This week I had the chance to interview Rui David, a long-time OutSystems partner and enthusiast. We talked about how he got interested in OutSystems, the impact OutSystems has made on his professional life and why he decided to create a new website aggregating listings of OutSystems jobs. I hope you find his journey with OutSystems as interesting as I did.
Hi Rui. Thanks for letting us have a moment of your time.
Why don’t you start by letting our readers know a bit about you?
My name is Rui David, and I’ve been working with OutSystems and the Agile Platform for quite a while now. When I was 2 years old my parents took me to Brazil, and I lived there for the first part of my life. Around 1998 I came back to Portugal, and started working at ROFF, an IT consulting firm specialized in SAP, and an OutSystems partner.
How did you end up getting involved with OutSystems?
In 2001 I watched a presentation of the Agile Platform done by Francisco Menezes and Paulo Rosado, and I fell in love with it. I ended up getting involved by helping to develop an extension to connect to SAP, and it was great. Bear in mind that at that time the OutSystems Agile Platform was in its infancy. If I recall correctly, we were using version 2.0, back then there was no such thing as 1-Click Publishing, or most of the other cool features we have today. But I could see that the Agile Platform was the way to go.
At that time my boss was very skeptical about this technology, and he didn’t really support my involvement with the Agile Platform. However, one day there was a need for an OutSystems consultant for a long-term project, and I came up to my boss saying “Well, we have a challenge with OutSystems…”. He immediately pushed back, saying that he didn’t want to hear me talking about OutSystems, but the moment I said that there was an opportunity to place a consultant of ours in such a project, he went “now we’re talking!”, and was sold.
From then on, we started investing in OutSystems, and at the time grew quickly to having 12 people working in OutSystems across multiple projects.
That’s quite a story. What exactly enticed you about OutSystems at the time?
Well, at the time I fell in love with the vision – and really, there were very few people paying attention to this. The company was still in the old offices, the Agile Platform as we know it nowadays still didn’t exist… It was a small group of people who believed in this, with some external people who also believed, and I wanted to be part of it.
Now that I think of it, the amount of opportunities that OutSystems generated for all those involved, and the amount of companies that were created around OutSystems is huge. I mean, the number of projects I participated in, changing companies, going to customers abroad… OutSystems knowledge really became an asset, and a valuable one. Even if at the time people told me to stick with SAP and the traditional languages, looking back I know that the investment I did at the time has clearly paid off. It was really great.
What’s the thing you like the most about working with OutSystems?
The thing I like the most has to be the grand finale, the “wow” that customers get when their project is all delivered. One thing I like about selling OutSystems is that you arrive at a customer with this huge problem, and I’d just drag things around and it was done… You wouldn’t believe how many times I got “I can’t believe this – it’s too good to be true”! The look on the customers’ faces is always priceless.
We get a lot of that “too good to be true” comment! How did your career evolve from here? What came next?
In 2005 I was presented with an opportunity to go to Madrid for a pre-sales position for OutSystems projects, on behalf of a company called Intionis. I stayed there for a while, and I even translated the OutSystems training contents to Spanish so people could learn it better, but eventually one of the partners left the company for personal reasons, and I decided to come back to Portugal. I often say that it was a great opportunity, and I learned a lot about people management, but it was also the most expensive Spanish course I ever had! (laughter)
Returning back to Portugal, I worked in several OutSystems partner companies as Delivery Manager, Engagement Manager at times, and other times as a one-man-show. It’s all in a day’s life for an IT consultant.
What about now? What’s next for you?
Recently, an opportunity came up for me to go abroad again. This started back when I was in Spain. At the time, I went to Brazil to evangelize OutSystems, and did some workshops at a couple of universities. I gave them training in OutSystems, Agile, and after the training the best students would be invited to work in remote projects, from Brazil to Spanish customers. I ended up delivering some projects with the remote teams.
However, one of the university professors and one of students at the time worked at WPD, the leading Brazilian healthcare IT systems and consulting services provider. Three years later, WPD was searching for a new leading IT development platform, found the OutSystems web site and evaluated the Agile Platform. When they were in the process of becoming OutSystems customers, they approached me directly to go and work for them in Brazil so I am getting ready for a new adventure.
Recently your new OutSystems Jobs website started getting some buzz around it. Could you tell us what’s that all about?
The idea for this project was born from the fact that I’m going abroad again. The last time I returned from an international assignment, one of the things I hated the most was not knowing what was going on in the OutSystems ecosystem. For example, who were the new partners, how had the market evolved, and so I had a hard time catching up. Even getting to came back now and then it was hard to keep up with everything. On the other hand, the most satisfying thing I found was that when I left there were 5 OutSystems partners, and when I returned back in 2005 there were 15!
This time around, I thought that the best way to keep up with all the action and also help others in a similar situation was to have things go through me, and centralizing all job offers regarding OutSystems in a single site!
That idea came up one day during work, and then I pulled it off during the weekend, and published a few job posts there immediately. From then on, I spread the site around, and the snowball effect started. The site’s been up for 4 weeks now, and for an OutSystems-only job site, it’s already getting a consistent 30-visits a day from all around the world, with Portugal being the majority of them and Netherlands in second with 11% of the visits.
What are the plans for the future of the website?
Well, while initially it started with me seeding the site with existing job postings for OutSystems, the idea is for it to grow organically. I already have 15 different entities posting jobs every day, and over 140 job postings there. Hopefully it’ll keep growing, and will have even more people using it.
The idea in the long run is to evolve to a full OutSystems jobs site, where we also have different user profiles, so, whenever a job posting comes, the profiles are immediately matched to the posting so that the users who want to be notified of specific job postings will receive them. Companies will also get to know exactly who in the database fits the profile – as long as the users have given permission for it, of course.
Also, I’d like to consider how to link the website to the actual OutSystems site.
Cool. I’m sure that the website is already a frequent stop of our community members. And from our part, is there anything you would like OutSystems to improve in the future?
I’d love if OutSystems would make it easier for us to deploy applications in the most popular and standard hosting services, such as GoDaddy. That would be very interesting, and it’s the main reason I sadly didn’t choose to make the OutSystems Jobs website using the Agile Platform.
That feedback is much appreciated. Before we wrap it up, do you have some final words for our readers and members of the community?
Years back I made a bet on OutSystems, and what I see today is that the bet clearly paid off. It was the right one to make even when everyone was against me. But the truth is that working with OutSystems and the Agile Platform is easy, and I’ll keep betting on it.
Many times people come to me with the question of whether they should pursue .Net or OutSystems. My reply to them – and a question to the readers – is whether they want to be programmers or consultants.
Do they want to earn money by typing lines of code, or actually making things happen? With OutSystems, you know what the end goal is, and you can just focus on that.
Thanks a lot for your time. Good luck with your new venture!
If you want to learn more about OutSystems-related jobs, don’t hesitate to drop by his website, at www.outsystemsjobs.com, and catch-up with the latest job postings.