our first distinct new group.And naming and championing Spin, our company blog, before blogging became de rigueur at Atomic. Doctor K, as he was lovingly (and presciently?) known around the office, leaves us much richer than we’d otherwise be.
We were sad to see Mike and Joseph go, but proud of our association with them and happy for their scholarly adventures.
Greg Pattison joined Atomic just over four years ago. His work with us exemplified Atomic’s generalist approach and client base: startups and Fortune 500 companies; industries including color measurement, automotive, commercial furniture, and healthcare; projects in web, mobile, desktop and embedded. Greg took the development lead position at Blue Medora, our sister company that creates software agents for IBM’s Tivoli ecosystem. We’re already missing his skills, but delighted to have them focused on building further value in Blue Medora.
Marissa Christy is leaving at year’s end for an exciting new job as a user experience specialist with a local software company. A poster child of my talent incubation argument, we hired Marissa as an office assistant in 2009 with the challenge of finding creative ways of adding value beyond answering phones, procuring snacks, and greeting visitors.She answered that challenge rather remarkably, improving our digital as well as conventional marketing, assisting with product development practices, contributing to usability testing, sharing the pain with me in our efforts to become better known in the Detroit market, editing and creating sketches for blog posts, helping developers make their presentations more pleasing to the eye, and dispatching a generous helping of miscellany.
Most importantly to me, Marissa was my partner in figuring out what Great Not Big was all about, the implementer and designer for the blog site, and a valuable editor for early content. I’m proud of the step she’s taking and grateful for all she’s given to Atomic.
- Atomic Ownership, Part 5: Distributions - May 1, 2019
- Atomic Ownership, Part 4: Financing employee ownership - April 4, 2019
- Atomic Ownership, Part 3: Valuation - January 2, 2019
- Atomic’s purpose: to be a company where work matters - November 5, 2018
- Elevating & distributing “glue work” flows out of our core principles - October 18, 2018