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.

 

Working Remotely: Five Tips to Make it Easier

Home Office for Working RemotelyAccording to a recent study conducted by Gallup, more employees are working remotely now than ever before. Out of 15,000 adults surveyed, over 40% said they spent time working from home. We also published a blog post last month that details the various changes occurring in our current work force. The traditional work-week schedule is adapting to better suit employees’ lifestyles.

To help usher in this new style of employment, we have gathered nine tips that we believe can aid in adapting to working remotely.

Find the right job

First, and maybe most importantly, you should be at a company that understands and supports employees who work remotely. If you are already in a position and you’d like to transition into working out of the office, strike up a conversation with your superiors as soon as possible. If they won’t budge, then perhaps it’s a sign you should begin looking elsewhere.

Establish and maintain a private work area

Having your own space to work is extremely helpful when it comes to productivity and focus. You should have an area that is solely dedicated to work, with an actual desk and no distractions. If possible, a home office is ideal when it comes to working remotely.

Connect with your team

Physical distance should not inhibit your relationship with coworkers, or your managers. It is vital to maintain constant communication from all sides to ensure you are staying on track, and that your fellow employees are all up to speed with your projects.

Work around your energy, not the clock

One of the major benefits of working remotely is that you don’t have to follow the typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. timeline. While you shouldn’t use this as an excuse to sleep the morning away, it can be incredibly useful for when you’re feeling particularly motivated. Our most creative moments don’t necessarily come within that 8-hour window, so take advantage of the flexibility.

Dress for success

You wouldn’t wear pajamas into the office, so don’t do it when working remotely either. It is certainly tempting, however maintaining a well kept appearance even when working from home will make you feel more successful and productive. Suit and tie not required, but stay away from the sweatpants at least.  

Because our employees are located both in Louisville, KY and Costa Rica, many of them work on Number8 projects remotely. We support this method of work, because we know our employees are able to produce the highest quality products no matter where they are. If you’re interested in learning more about us and what we do, visit our information page here. And if you’re looking for IT services, or software development assistance, give us a call today at (502) 890-7665!

Tips Successful Software Developers Follow to be More Productive

How to be a successful software developerAll software developers have their own tips and tricks they use to keep on track and work efficiently and thoughtfully. However, those habits don’t necessarily pave the path to becoming a successful software developer. Below we have outlined a few helpful pieces of advice that established developers hold to be true. While it may seem difficult to adjust the habits you have already developed, take some time to think about these tips and see how you can work them into your day-to-day routine. It may just make all the difference when you’re looking for the next job opportunity. 

There are three overall concepts to keep in mind as you work to elevate your abilities as a software developer. If you can get into these mindsets it will become easier to follow specific steps and tasks that help to fulfill these ideas.

Have the big picture in mind

How does the work you’re doing directly impact and help the business you’re working for? The quality of your work is sure to improve if you feel personally invested in the outcome of the project. Even if it is a one-off freelance assignment, you should still take the time to understand the mission of the business and of the specific content you’re creating.  

Focus on problem solving

Don’t let yourself give up when a project gets difficult. That is exactly when it becomes the most rewarding. If you only work on projects that you know you can succeed at with little challenge then you’ll never grow. To become a better software developer you need to accept difficult projects even if you’re afraid that you won’t excel at them. If you don’t try to succeed then you never will.

Be flexible and stay open to new ideas

If you’re reading this, then you’re already on the right track to embracing new ways of thinking. It is important to remember that just because the way you’ve been working has been decently successful so far, that doesn’t mean you should commit to those methods forever. Keep your eyes and your mind open to new ways of approaching projects. Accept advice from others and allow yourself to adapt.

A few specific ways you can begin to adopt the above habits are as follows:

  • Be disciplined
  • Keep your code clean, concise and reusable
  • Ask for help
  • Track your time
  • Follow a routine

At Number8, we believe in the power of focus and flexibility. We know how important it is to be the best in the business so that we can provide our clients with premium service and attention. If you are looking to partner with software development team that not only cares about their code but also about their clients, give us a call today at (502) 890-7665!

What is a “Gazelle” Company?

 Gazelle companyLikening companies to animals is not uncommon. Big businesses, like Wal-Mart, are often referred to as “elephants,” whereas small businesses are called “mice.” The “gazelle” company is less associated with a company’s physical size, and rather its capacity for rapid growth. Author David Birch first coined the term in his 1987 book: Job Creation in America: How Our Smallest Companies Put the Most People to Work. He defined a gazelle company as one that doubles its sales every four years. This growth rate is immense, but it is not limited to companies that are sizable themselves. Anyone can earn the title of a gazelle company.

A percentage of companies that gain the gazelle title are involved in retail sale, but a large number of the titleholders are tech-focused. For example, four out of the top twenty fastest growing companies in 2016 were all tech-based. Facebook, Ambarella, Skyworks, and Super Micro Computer were among the top-rated.

Gazelle companies are also known for their ability to generate new job opportunities. David Birch estimated that the gazelles, approximately 4% of U.S. companies, were responsible for 70% of all new jobs. In 2008, the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Public Policy at George Mason University, found that only 2% of the companies were high-impact firms. Big companies were raising unemployment rates, and doing nothing to create jobs.  

Number8 and the Gazelle Company Theory

At Number8, we work to adopt the mindset of a gazelle company. Our employees are the best in the business. We ensure that all of our software developers are highly-skilled, and trained thoroughly. By employing people not just at our home base in Louisville, Kentucky, but also in Costa Rica, we are able to take advantage of the talent available all over the world. We also strive to create a community environment among our employees. This helps to develop a strong, and productive workplace, which in turn allows for creativity and top-notch products.

We are ranked as one of the fastest growing companies by Greater Louisville Inc. and since then we have ranked on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S. We are recognized as a leader in IT consulting, technical staffing solutions, and agile software development outsourcing.

One of the greatest values we bring to our customers is that our nearshore location enables us to augment scrum teams without the added burden of increased specifications, communication difficulties and rework. Our most successful clients integrate our agile software developers into their onsite teams. This helps to better leverage their subject experts and increase team velocity.

To learn more about Number8 and the services we provide, visit our page here. You can also give us a call at (502) 890-7665 today!

 

Tech Advice for Startups

To get your startup off the ground, no matter the nature of the business, you must be involved with technology. You may have the best business plan in the universe, but without a way to disseminate that information, the idea is virtually useless. Technology and tech advice is necessary on almost every level in the process of starting a modern business. All the tech advice available may seem intimidating at first, especially if your startup is not tech related. But, below we have assembled just a few bits of advice to help guide your startup down the path of success.

Tech Advice for Startups

Build Reliable Security:

Security should always be at the forefront of every business venture. Once you have a  great idea, you will need to make sure you can protect it. One way of ensuring protection is through technological security. Something as simple as developing strong passwords can help keep your intellectual property safe. Don’t give away your login information or let employees use your email or computer. If you aren’t a tech-oriented startup, or if you don’t have your own IT department, it might be wise to reach out to an outside company that could assist in strengthening your business’ security.  

Invest Wisely:

Starting a business isn’t cheap. However that doesn’t mean it should break the bank. Don’t get caught up in superficial elements of your business, that can come later. Use investor’s money as directly and efficiently as possible. Focus on the product and the mission of the business as a whole. Once you’ve built a strong base and web of connections, then you can step back and channel energy back into developing your business’ image.

Make Communication a Priority:

Whatever your business, strength in communication will no doubt be a benefit. Whether that means communication with investors, employees, or clients, you need to hold those relationships with high regard. One way to do so is through transparency and keeping everyone informed. There are many ways that technology can support those relationships. For one, maintaining an active and consistent presence on the internet and social media is a great way to communicate across multiple platforms. Investors and clients won’t be participating in the day-to-day goings on around the office. So instead, use tools such as Instagram and Facebook to allow them to feel involved and in the know. Social media can help to create a more personalized image of a company and in turn stronger connections with those that support them.

If you are in the process of putting together your own startup and are in need of IT help, we’d love to hear from you! Give us a call today at (502) 890-7665 to learn more about our services.