We are passionate about fostering a positive community where everyone who loves software can learn and grow together.

Software Conferences


Sharpen your technical skills, network with other professionals, and meet some of the top minds in the Ruby on Rails community. Developers, designers, entrepreneurs, and investors all find value in WindyCityRails. This event gives everyone a chance to accelerate their learning by interacting with others who are actively building Rails apps.

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Software Craftsmanship North America

8th Light organizes Software Craftsmanship North America (SCNA), a conference featuring sessions that explore software as a craft. SCNA is a one-day retreat that brings together professionals of all interests and experience levels within software development to improve themselves and their communities.

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8th Light leads and participates in a number of Meetups and tech events, and also partners with local nonprofits promoting technology learning to diverse audiences. Check out what each office location is up to here.


8th Light University is a Meetup hosted by 8th Light that invites developers of all skill levels to the Chicago office for lunch and talks on various subject matters that developers should find interesting.

ChicagoRuby Hack Night is a group created by 8th Light staff for Ruby enthusiasts to learn about and discuss all things Ruby.

ChicagoElm is a group for those who use or are interested in the Elm programming language. Everyone is welcome, and people of all skill levels and experience ranges are encouraged to attend.

iOS Coders is a group for anyone interested in iOS development, and takes place in Libertyville, a Chicago suburb. All skill levels are welcome.

Chicago Software Craftsmanship is a Meetup run by 8th Light employees that meets monthly to explore software as a craft through technical discussions. People of all skill levels are encouaged to attend.

Chicago Haskell is co-organized by 8th Light staff and focuses on presentations, getting together and coding, and mentorship around Haskell.


Codebar works to enable underrepresented people to learn programming in a safe and collaborative environment, and expand their career opportunities in the industry.

Ladies of Code is a Meetup for anyone who identifies as a lady and is looking for like-minded people to discuss code.

Queer Code was co-founded by an 8th Light employee, and is a group for queer programmers who wish to write code within a supportive environment.

Code First Girls is a nonprofit social enterprise with the purpose of increasing the number of women in tech. The group organizes courses, workshops, conferences and more.

Extreme Tuesday Club (XTC) is a group of people who look beyond the canned answers in software development. Many attendees come from an XP background.

CTOs in London —although the name says "CTOs," the attendees are a mixed group of people aimed at discussing trends in technical leadership and the tech market, with a focus what works best for company teams.

Los Angeles

Girl Develop It is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable programs for adult women interested in learning web and software development in a judgment-free environment.

Fullstack LA facilitates pair programming on open source projects. The main focus is on getting members in the community to create their first open source contribution, and then to keep the ball rolling.

LA Software Craftsmanship is a Meetup run by 8th Light that teaches community members of all skill levels the patterns and principles required to create well-crafted software.

LA Software Workshops is run by 8th Light and exposes people to all sorts of different technologies in an interactive workshop format.

LA Tech4Good brings speakers together to discuss ways to leverage technology for social impact in the greater Los Angeles area.

9 Dots is an extracurricular enrichment program whose primary focus is to improve the STEM programs available to students in underserved school districts. Read more about 8th Light's involvement with 9 Dots in our portfolio.

PolyglotLA is a community that loves to learn, teach, and share our passion in software development.

New York

Software Craft New York approaches our Craft in a modern, freestyle, pragmatic way while keeping the values in focus.

Where else should we be? Do you know of great Meetups or other opportunities to get involved in our community?

Let us know by tweeting us your ideas!

Open Source Contributions

As a community of professionals, we prefer open source tools that we can inspect, evaluate, and improve. The following open source projects were built and are maintained by 8th Light software crafters and designers.

Boucher is a suite of Rake tasks that simplfies your AWS deployment strategy.

Clojure Koans are designed to teach Clojure to beginners.

clojure.core is a host-agnostic implementation of Clojure.

Consistency Fail is a tool to detect missing indexes in Rails projects.

CSlim is a protocol for testing C based applications in FitNesse.

Elixir Koans are designed to teach Elixir to beginners.

Elm Koans are designed to teach Elm to beginners.

Erlang Koans are designed to teach Erlang to beginners.

Filament is a ClojureScript library for common client side behavior.

FitNesse is a simple tool for running acceptance tests.

GNU Smalltalk Koans are a set of tests that teach the Smalltalk language.

JavaSpec is a testing library for Java based on RSpec and Machine.Specifications.

Joodo is a framework for web apps written in Clojure.

Limelight is a rich client gui for application development.

Maru is a Go framework with GTP implementation in Clojure.

Metis is a validations library for Clojure.

Noam IO is a messaging platform built in partnership with IDEO.

ObjectiveCSlim is an acceptance testing framework for Mac and iOS applications

OCDSpec is a Unit Testing framework for Objective-C with a BDD style syntax and fast test runners for Mac and iPhone.

REPLy is a fitter, happier, more productive REPL for Clojure.

Rubarb is a bi-directional event-driven procedure call framework for Ruby.

Ruby Statemachine is a full featured Finite Statemachine framework.

Selenium on Rails is a Rails plugin for easily scripting Selenium tests.

Speclj is a tdd framework for Clojure based on RSpec.

Swiftest is an implementation of a behavior-driven-development framework in Swift.

Swish is a command-line build tool for Swift projects.

Manifesto for Software Craftsmanship

One of the important catalysts in the Software Craft movement is the Manifesto for Software Craftsmanship.

In early 2009, the software crafters of 8th Light were instrumental in writing this foundational statement of the values of treating software as a craft. We continue to operate and maintain the website that hosts the manifesto and its signatories. The four values of the manifesto (well-crafted software, a community of professionals, productive partnerships, and steadily adding value) are the foundation of 8th Light, and remain core to our daily work.