Alex Payne

Writer, backer, erstwhile technologist.

An Unfinished Idea: Syntax Atelier

A software development consultancy, modeled as an atelier. A place like Eyebeam, but run as either a for-profit or a co-op. Borrowing a bit from Pivotal Labs, but without the focus on any particular development methodology or set of technologies.

A core group of principle partners would set the tone of the organization as disciplined, open-minded, and eager to expand the craft of programming through the exploration of new languages, technologies, and methodologies. The atelier practice of “systematic progression” would be employed for the continuing education of current partners and the enrichment of new partners.

Though partners may be working on different projects for different clients, cross-pollination would be made mandatory. The idea of “twenty percent time” would be expanded, and open source contribution would be all but a necessity.

Unlike many consultancies, the goal of Syntax Atelier is not to bring its cultural practices to its clients. Rather, the goal to maximize the job satisfaction of its partners by cultivating an atmosphere of creativity, sharing, cooperation, and congeniality.

Possibly headquartered in Portland, Oregon, but with a strong emphasis on remote, distributed work.