What to Expect at IdeaFestival 2017

ideafestival 2017Technology conferences occur all over the world every year from Mobile World Congress – the largest mobile industry gathering in the world – in Barcelona, Spain to Amazon re:Invent – a conference hosted by Amazon that educates the global cloud computing community. With so many technology conferences, it is easy for someone in tech to find a conference that piques their interests. IdeaFestival 2017, located in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, is the next technology conference on the calendar.

The technology conference/festival pitches itself as “a celebration of the curious, with the goal of inspiring all people to embrace the excitement and danger of new ideas” and promotes thinking in different and innovative ways.  IdeaFestival will run from Tuesday, September 26th thru September 28th, 2017 starting with a full day event on the 26th – Thrivals 10.0. This year’s conference is hosting plenty of events and attendees will see a plethora of presenters. Read in detail what to expect at IdeaFestival in Louisville, KY this year and how to get involved.

4 Things to Expect at IdeaFestival 2017

1. Opportunity to Expand Your Festival Experience

IdeaFestival itself is a two-day festival that runs the 27th and the 28th of September; however, there is an opportunity to add another day onto your festival experience with Thrivals 10.0. For an extra $49 become a part of the full-day conference on “finding your algorithm for the future”. This fall, the conversation is focused on living in a digital age that is constantly changing. It will also cover the combination of GRIt, humanity, and artificial intelligence. Thrivals 10.0 will feature 10 presenters including Janelle Monae – an American musician and one of the leading ladies in “Hidden Figures”.

2. A Packed, Fun-Filled Day-to-Day Schedule

IdeaFestival released the day-to-day agenda for the 2017 conference and each day is full of presentations and classes. The two-day festival starts at 8:00 a.m. each day and includes different presentations as well as several 10-minute classes. Class topics have not be announced yet, but you can stay tuned on the Agenda portion of the IdeaFestival website.

The first day of the festival, after Thrivals 10.0, kicks off at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. depending on your festival access. If you have a festival pass, you’re invited to join sponsors and presenters for Taste: The Culinary Artists of the Region – a networking experience with food sponsored by Copper & Kings. The Thursday of the festival runs from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with no additional presentations available afterwards.

3. Inspirational Speakers and Presenters

On top of the 10 presenters that will be at Thrivals 10.0, there will also be 25 presenters at IdeaFestival. 2017 presenters include: Ann Carlson – a performance artist and performance curator; Hannah Drake – lead artist for Louisville’s local Project HEAL; Tom Eblen – a Western Kentucky University alumni and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader; Peter Gray – an American psychologist and research professor at Boston College; John King – CNN’s chief national correspondent and anchor of Inside Politics; and more.

4. Coverage Over a Variety of Topics

The presentations at IdeaFestival 2017 cover a wide variety of topics and, as a result, guarantee something for everyone. The first day of the festival opens with a presentation by Joe Geoghegan titled “Field Notes: The Untapped Power of Diversity in a Fractured World”.  His presentation will cover his experience traveling to over a dozen countries using only his wits and he’ll be sharing his notes on and impressions of his travels while taking a break from his adventuring. Throughout the first day, festival-goers will be able to listen to presentations on the future of our economy, the prevalence of cyberpunk, the relationship between humans and the planet, the science behind whiskey, and much more.

The second day of IdeaFestival will get kicked off with a presentation by Emily Dreyfuss – senior writer at Wired – during which she will discuss some of the biggest pieces of technology emerging and disrupting business, design, science, and culture. Festival attendees can participate in presentation on polarization, the art of food as medicine, and the mind and music of Chopin before IdeaFestival concludes.

IdeaFestival is going to be an informative and inspirational technology conference this year as it has in the past.

Be sure to buy a ticket to the two or three-day event depending on your interest in Thrivals 10.0! The festival will be held at the Kentucky Center  at 501 W. Main Street, Louisville, Kentucky. IdeaFestival is an opportunity to collaborate with others interested in technology and get inspired to think outside the box.

At Number 8, we embrace innovation and, furthermore, we pride ourselves on exercising formative thinking in every endeavor we chase. IdeaFestival 2017 has the same values, so we encourage any and everyone to attend the 2017 technology conference if possible. Interested in learning more about Number 8 and how we employ innovative technologies and schools of thought while living our day-to-day lives? Contact us today. Call us at 502-890-7665 today or visit us online.


Five Things to Know Before Hiring Offshore Developers

offshore developers Hiring offshore developers to complete software development work for an onshore company is becoming more and more popular. Benefits include: you get to focus on the big picture of your company while someone else does the detail work, office-wide productivity is increased with fewer office distractions, and you are opened up to fresh ideas that are seen through a new set of eyes. These are only a few of the benefits to outsourcing. Follow along with this Number8 blog to learn more about other benefits to outsourcing. However, before you decide to hire offshore developers there are some important things to know and important questions to ask. Below, we’ve outlined five things to know before hiring offshore developers.

Five Things to Know Before Hiring Offshore Developers

1. Communication is Key

The biggest challenge when working with someone who isn’t in an office with you is often communication. Finding ways to communicate the goals of your business can be difficult if the only communication is over the phone or through e-mail. Being aware that communication is crucial to success is the first step to a partnership with offshore developers. You can improve communication with offshore developers through programs like join.me and Skype that allow you to share screens with other computers. Another useful tool for communication is Lightshot – a screenshot tool that allows you to mark up images for 100% clarity.

2. Keep Timezones in Mind

If you are working with offshore developers, more often than not you are located in a different timezone than your offshore team and need to consider the hour difference. When searching for a team of offshore developers to hire, be sure to consider the difference in hours. Ask yourself what kind of effect the difference will have on your work flow. It is recommended to hire an offshore team that is located in similar time zone to your own. This is helpful so you can communicate with your offshore programmers throughout the day, experiencing more of a “real time” development experience and workflow.

3. Experience Levels

Whether you are a new business that is only getting started or an established business that has been around for years, you’re going to want your offshore developers to have experience. When you hire offshore developers, it is really important to consider how much experience they have. The more experience, the better. An experienced developer or team of developers will be capable of completing complicated tasks at a faster rate and with more accuracy. This, in the long run, saves you time and money while also helping to propel your business to the next level.

4. The Kind of Team You’re Working With

You need to hire offshore developers in the same way that you hire in-house employees. Look for the same qualities that you look for in potential hires who you interview face-to-face. Hold your potential team of offshore developers to the same standards. While the offshore developers aren’t going to be people you see every day or work in close quarters with, you will be depending on them for important IT work that your business will be relying on. You’ll want to hire people that you could get along with if you were to work in the same office with them. This way communication comes easier and trust can be established quickly.

5. How You Will Pay for These Services

Before hiring offshore developers to take care of your IT work, you will need to determine how you are going to pay for these services. Make sure the company that you choose to work with is legitimate and that they offer a variety of payment options. It is particularly beneficial if they have a U.S. location, along with their offshore programmers. Talking with other happy customers can be another great way to gain confidence that you are choosing the right offshore company for your business.

The offshore developers you hire can have a significant impact on the success of your project. If the team is not familiar with the methodology or programming language best suited for your project, hire a different team.

At Number8, we use the Agile method when approaching software development projects and incorporate Scrum into our work. Our team of highly experienced, software development professionals are skilled in many programming languages. If you are in need of offshore developers to help with software development for your company, contact us today.

3 Benefits Of Agile Software Development

3 Reasons for AgileBy Robert Thomas

Agile is one of the buzz words in IT these days and there’s a reason why it’s gaining popularity. The Agile method is a method of developing software solutions, which can range from anything like websites, apps and much more. The idea is to deliver an awesome result while maximizing business value while minimizing the overhead.

In this article, we’ve highlighted three great features of the Agile development process:

1. Stakeholder Engagement

One of the biggest benefits of using the Agile method is that there’s consistent stakeholder engagement. If you use the waterfall method, the stakeholders have their input at the beginning, then everyone goes off and codes to the blueprint, and then weeks or months later we see a finished product. The Agile method allows for constant feedback. By involving the client regularly, they can provide their input and get a finished product that’s closer to what they’re looking for.

2. Transparency

Often times, clients feel left out of the development process. However, that’s not the case with the Agile approach as it provides complete transparency right through the get-go.

This is important because it allows the clients to jump in at any point and offer their assessment. Obviously, the client will appreciate that they aren’t looking at a finished product but at least they get to see something as it happens. The client gets to see the work in progress instead of being left in the dark until the very end.


3. Improving Quality

With the Agile method, the project is broken up into manageable units. That means the project team can focus on producing high-quality development, testing and collaboration. Since it’s broken up into segments, there’s more testing and more reviewing throughout each iteration, which means that quality is improved at every level. By finding and fixing the defects early, any type of identification mismatch can be zeroed in and addressed right away. In the end, the Agile method produces a better end result.



New Office Construction Update

The new office construction in Costa Rica is taking shape as the electrical wiring has been completed, drywall has been hung, fire prevention is in-place and the air conditioning units are installed.  We’re really looking forward to having the new space as a more comfortable collaboration space for teams to work with their U.S.-based teammates.  Latitud Norte is a brand new building located in Escazú, very near the new Sheraton Hotel and Casino.  It has excellent amenities, including an outdoor covered dining area (with a tremendous view) covered parking and a workout facility with showers.  For our employees that come to the office daily, it will be a major upgrade from our facility in Heredia (which was also nice, but lacked all of those things).  The building also has full generator backup for the occasional power outage and access to much higher internet speeds than our location in Heredia.  The building is very secure with 24/7 security and swipe-card access to the building and our offices.  The new facility will really bring us to a new level of service and collaboration.  We are looking forward to welcoming visitors around the second week of December.

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Effective tools and tips for successful software developers teams

Effective Tools and Tips
By David Easterling

I met with a client yesterday that has a team of four software developers with us.  We have been working with them for three years, so everyone is very familiar and we contribute quite a bit in design phase.  They use Skype for standups and chat and some screen share.  We were talking about the productivity level of our guys and he said “It would be nearly 100% of our local team if I could walk over and show them something on the whiteboard rather than write it up and email it.”  I know there are some screensharing applications like Lync and Skype.   I found one recently called Screenhero that is really good for collaborative screensharing.  It has a great whiteboard application and is free to use.   I believe strongly in maximizing your ability to leverage off-site development staff.  Little tools like this can really help.  Another client was telling me that they don’t have video standups with their off-site people – just phone calls.  If you’re only doing voice, there’s a lot you’re not seeing.  You may notice that someone is checked out or typing or that they really check out when one team member is talking.  They may also show with their body language that they don’t agree with a particular direction you’re taking, but don’t speak up.  You can either address this off-line or in the meeting, but you would never know in a voice call.  Most importantly, if everyone in the standup is at their desk on video, they’re all equal and equally informed.  Little things like that make for a much more productive off-site development experience.