We spoke to one of 8bytes' iOS developers, Brian, about risks for new startups, VR and why young companies should choose Ireland.
What’s your role in 8bytes?
I’m a Senior iOS Engineer. I work with both Eoin our iOS lead and Adam our designer to build iOS Apps for our clients here at 8bytes.
What’s your background in this space?
My background is in computer science. I studied computer science at UCD before I moved to a company called HubSpot. I worked there for a couple of years before I joined back up with 8bytes which I founded originally with the three guys, Peter, Eoin and Adam.
To you, what is the most exciting aspect of app and web development right now in 2017?
The pace at which the development environments are moving in general. For example, the pace at which Apple is creating and adding new features. But also the pace at which you can use the tools out there to develop new products. It’s amazing how quickly you can get something from an idea to a working product these days.
What’s the most challenging project you’ve worked on and how did you and the team deliver it?
Without speaking about any single project in particular, I think the most challenging part of building software is bringing together all the components needed to deliver a great end product. There are so many different items from the concept to planning, implementation etc. that are needed. If you and your team aren’t disciplined it can become very difficult to deliver great software. Luckily the team here have worked together for years so our understanding of each other and how we work is very solid.
How do you envisage VR changing things for companies in the next 5 years?
I’m looking forward to VR being a thing people use in office environments and stuff like that. But I don’t think it’s going to change in a big way in the next five years. Not until they can get a headset that people can use and easily put on that’s like a pair of glasses. Rather than the current big, bulky headsets that have too many cords out the back of it. I don’t think they’ll be mainstream or have a big effect until they’re smaller and more user-friendly.
Accurate impression of teammate Adam
Why do you think Ireland has become the place to start a new technology company?
The most obvious reasons are the tax incentives and the support available from local enterprise offices around the country in Ireland — that definitely helps. The people here too are attracting large multinationals that have brought teams from other countries around Europe and the rest of the world into Ireland to work with the Irish workforce. The graduate pool here is also very substantial.
There’s quite a lot of people in the community which definitely helps when you’re going to set something up; whether it’s hiring or looking for a co-founder, there’s always going to be talent and that’s what makes it so attractive to start-up here.
What do you think are major risks to new startups?
The problem with risks in startups is that people foresee many more risks than exist and they stop themselves from trying things or doing things because they over-analyse risks and, maybe in their heads, create risks that aren’t really there.
I think if someone is sensible about setting something up in terms of how much money they put into it and things like that, the risks need not be so great and you can really try something and see if it works — and if it doesn’t work, go back to what you were doing before starting out in a new venture. I think that, in terms of risk, the biggest problem is that people perceive too many of them.
The team is incredibly talented. The group of people here are very good at what they do. We’re really passionate about what we do and all the projects that we work on, we care about. We’re really not here to do a 9–5 job, we’re here to work with people and create what they want to create. Our experience as well: We’re quite a young group of guys but we’ve gone through quite a lot in our short few years working on an array of projects, varying in scale and cost.