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10 Things to Do and See When Travelling to Costa Rica

travelling to Costa RicaTravelling to Costa Rica can be such an enriching experience for many reasons. Costa Rica is a gorgeous country nestled right in the middle of Central America with Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Ocean, the country’s close proximity to water and the Equator has allowed for lush rainforests to cover the country with greenery. Because of Costa Rica’s exotic terrain, beautiful beaches, abundant animal life, and friendly community, it is a tourist destination for people all over the world.

There aren’t many countries where you can climb a volcano, relax on a remote sandy beach, and zip-line through the rainforest in just a few days. You can do all of this, and much more, when you visit Costa Rica. Whether you decide to travel during the wet season, or the dry season, the country will not disappoint. To ensure that you get the most out of your trip to Costa Rica, we’ve outlined ten things to do and see when travelling to Costa Rica.

5 Things to Do When Travelling to Costa Rica

1. Experience Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve

Whether you want to walk the forest floor or zipline through the forest canopy, experiencing Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve should be on your list of things to do when travelling to Costa Rica. Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve was named for the nearby town of Monteverde and consists of 26,000 acres of cloud forest – a subtropical forest known for having consistent cloud cover due to moisture. With over 850 species of flora and over 150 species of fauna in the forest, you are sure to see some interesting sights on your visit.

2. Enjoy Nightlife in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

The Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a popular destination for tourists visiting Costa Rica. At night, the city comes to life with bamboo bars, Reggae music, and vivacious nightlife. There is something for everyone in this town. Whether you want to adventure inland to the rainforest, enjoy surfing and drinks on the beach, or visit the black sand beach of Playa Negra for a more offbeat adventure, all can be done in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

3. Explore La Paz Waterfall Gardens

The La Paz Waterfall Gardens promise to wow even the most travelled explorer. The Gardens features five waterfalls that are all accessible by safe and easy hiking trails. If hiking is not your thing, you can check out the aviary that features a vast number of bird species. You can also see monkeys, jaguars, pumas, other large cats, frogs, and orchids in this one park. Established in 1998, the entirety of the Gardens opened to the public in 2000. Since then it has become a thriving tourist destination nestled on 70 acres of beautiful Costa Rican jungle.

4. Relax in Tabacón Hot Springs

On more than 900 acres of reserved tropical land, the Tabacón Hot Springs are a modern marvel. The water is heated by a stream of hot springs that run through marshes and grasslands from the Arenal Volcano. Thanks to one man’s adventurous attitude and ability to think outside of the box, the Tabacón Hot Springs Spa was established in the late 1980s. After a complete overhaul in 1991 that took over two years, these relaxing hot springs are now surrounded by acres and acres of Costa Rican native flora, a restaurant, and spa making this one of the most beautiful and relaxing tourist destinations in the country.

5. Take a Tour of a Coffee Plantation

A lesser known fact about Costa Rica is that coffee beans are a huge export and one of the country’s most profitable crops. Thanks to the country’s location and climate, coffee plantations are abundant which gives tourists multiple opportunities to take a tour. Most of the coffee plantations are in the Central Valley of Costa Rica and each plantation offers a different experience, so if you’re a true fan of coffee you may want to check out more than one.

5 Things to See When Travelling to Costa Rica

1. The Nicoya Peninsula

The Nicoya Peninsula, which juts out into the Pacific Ocean, is a well-known spot in Costa Rica for its beautiful beaches. While it is a popular tourist destination, and will be crowded, it is worth a visit. The Nicoya Peninsula is one of the world’s Blue Zones and there are numerous nature reserves and wildlife refuges to visit on the peninsula itself. During certain times of the year, you can even see Leatherback turtles come to nest and hatch at Playa Grande on the peninsula.

2. The Arenal Volcano

If you are in the Tabacón area visiting the hot springs we mentioned above, you will definitely see the Arenal Volcano in the distance. The volcano is a sightseer’s dream from its almost perfectly symmetrical shape to its frequent activity since the 1960s. The Arenal Volcano has been inactive since October 2010; however, it could turn active any time and erupt soon after due to its placement and the high amount of water in its magma. Regardless of its activity, if you are in the area then you will be able to see the Arenal Volcano from afar or take a closer look with a guided tour.

3. Corcovado National Park

Further south in Costa Rica lies the “crown jewel” of Costa Rica’s system of national parks — Corcovado National Park. Encompassing the largest primary forest on the American Pacific coastline, the park gives vegetation and local fauna a place to thrive. The waters in and around the parks also promote ecological diversity. Baleen whales, including humpbacks, winter, and breed in Drake Bay which is relatively close to Corcovado National Park.

4. Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge

The Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge is another area of Costa Rica that promotes the preservation of wildlife and local flora; however, the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge sits over wetlands unlike other national parks and reserves mentioned in this article. This makes it a unique site for migratory waterfowl. It also makes it a unique experience for travellers as you can only explore the area by boat. In addition to migratory waterfowl, this wildlife reserve is also home to large cats, monkeys, and many other native species.

5. Tortuguero National Park

People know about the Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica for a few reasons. For one, the park is extremely remote and is only accessible by airplane or boat. Regardless of how difficult it is to get to Tortuguero National Park, it is still the third most visited park in the country. With 11 different habitats within the park, it boasts a massive variety of biological diversity. When you visit Tortuguero National Park you can experience the rainforest, mangrove forest, swamps, beaches, and even lagoon environments in a single trip. While visiting Tortuguero National Park, try to observe the egg-laying of both green and leatherback sea turtles which occur in the park.

Traveling to Costa Rica can be an enriching experience thanks to the variety of environments available to explore. A Costa Rican vacation can be made even more wonderful by the friendliness of the Costa Rican people, called Ticos. With so much to do and see in one country, there is something for everyone. If you are looking for an exciting vacation that can be a learning experience and a relaxing getaway, make sure to visit Costa Rica.

At Number8, we have a nearshore development office in San Jose, Costa Rica. Our development team travels throughout Costa Rica, for both business and pleasure, to enrich their lives with the country’s endless beauwildlifelife, and conservation efforts. If you are interested in learning more about our company, and what we do in Costa Rica, give us a call at (502) 890-7665 today!

Improving the Quality of Your Code: 11 Tips from Number8 Developers

number8 developers If you want a product that works and people will enjoy, Number8 developers know to begin with quality code. Of course, writing is a skill that takes time and practice– we all can’t be masters of our craft from the get go. In fact, about 20% of a programmer’s time is actually spent writing the initial program. The majority of the time, the programmer is debugging (fixing errors) or maintaining (adding features to) the program being developed. If you want to cut down on the amount of time you spend going back and forth correcting errors and modifying features, it helps to have a flexible plan of attack for crafting great code as you write.

Here are some favorite tips for improving the quality of code from Number8 developers.

1. Storyboard your solution before you even begin coding.

Remember how you were taught to create an outline for a school paper before you actually wrote it? As it turns out, not everything they taught us in high school was useless.

2. If you can’t map out your logic on paper, you are not ready to start writing your code.

You should be confident enough in your vision to defend it to a judge.

3. Remember: it needs to be user friendly.

When you work on the technical side of things, like Number8 developers, it’s easy to get tunnel vision and forget that not everyone who is using this product will speak your language. Remember to take user friendliness into account if you want your end product to be successful.

4. Get a second opinion for your layout or logic

You never know what problems a fresh pair of eyes can point out. Be open to criticism and use it to become better, not bitter.

5. Comment, comment, and comment some more.

Number8 developers comment on everything they build in order to inform others that may be reading the code so readers know what exactly their intentions are. If your code isn’t easily read and understood by other developers, you could end up losing your job.

6. Be mindful when naming variables.

Haphazard names can lead to confusion when it comes to modifying or amending issues in your code. Your variables should be descriptive, but to the point, and able to be differentiated from other objects in your code.

7.  There’s always something new to learn.

Mastering a code language takes lots of time. Be patient with yourself and open to learning new things, no matter what your expertise. Like any other language, whatever code you use can change and evolve with time, so it is up to you to work with it and adapt as needed.

8.  Delete unnecessary code.

When you are writing code, be sure you “clean up” as you go and remove code that has no purpose. Leaving superficial code in your finished product may not have immediate implications, but it can cause problems and confusion later on.

9. Be consistent with your style.

If you are working with a team, before you begin you should all agree on standard practices for things such as how consistent your indentations should be. Once those guidelines are established for things such as whitespace, naming, commenting, and any other rules you establish, stick with them from beginning to end.

10. Look at other people’s great coding.

If you want to write great code, it helps to read great code. Just as a fiction writer needs to review the works of great authors throughout history, a developer should look at the back end of products they admire or want to emulate.

11. Don’t Repeat Yourself.

The DRY or DIE (“Duplication Is Evil”) principle states that “every piece of knowledge must have a single, unambiguous, authoritative representation within a system.” Overdefining or overwriting will make your final product clunky and inelegant.

At Number8, we help fast growing companies find quality software developers that creatively help teams with their product develop and IT operations using agile development. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8 developers and what we do, give us a call at (502) 890-7665, or check out our information page

Why Nearshore Outsourcing Will Be The Next Hub For US Companies Software Development Services

nearshore outsourcingOutsourcing Software Development Services

In the United States, the Information Technology (IT) and Software Development sectors have been bridging the gap between company growth and lack of manpower using outsourcing. Outsourcing sends work to technology professionals who are not employed in-house by the company. However, they are capable of completing the tasks at hand and often have freelancing rates that they then charge the company whose services they completed. There are three kinds of outsourcing:

  • Onshore outsourcing – using a software development provider located in your own country. In the United States, this often works by using a firm in another state. For instance, a company located in Silicon Valley may outsource some customer service workers in Texas.
  • Nearshore outsourcing – finding a firm to fulfill IT or software development needs in another country, however one that is only a relatively short distance away so the time zones are comparable. In the United States, many companies outsource to agencies located in Central America.
  • Offshore outsourcing – using programmers and IT managed overseas in a different time zone on the other side of the world. IT work is very affordable in Asian countries such as India and China.

Nearshore outsourcing and software development combines the benefits of onshore with the cost-effectiveness of offshore. Reducing the physical distance between the teams allows for more effective communication and less of a cultural barrier. In return, there are less delays in projects and teams are able to work during the same hours, meaning less monetary loss for the company.

Nearshore Outsourcing as a Hub

A technology hub doesn’t have a neat definition, but Marketplace Tech’s Ben Johnson makes a pretty compelling argument that a hub should have four things:

  1. Government support
  2. Homegrown talent
  3. Venture Capital
  4. Culture

For comparison purposes, we are going to use San Jose, Costa Rica (where one of our nearshore offices is located). The headlines speak for themselves…

Government support? 

Mayor of San José, Costa Rica Promotes the Creation of a Hi-Tech City

Home-grown talent?  

Women’s Hackathon takes place in San José

Venture Capital?

A dozen founders and funders to watch in Central America and the Caribbean

Culture?

San Jose Pursuing Dream Of Being Friendlier, More Modern City

Costa Rica is one location that proves nearshore outsourcing is not only beneficial to tech companies in the United States. Thanks to the nearshore outsourcing opportunities that are flowing into the country, the country itself is able to grow and thrive. All-in-all nearshore outsourcing has all of the benefits of hiring in-house employees and outsourcing work to freelance workers. Plus, it helps the economies of not one, but two countries grow simultaneously.

At Number 8, we believe in the up-and-coming tech hubs that benefit from nearshore developing. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8 and what we do, give us a call at (502) 890-7665, or check out our information page here!

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.

20 Best Practices for Daily Scrum Meetings

Scrum meetings should be a part of every great product development team working with an agile approach to software development. Ideally, this daily meeting should meet certain specific requirements to most effectively document and complete project tasks, communicate status updates, and ultimately, to achieve excellence.

While these daily meetings can sometimes become monotonous for team members, it is up to the scrum master to keep every team member involved and engaged. There are many mistakes scrum teams unknowingly make during their daily meetings. And sometimes these can lead to communication problems, lower morale and general frustration.

Daily Scrum Meetings – 20 Best Practices To ConsiderScrum Meetings Best Practices

In order to avoid problems with your daily scrum meetings, consider 20 of the best practices for scrum.

  1. Keyword is “Daily”: While the timing of these meetings may change, every team member should expect to attend a scrum meeting every single work day. This will help keep the project and team on task.
  2. Timing is Everything: Once it has been established that these meetings are daily, selecting a time that is convenient for everyone will absolutely benefit the team. Also keep the meeting to a 30 minute minimum. And if you can keep it to 15 minutes, that’s even better!
  3. Everyone Stands: Standing helps not only your physical focus, but your mind as well. This gives team members the chance to get away from their desks and stay on track. Because standing for a long period of time becomes unpleasant, this will encourage everyone to stay within the meeting time constraints as well.
  4. Discussion at the End: These meetings should allow team members the opportunity to get their thoughts, feelings and struggles out on the table. All discussion between members should occur at the end of the scrum, or individually after the meeting. This will help everyone stay committed to the time constraints.
  5. Everyone Attends: If you’re involved in the task at hand, you attend. The participation and involvement of all of the team members will only encourage positive results.
  6. Look Back: If everyone adds their own thoughts about the day before, this will help get a better insight into the current work being completed.
  7. Be Present: After getting a look back, keeping everyone present in the project will help create a mutual understanding of the current work goals for the day.
  8. Look Forward: Now that you have looked back at yesterday and the current tasks, moving toward the future will help you maintain a clear vision of the project to help things stay on the right track.
  9. Discuss Problems: Problems should be discussed during the team meeting. Brushing over an issue can create more issues in the long run and keep the team from meeting project deadlines.
  10. Recognize Success: During team meetings, it is okay to recognize and celebrate successes within the team. This is not only encouraged, but recommended.
  11. Leave Out the Managers: While the manager and senior manager may be involved on this project in some way or another, leave this daily scrum meeting up to team members and the scrum master.
  12. Make it Peer-to-Peer: Just because the scrum master tends perform the leadership role in this team, it is important that everyone feels comfortable to discuss issues on a peer-to-peer basis.
  13. Plan Ahead: Because these are daily meetings, it should not be a surprise. Plan ahead with your schedule to make sure you can attend. And also plan your comments and reporting; this will help the team stay on track.
  14. Embrace Obstacles: Discuss project problems and challenges in a positive and proactive manner. Unexpected obstacles are a part of many projects. Keeping a good attitude during a time of crisis will encourage team members to successfully push through.
  15. High Energy Levels: The scrum master should be in charge of keeping a high morale and energy during these meetings. These should be focused and productive meetings.
  16. No Multi-tasking: All attention should be placed on the project being discussed and the team members conversing. All other outside issues can be dealt with after the meeting.
  17. Schedule Around Meetings: Knowing that these meetings occur daily will improve scheduling issues, but it is important that nothing should interfere.
  18. Respect: This team meeting needs to revolve around respect for fellow team members and their ideas. This mutual level of consideration will only help the team succeed.
  19. Keep it Organized: Time is money, and you only have 15 minutes to discuss everything, so keep it focused and organized.
  20. Have Fun: Lastly, these meetings are essential and unavoidable, so make it fun and enjoyable for all team members.

Whether you implement all twenty of these ideas, or just a few, your team is already moving in the right direction. These daily scrum meetings can become hectic at times, so try and keep things fresh and organized. Your project’s success depends on these meetings, so always use this time wisely.

Prosoft Nearshore Software Development and IT Staffing Firm Celebrates Six Years in Business

Prosoft Nearshore Costa Rica (PRLEAP.COM) December 17, 2014 – Prosoft Nearshore, a leader in nearshore custom software development, agile programming, and IT staffing, recently announced that December 2014 marks the company’s 6th anniversary of its founding.

Six years ago company founder David Easterling, already the successful business owner of a Louisville, Kentucky-based IT staffing and software development firm, set out to establish a convenient offshore location for custom software development, mobile app design, QA testing, IT staffing and other related services. The location for this new enterprise not only needed to be safe and secure, but it also had to support a collaborative, agile approach to software development.

While other companies offered offshore software development and IT staffing in far-away locations like India, Prosoft Nearshore was founded to serve a unique need in the market that provides IT staffing and software engineering services to companies using a collaborative, agile approach towards software development with scrum.

After identifying San Jose, Costa Rica as the ideal nearshore location for custom software development, the company began with just a couple of talented software engineers. Over the past six years Prosoft Nearshore has expanded to include a team of more than 50 highly skilled software developers, QA analysts, web designers, IT recruiters and project managers.

Discussing his decision to open Prosoft Nearshore in Costa Rica, company founder David Easterling explains, “Costa Rica is extremely stable economically and politically, with a culture very similar to the United States. It is also located in the Central Time Zone and is a quick flight from Miami or Atlanta. This convenient nearshore location facilitates easy communication and ongoing collaboration between our software developers and client teams.”

Prosoft Nearshore software developers are not only highly-skilled software engineers but they are also fluent in English and have excellent communication skills and business acumen. One of the many benefits of nearshore software development in Costa Rica is that it is easy for Prosoft Nearshore software developers to participate in daily team communication and to even make trips to the U.S. as needed, to meet face-to-face with client teams.

President David Easterling said, “Prosoft Nearshore’s 6th anniversary is an important milestone for the company. We’ve grown quickly over the past six years, working with clients in California, Florida, and all across the United States. Our commitment to hiring top notch technical talent with a focus on agile software development, and our focus on long term engagements, helps our clients realize significant gains in productivity and savings.”

In order to celebrate the success of six successful years in the nearshore software development business, the Prosoft Nearshore team in Costa Rica recently enjoyed a special holiday gathering that included delicious food and entertainment, complete with a visit to Tapanti National Park in Cartago, Costa Rica, and the opportunity to ride a mechanical bull.

Looking forward to 2015 and beyond, Easterling adds, “We are excited about some larger product development projects in the year ahead and look forward to continuing to deliver high quality work and excellent value to our customers.”

About Prosoft Nearshore
With busy offices in Louisville, Kentucky, and Escazú, San José, Costa Rica, Prosoft Nearshore is currently ranked the 16th fastest growing company in Louisville and #2675 on the 2014 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in the U.S. Prosoft Nearshore is a Microsoft Certified Silver Partner, with software developers specializing in Microsoft .net, C#, ASP.net, SQL Server, MVC, PHP, Java development, and javascript MVC frameworks like Angular, Knockout, Ember and Backbone. To learn more about Prosoft Nearshore, visit www.prosoftnearshore.com or call toll free: 1-866-320-6616.

CONTACT INFORMATION
David Easterling
Prosoft Nearshore
1-866-320-6616

Facts About Costa Rica

Costa Rica Located in Central America, Costa Rica spans almost 20,000 square miles, with a population of over 4.5 million people. Officially known as the Republic of Costa Rica, this beautiful country is bordered by Panama, Nicaragua, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

While Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica, many people in the country are also fluent in English. San Jose is the capital and biggest city, with nearly one out of four residents of Costa Rica living in or around the San Jose area.

10 Facts About Costa Rica

Whether you are planning a vacation or business trip to Costa Rica, or are simply interesting in learning more about this special country, here are 10 interesting facts to learn about Costa Rica:

  1. The average life expectancy in Costa Rica is about 79 years (compared to around 76 years in the U.S.).
  2. Costa Rica has a huge variety of birds. Estimates suggest that the country has upwards of 850 bird species. About two-thirds of the birds in Costa Rica are non-migratory, and the rest are passing through as they travel towards South America.
  3. Costa Rica is an environmentally progressive country ranked 5th worldwide by the Environmental Performance Index at Yale University. Costa Rica has met all the required criteria to measure environmental sustainability.
  4. Costa Rica is known for its volcanoes. The country is home to 6 active volcanoes and over 60 dormant ones. One of the most active volcanoes in the Costa Rica is the Poás Volcano in the Poás Volcano National Park.
  5. Soccer (or “futbol”) is the most popular sport in Costa Rica.
  6. Out of a total of 19 different countries, Costa Rica is ranked the safest country in Latin America by Latinvex. This makes Costa Rica a great place for visitors touring the country, and for businesses with offices in Costa Rica like Prosoft Nearshore.
  7. Costa Rica is divided into seven provinces: San José, Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago, Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limon. The national capital and largest city is San José, which is located in the San José province.
  8. Costa Rica is home to one of the most famous cloud forests in the world. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica is the biggest cloud forest in all of Central America.
  9. National parks, wild life and nature reserves make up around 25% of the land in Costa Rica.
  10. The rainy season in Costa Rica starts in May and lasts through November. During the rainy season, rain showers are common especially in the afternoon.

Lessons Learned From A Hackathon

Prosoft Nearshore Software HackathonFor the last two years of my software development career, I have been learning and implementing new tools and technologies. In that time, I have worked with tools such as Python, MySQL, PHP, Node.js, Cassandra, DDD, Test Driven Development, Ember.js, Web API and most recently, Mass Transit Service Bus.

I love learning, implementing and getting things done. I challenge myself and never get bored. As an indirect result, the quality of my work has increased which has led to better custom software development opportunities for me.

Last weekend, I participated in a hackathon. This was not your average hackathon. It was game development event specifically designed for mobile devices. I stopped playing video games more than six years ago because my thinking of game development at the time was “I don’t know how independent game developers would ever make money selling games. I don’t see myself creating a video game. I don’t think I have what it takes.” This was the perfect opportunity to push myself to be a part of something outside of my comfort zone.

We had 26 hours to create a playable game from scratch. My team and I had no experience whatsoever in other things then creating web pages or distributed systems. We were comfortable with the mundane things, nothing more. Here, we were pushing our limits. Most of the time, I enjoy doing this but in this instance, I was nervous.

Growth was the main topic of the event. I thought: “How can we resemble growth…? Oh yes! Maybe a plumber that needs to rescue a princess and when eating a mushroom he grows twice his size… Oh, wait… that already exists… bummer”.

We made up our minds and started working on building the game. We watched tutorials on how to get it done as well as used our own ingenuity to solve the problems we encountered. On our team, we had a talented designer working with us. Throughout the night she had the assets done beautifully. We got the stage working, the movements of the player was smooth as was the spawning object from the sky. We accomplished so much in a very short amount of time starting from scratch. We started with almost no knowledge in video game development and worked together to build the game from nothing.

We didn’t win the hackathon but the path was once heck of a ride.

Most of us underestimate ourselves. The truth is that we are capable of such great things, things we don’t even imagine we can do. The only thing keeping us from that – is ourselves. Sometimes we need to be confident enough in ourselves to step outside of our comfort zone and just think out of the box and many times, incredible things will happen.