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Costa Rica Students Responsible For Two Impressive Innovations

Students hailing from the University of Costa Rica (UCR) have recently developed two important and innovative prototypes. Each of these inventions could have long lasting, positive effects for those in and outside of the Central American country.

Here are the two latest innovations from students out of Costa Rica: 

The Argot App

Seven students in the Business Management program at the Paraíso campus of UCR developed a sign language app. The app named “Argot,” translates the Costa Rican sign language commonly  known as “Lesco.” By using the camera on a smartphone, the app is able to pick up on the signs made by a deaf person, and can then translate the hand movements into the Spanish written language in real time. The app also works vise versa in that written language can be turned into sign using an animated figure.

Argot won the University’s annual entrepreneurship fair last July. While it is now just a prototype, the students plan to put their monetary winnings towards the development of the app. The result is a big step forward in terms of inclusion, as those who are deaf in Costa Rica will now be able to better communicate within their communities. Additionally, the student’s hope is that the country as a whole will have a better understanding of the language of sign.

Apati-Dent Mouthwash

The second innovation is a regenerative mouthwash. The mouthwash was created by five students from the Pharmacy Faculty at UCR during their “Innovation Management” class. Dubbed “Apati-Dent,” this mouthwash not only freshens breath but whitens teeth as well as repairing tooth enamel. This is quite a breakthrough when considering whiteners currently on the market. Teeth whiteners have proven to be hard on teeth by wearing down enamel in order to remove stains. As a result, the standard teeth whiteners often cause tooth sensitivity.

What Apati-Dent does differently is utilize “nanoparticles that contain the main mineral component of teeth.” By using an active ingredient in which the tooth is already made from, this mouthwash is able to strengthen teeth naturally.  Therefore, instead of causing wear and tear on tooth enamel, their product fills in places where bacteria would normally grow. While Apati-Dent is currently only available in Costa Rica, the rest of us eagerly await the product.  

At Number8 we recruit computer science students with a sense of adventure and innovative minds. We believe that studying in a top-notch university prepares you for the fast paced tech market and IT. Are you interested in learning more about our developers, or do you think you are qualified to join our team? Then give us a call at (502) 890-7665 today!

 

4 Artificial Intelligence Trends to Watch

We probably haven’t fully realized the extent to which AI has already been incorporated into our everyday lives. The Internet of Things (IOT), commonly thought of as smart devices, have now come to include household appliances, as well as handheld phones and speakers; all of which are voice activated and designed to follow through with commands. This much is clear: how we are currently interacting with technology is vastly reshaping the tech industry, and it has everything to do with artificial intelligence. 

Both companies and governments are racing to develop the latest artificial intelligence platforms, with potential even in the medical and political arenas on the horizon. As automation continues to grow, so do cloud based solutions; providing the need for on demand storage. While people are quick to jump to the conclusion that AI is going to create a mass job exodus, it could very well fuel job creation as well. For example, there is a shortage of AI researches and engineers, and demand for those who can compile data efficiently. What follows are 4 AI trends to watch, and how they might affect the industry as we know it. 

4 Important AI Trends

  1. Logistics

    When it comes to coordinating facilities and supplies on a large scale, the robotic workforce is already taking over. Warehousing and distribution companies like Amazon are putting AI to work sorting and finding packages; a job that was once labor intense. 

  2. Automobiles

    The auto industry has grown leaps and bounds from OnStar vehicle and safety features. Artificial intelligence has allowed Tesla to bring the very first self driving cars to the street. Additionally, assisted driving features like automatic braking, parallel parking, and traffic alerts are now standard. The future holds more innovation, as Uber looks to implement driver-less cars. AI also continues to improve everything from automobile testing to software updates, problems and repairs.

  3. Data Analytics

    Many platforms are already running off of AI because it is simply better at analyzing data. AI algorithms are determined by machine learning from large amounts of data. Intelligent apps are able to make decisions based on patterns of behavior from said data. This is how music apps like Pandora and Spotify are able to recommend songs. Facebook for example already predetermines what users will or will not see, based off of their user data.

    As a result, AI platforms tend to be better at detecting security threats, fraudulent transactions or behavior. Additionally, when it comes to customer service, chat-bots are becoming popular with financial institutions in that they enable them to have virtual assistants 24/7. These chat bots are able to answer a customer’s questions based off of prior frequently asked and answered questions. Even e-commerce is utilizing AI in terms of price fluctuations and targeted ads. For example, an item’s price can change on it’s own based on how many times it is being viewed, or sits in a cart. Specific buyer habits and personas are also being gathered via membership or reward cards.

  4. Content Creation

    Surprisingly, AI will affect both white and blue collar jobs as many marketing strategies now include some form of AI wether it be via custom videos, social media posts, or emails. In fact, articles are already being published from many reputable news outlets using not journalists, but artificial intelligence. AI is specifically useful when it comes to writing many variations of the same message, or financial summaries and earnings reports where numbers are merely being translated.

At Number8, we connect companies with IT talent and software developers that are fully trained in product development. By encouraging talent to come up with creative solutions, they remain motivated and positively contribute to a healthy company culture. 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.

5 Ways Remote Workers Can Make It Easier to Focus When Working From Home 

Being a remote worker certainly has its perks. You can work from anywhere if you want to, have flexible hours, and don’t have to worry about fighting traffic or the monotony of being in an office environment from 9 to 5. However, it can also be hard to focus on the task at hand when you know your boss isn’t around the corner to keep you in check. Therefore, in order to succeed as a remote worker specifically in the IT community, developing healthy boundaries and good habits is key.

Here are 5 tips to staying focused when working from home:

  1. Set up the right work space.

    Sharing your home with your work can be harder than it looks. On any given day, there might be dishes piled high in the sink, clothes tousled about, and a couch that is calling your name. Setting aside a separate space in your home that is designed just for work can be crucial to maintaining your focus. Doing so will allow your work to stay at work and not bleed into your personal life. Additionally, being in the same room of your house everyday will help keep you on task more than if you’re always hopping from one room to the next. While your “office” doesn’t necessarily have to be traditional, it should be clean and free of clutter as well as other distractions. Set yourself up for success by creating a space you want to work in; one with natural lighting, minimal noise, and fun decor.

  2. Dress for the part.

    Your appearance can have just as much of an effect on your work ethic as your environment does.  While lounging around in your pajamas or sweat pants may seem tempting, putting effort into how you look can help motivate you and get you in the right frame of mind to work all day. If you look and feel your best, you won’t be tempted to put off that video call or meet with clients. Good intentions make for success, and you’ll find a boost in your productivity, confidence, and overall mood if you put just a little bit of effort into how you look. 

  3. Time block.

    Working from home mean’s you get to pretend you’re the boss. The only downside? Figuring out how to manage your own time. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once. If you know your objectives, you can break up the day in an organized and productive way. Commit yourself to one task at a time, set a timer, and when it goes off move on to the next one. Blocking out your schedule within specific time frames can help keep you accountable as well as teach you how to estimate how long any given project will take to complete.

  4. Regulate technology use.

    While no one can see you checking social media, emails, or your phone from home, doing so too often can be a slippery slope and lead you to fall behind in meeting your goals. When you’re ready to sit down and work for a period of time, make sure your electronic devices are working for you instead of getting in the way. Block social media on your computer and try placing your handheld devices face down or in a drawer so you don’t get distracted with never ending notifications. If you must check your messages or Facebook feed, do so consciously by giving yourself an allotment of breaks throughout the day. This way you have something to look forward to and don’t merely let the day get away.

  5. Communicate.

    As a parent, pet owner, or roommate, setting clear boundaries with those around you is essential in being able to focus on your work when at home. Avoid the constant interruptions, or requests for attention by planning ahead for pet and child care. As for friends and family members, let them know your office hours so they can be as respectful with your time as they would if you worked in an office building.

At Number8, we believe one of the keys to achieving your business’s goals is great IT that supports your company. We help businesses access great IT by connecting them with remote workers that utilize best-practice tools and processes. 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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in A Career In IT? Here Are the Top 10 IT Jobs of the Future

Job growth in IT is increasing at a pace unmatched in other fields. Innovation in artificial intelligence and virtual reality alone have resulted in a redefining and merging of current roles as well as new positions in the tech world. While all of these require a diverse set of skills, they present a great opportunity to jump start and grow a career in Information Technology.

Here are the some of the top up and coming IT jobs:

  1. App Developer

    The apps on our tablets or smart phones have become the way we all communicate with one another, do business, and even consume news and entertainment; so it’s no surprise that mobile application developers are in high demand. App developers not only dream up ideas, they execute them. To do so, an app developer must be knowledgeable in designing code, debugging it, and problem solving in general.

  2. Security Specialist

    As technology advances, new risks arise in terms of securing data, networks, assets and a multitude of other IT systems. Hacking into a business’s or consumer’s private information for example, has become more and more common. Therefore, an analyst’s job is crucial to the success of any and every company. Security specialists not only fight cyber attacks, but are experts in risk management and preventing future crises.

  3. Database Administrator

    A database administrator is charged with compiling data in way that can be easily analyzed. Data is the most important building block in terms of how products and services  work properly. Administrators often have a background in security and are well informed in terms of the cloud.

  4. Dev Ops Lead

    A dev ops culture is one that is focused on a software’s turnaround rate. A dev ops lead is one who bridges the gap between those that run code and those that write code all in an effort to increase the quality of development and delivery.

  1. Machine Learning Engineer

    A machine learning engineer works to develop AI machines that can learn from and apply data in a useful way. Such engineers are advanced programmers that can utilize algorithms to train systems.

  2. Web Developer

    In the modern market, every business needs to have an online presence in order to properly compete for business. Whether you’re using a laptop or cellphone, websites should be able to work on any device no matter how they vary in terms of size or layout. A web developer can offer clients a competitive edge by creating web applications that are easy to use and provide excellent customer service.

  3. Network Analyst

    As more and more company’s are utilizing the internet to conduct business, analysts are needed to ensure networks are secure, speedy, and operating efficiently no matter the amount of traffic.

  4. Software Engineer

    Software engineers design and develop software that enable computer systems to perform their applications. They also offer technical support by implementing software solutions.

  5. IoT Designer

    The internet of things is a term given to any device or object that is connected to the internet. These days, our thermostat, fridge, or car is an IoT in that they are connected and working to exchange information. A IoT designer therefore has a deep understanding of sensors and wireless communication, and works to enable objects and devices with the latest technology.

  6. Business Intelligence Analyst

    Business intelligence analysts interpret popular trends in their industry that shape how they can improve a company’s business. To do so they compile data from within their own organization as well as from competitors.

At Number8, we connect companies with IT talent and software developers that are fully trained in agile product development. By encouraging talent to come up with creative solutions, they remain motivated and positively contribute to a healthy company culture. 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.

5 Myths of Working With an Offshore Development Team

Working with an offshore development team is becoming a popular alternative staffing solution in the software industry. Not only does it reduce operating costs, but it allows a company to build a team at their own pace. However, offshoring work comes with it’s fair share of misconceptions.

Here are a few common myths about the pitfalls of working with an offshore development team.

  1. The quality of the work will be poor.

    While trusting remote workers is reasonably hard for any employer or company to do, reputable offshore development teams have proven to help tech companies advance within the industry. As long as a partnership and relationship is established, and industry standard benchmarks are relied upon, the quality of work received will not be lacking.

  2. It takes jobs away.

    The fact of the matter is that U.S. based tech companies are facing a shortage of IT professionals. Offshoring some of the workload actually frees up current staff to work on reaching their goals. Developing the company’s end products is always more worthwhile than working on lesser routine and task oriented maintenance.

  3. It’s a security risk.

    Depending on the type of work that is being offshored, data privacy and intellectual property breaches can be a concern. Unfortunately, these security risks are just as likely to happen onshore as they are off it. Detailed contracts outlining who is liable can help curb risks and ensure everyone is compliant in terms of security needs. 

  4. We won’t be able to communicate with one another.

    In addition to the possible language barrier that comes with having offshore employees, there are also varying idioms, gestures, customs, and behavior norms that can throw communication off kilter. However, it is in no way impossible to find an offshore team that is either fluent in english, comfortable with a specific dialect, or capable of communicating through the right channel. In today’s world we are all connected online, and the agile project management method is specifically known for enabling more transparency between working partners. The idea that one cannot work in unison with those from other cultures is at most an antiquated idea as email, video chatting, and instant messaging allow for those from around the world to communicate with one another better than ever before.

  5. The time gap will mean a lag in productivity.

    In the IT world, completing projects quickly is crucial as ideas and and new technologies are always evolving. Depending on the geographical location of overseas partners, offshoring can often mean a difference in time zones and work day hours between teams. While this understandably seems worrisome, it’s important to remember there are many countries where part of the work day overlaps. Therefore collaboration can take place. If this isn’t the case, many companies make the difference in time zones work for them with round the clock support between both countries and teams.

Finding the right partners to grow your team and business is an essential ingredient for success. Why not utilize resources from around the world and open your company up to the best the industry has to offer?

At Number8, we help companies create software products with the help of offshore development. If you questions about our consulting process and why we are the right offshore software development company for your team to work with, then give us a call at (502) 890-7665 today!

Atlanta is Heating Up Again Thanks to a Surge in IT Opportunities

Georgia’s capital and premier city is gaining traction after the 2008 financial recession that left the city struggling to catch up in terms of growth. Their recovery in large part is due to their increasing presence within the technology industry. Microsoft, Worldpay, and Cardlytics among other big tech companies have set up their headquarters in the area. These corporations are reaping the benefits of low operation costs, tax breaks, and investment funding. 

The Fintech Explosion

Fintech is the focus of many of Atlanta based companies, both big and small. Fintech firms support online financial services and transactions. Alternative monetary systems like Bitcoin, Apple Pay, and Square are becoming more and more popular with consumers and businesses alike. Atlanta is at the forefront of such exchange currencies and payment processing, having even been dubbed “Transaction Alley.”

Business Incubators

Top notch tech-focused research facilities like Georgia Tech and Emory University can also be credited with the tech boom. Georgia Tech’s Venture Lab for example, helps students launch their own startups and has been an instrumental support program within the tech community. As a result, young talent is growing Atlanta’s population in groves. The U.S. Census Bureau recently credited them with the third most population spike out of all the other major cities, with about 5.8 million people now residing in the sprawling city.

Tech City

Those looking to compete for software developing, programming, and computer support roles will find plenty of employment opportunities. Atlanta has always gleamed the spotlight as a business mecca and powerhouse city. However, now it’s specifically shaping up to be its own brand of Silicon Valley. What sets it apart from other successful tech based cities is an affordable housing market, historic character, and southern charm; making it an ideal landscape for encouraging tech focused innovation. 

No matter which city your company calls home, Number8 can help your business connect to top tech talent. If you want to learn more about our consulting process and why we are the perfect offshore software development company to help you reach your company’s goals, then give us a call at (502) 890-7665 today!

Nashville, TN: A Big Surprise in the Growing IT Sector

With the Grand Ole Opry at the heart of downtown, Nashville Tennessee is famously known for being the music capital of the U.S. The city is also rich in tourism and entertainment, and has quite the trendy restaurant scene and nightlife. However, what may come as a surprise to many, is it’s recent claim to fame as a hotspot for the IT community. Information Technology is currently rising up the ranks as one the leading industries in the area and Nashville now ranks second in the country for overall job growth.

Educational Opportunities

It’s easy to see why those just now entering the field are flocking to the city for job prospects. For those pursuing an education in computer science, there are a plethora of programs available including the nonprofit Nashville Software School; which was one of the first coding schools in the region.

Living Accommodations

The city is also at the center of travel, boasting an international airport, with several main interstates intersecting it. Real estate is growing somewhat quickly as well in order to accommodate the ever increasing population. As a result, there are many revitalized neighborhoods and a healthy mix of suburban and urban life with an affordable cost of living.

Economic Revitalization

Because local business is booming, Nashville’s market is one in which fosters entrepreneurship and is ripe with tech startups. While this means Nashville is somewhat redefining their southern image, they are still a hospitable community in terms of tech culture and provide many opportunities for networking within the programming industry. The demand for software developers and computer system design is certainly present. It seems upcoming IT talent can find not only careers that encourage creative ingenuity, but a high quality of life as a resident of the city itself.

No matter which city your company calls home, Number8 can help your business connect to top tech talent. If you want to learn more about our consulting process and why we are the perfect offshore software development company to help you reach your company’s goals, then give us a call at (502) 890-7665 today!

Top Universities in Central America that Offer Computer Science Degrees

Getting a computer science degree in Central America has its benefits.

computer science

First of all, the cost of living in these countries is considerably lower. By immersing yourself in a Spanish speaking area, you acquire a lifelong skill that also improves your cognitive functions. Studying computer science prepares you for an ever-evolving career needed in just about every industry there is. The number of Central American universities that have excellent computer science programs may surprise you. Here are a select few…

Latin America University of Science & Technology – Costa Rica

There is a growing industry of eco-conservation that needs bright young minds to contribute. What better place to study computer sciences than one of the world’s leading countries in environmental protection? The Latin America University of Science & Technology in San Jose, Costa Rica is a private, non-profit institution that is the only bilingual university in the country. The computer science courses at ULACIT are challenging with a focus on quality, innovation, and service. Furthermore, ULACIT prides itself and facilitating an environment that encourages new ideas regarding eco-preservation.

University of Panama

The University of Panama has been around since 1935 and was created by presidential decree. Also, as a public university, tuition at the University of Panama is free— even for international students. With its storied history and low cost of living, getting your computer science degree at UoP is an excellent choice if you want a world-class education at a fraction of the cost of United States universities.

University of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the happiest, healthiest, and environmentally conscious places in the world. The country has a high quality of life which earned it the nickname “the Switzerland of Central America.” Additionally, Costa Rica’s ecological beauty and heavenly climate are unmatched. Along with those benefits, the University of Costa Rica is one of the finest higher education institutions in the world. Furthermore, it is the most prestigious university in Costa Rica and has several satellite campuses around the country. UoCR is a secular and humanist institution, encouraging social work and environmental activism from their students– an attitude that reflects the Costa Rican lifestyle.

Florida State University – Panama

This international branch of Florida State University is the second oldest university in Panama. Their computer science program is the only major you can complete entirely in the Republic of Panama Campus. The campus is at the City of Knowledge sustainable complex, which used to be the Clayton military base. Therefore, a booming international community surrounds FSU Panama students and encourages innovation with ample resources to meet your goals.

National University of Costa Rica

Studying in Costa Rica is perfect for a nature lover looking for adventure. In your off time, you can explore the country’s active volcanoes, go white water rafting, or surf in the crystal blue waters. Located in Heredia, the National University of Costa Rica separates itself from the tourist filled streets of San Jose and close to the country’s natural beauty. Furthermore, the university curriculum is rigorous and varied. It’s the perfect place to go for a diverse university experience while you get your computer science degree.

 

At Number8 we recruit computer science students with a sense of adventure and innovative minds. We believe that studying abroad in a top-notch university like the ones above prepares you for the fast paced tech market and IT. Are you interested in learning more about our developers, or do you think you are qualified to join our team? Then give us a call at (502) 890-7665 today!