The Next Step for 8th Light

The Next Step for 8th Light

Paul Pagel
Paul Pagel

October 27, 2022

We started 8th Light with an idea that we were capable of doing better — as software developers, as designers, as consultants, and as stewards of this new technology that has taken over all aspects of our lives. We had a mission to raise the bar for what we think of as quality software, prioritizing durability, dependability, and the collaborative process that crafts it.

The company has changed in 16 years. From a small boutique shop in Libertyville, Illinois, to an influential brand that’s recognized around the world, our legacy has grown with each new apprentice and every new project.

The work we’re doing is a lot different, too. We started before Rails or any of the numerous JavaScript frameworks added abstractions for us to reason with. There were no bootcamps or self-guided classes that have made software more accessible to diverse and creative problem solvers.

But a lot of the challenges we face remain the same. Software, design, and technology professionals are too often building products that are disconnected from their users, isolated from other team members, and failing to provide safe, inclusive, and empowering products that bring people together and make the world a better place. Software products are flaky, buggy, and difficult to change; and teams are burning out just trying to support them. These challenges are systemic and entrenched, and there are no shortcuts to overcoming them.

But I’m more optimistic than ever, because I get to see the work our team does every day. I’m continually amazed and inspired by their ability to actively listen, collaborate as a team, and craft something that impacts other people’s lives in positive ways. And at 8th Light, we know it’s not because we’re unique; it’s because we care, and we’ve seen how a small team of passionate, interdisciplinary people can lead by example, start with the users, and spark a wave of change across organizations.

I’m also optimistic because of the new brand we’re unveiling today. This new brand stays true to who we are. It’s built from the digital fabric of our craft, and it speaks to our legacy of learning new ways to deliver products that customers love. It’s enriched by the legacy of partners we’ve helped to unlock their potential and embrace change. You can learn more behind the new design system.

The brand also represents an exciting future. We’ve leveled up as an organization, and we’re excited to share what we know with more teams around the world. For the last 16 years, our teams of designers, developers, data engineers, and DevOps specialists have been raising the bar for how software can work for a business. We’re at our best when we’re collaborating with interdisciplinary teams, applying human-centered design practices, and matching disciplined implementation with creative solutions.

We’re looking forward to bringing our perspective to more organizations, and sharing what we know in new and bold ways. Whether it’s through articles and blogs on our Insights, community events, or building impactful software together, we’re eager to design systems that unlock human potential and develop products that customers love.

We’ve entered a new frontier where nothing is the same as it was when we started the company. We want to be the spark that continues to light the way to what’s next. If you’re interested in unlocking your potential, learn more about working at 8th Light. If you’d like to work with us or chat about how our team could be a model at your organization, please reach out; I’d love to connect.