17 Years, Multiple Custom Web Portals and Apps, and 3 Neo Awards


At each of the OutSystems ONE Developer Conferences, the OutSystems Community Team is announcing the winners of the 2023 Neo Awards for that region. These winners have all played a significant role in making the OutSystems community into what it is today. Each embodies the very essence of innovation, collaboration, and excellence that defines OutSystems while also helping others–either by building apps or supporting those who do.

In our Meet the Neo Award Winners blog series, we introduce you to some of these outstanding Community members and share what they have been building with our high-performance low-code platform. In this blog, you’ll meet Rafael Pereira, the Americas region winner in the Most Loyal Community Member category. But the recognition didn’t stop there; his OutSystems user group (São Paulo) also won a Neo Award for the User Group with the Most Events.

Introducing “RafaOutSystems”

Seventeen years ago, Rafael Pereira started using OutSystems (it was v3.2 then!). Not only would his world change soon after that, but so would that of thousands of developers in Brazil and Portugal. Sounds dramatic, right? Yet, it’s absolutely true. In the ensuing years, “RafaOutSystems” (as we know him on Twitter), would:

  • Become the Community’s most loyal contributor.
  • Be responsible for 2000 OutSystems personal edition downloads in a day.
  • Be one of the first OutSystems MVPs.
  • Preside over a Zoom OutSystems user group with more than 500 attendees.
  • Train thousands of developers online.
  • Win five OutSystems Innovation Awards.
  • Win three Neo Awards (1 in 2021 and 2 in 2023).
  • Found three companies–Digital Alchimia (OutSystems Consulting), Academia RafaOutSystems (OutSystems Training Partner), and HotLauncher (Digital Marketing).

Throughout the years, he has actively promoted OutSystems at conferences, in events in Brazil, and on video. He has also inspired thousands of people–from a pizza delivery guy to a 20-year veteran of .NET and Java programming–to pursue their dreams in application development.

“I had moved from graphic design to software, but was about to give up because of the complexity. Then I tried OutSystems,” he said in a recent interview. “Now I’m helping others from all kinds of backgrounds build applications with OutSystems. Some are from sales and some have been programmers for years. But they all agree that OutSystems is the only platform they want to use now.”

Over the years, Rafa has been involved with or built solutions for many companies in Brazil and Portugal. So, in the interview, he was encouraged to talk about his most memorable project.

An Enterprise-Grade Web Portal and App for E2E Digital Recruiting

A recruiting company in the Americas had a client that needed to find approximately 2,500 employees to fill temporary positions for a major event in just two months–and they had 75,000 applicants. The recruiter’s software could not handle that volume, nor could any of the packages they had evaluated. They needed a solution that could automate and streamline the recruitment and allocation process. It also had to be completely customizable and easy to use.

That’s where Rafa, his consulting firm Digital Alchimia, and OutSystems came in. He helped the recruiter discover that building the solution with OutSystems was the way to go. In just three weeks, using the OutSystems low-code platform, a small team that included Rafa provided the recruiter with a talent web portal complete with an automated scoring system. This allowed them to evaluate applications based on language skills, capabilities, and location and match individual profiles with specific roles.

But that wasn’t all. Later, by evolving the digital recruiting solution to support more use cases, the client also wanted the portal to be able to evaluate the video recordings of 5,000 candidates for a big project in the financial sector. “They wanted our solution to assess the energy level of the candidates and pre-rank them,” Rafa recalled. “So, we used integrations with Microsoft Cognitive Services to build in the functionality of emotional recognition.” They also added a feature that could go through the video transcripts and look for specific keywords like a company name and “teamwork.” As a result of this work, the digital recruitment platform increased the productivity of that specific recruitment stage by 500%.

Clearing All the Recruitment Hurdles

After the portal’s initial success, the recruiter wanted to expand the tool so it could use it for all its other clients. That included offline functionality to allow candidates from remote areas to record their videos and submit them. Rafa and team determined that a mobile application would work best for that scenario, and they easily built one with OutSystems, fully integrated and leveraging the zero-friction reuse of business rules and data, which makes it easy to extend it and to add offline capabilities.

“I like building web portals because the web uses light processing and there aren’t concerns about storage limitations,” Rafa admitted. “But in some cases, like with the offline video recording, a mobile app is a better choice, especially from a candidate care point of view. Experience matters!”

Although the recruiter didn’t know it at the time, their investment in the new recruitment tool would have a lasting impact just a few years later when Covid-19 arrived. Because everything was 100% digital, the recruiter easily made the transition to a 100% end-to-end recruiting process, including video and online interviews, without any problems.

Helping Others Experience the Joys of Developing Applications with OutSystems

Rafa learned to love development because of OutSystems and his experiences working with customers. And he’s determined to spread that joy to others by helping them learn and use the OutSystems platform. He started Academia RafaOutSystems in 2019, which has grown to be the largest and most complete OutSystems Academy in a digital format in the world, and it is now an OutSystems Premium Training Partner.

Today, more than 150,000 developers have benefited from Academia's content. Also, Rafa’s digital academy has mentored more than 1500 OutSystems programmers, and it has students from more than 10 countries. OutSystems has recognized him many times in the Community and on event stages for this work, and he is grateful for each one–and happy to show them off in his office.

“I’ve built a successful career because of OutSystems. I want to help as many people as I can to do that, too, and to know that you don’t have to start out as a developer to end up being one,” he said.

More Neo Award Winner Stories Coming Soon

We have more to come about the 2023 Neo Award winners, so stay tuned!

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