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Community Conversations: Jean Robert Alves, Agi

For developers, enterprise architects, and other business professionals who utilize process automation technology, there is no limit to the potential use cases. With organizations implementing process automation in so many unique ways, there is a wealth of knowledge to be found from experts around the world. The Camunda Community is comprised of a collaborative group of individuals who answer questions, speak at events, publish content, and participate in online communities. These community members represent the heartbeat of Camunda, and they’re constantly finding ways to improve the strategy, implementation, and outcomes of process automation.

For the latest installment of our Community Conversations blog series, we sat down with Jean Robert Alves, a Camunda Champion and software architect expert at Agi, a digital bank based in Brazil. We caught up with Alves to learn more about his history with Camunda, his experience as a Champion, and the session he hosted at this year’s Camunda Community Summit. 

Q: When and how did your relationship with Camunda begin?

Alves: “Well, my story with Camunda started when my story with Agi also started. In 2017, I was working for another company, and Agibank made a partnership with us to start using BPM. So I was the one sent to start this architecture. In 2019, I was directly hired by Agi to help teams with implementing and using BPM and I continue to do this today.

Q: What issue(s) was your organization originally hoping to solve with Camunda?  

Alves: “When I came to Agi, there was already some process to sell products like current accounts, loans, etc., but it was all written in code. There was no living documentation like what we have now with BPM. I guess we were lucky to have such nice people who remembered the details and helped me a lot with designing these many processes as BPM diagrams. So I can say that our main problem was the visibility and organization of our business data and logic.” 

Q: How did you deal with these challenges before deploying Camunda?  

Alves: “As I said before, we had our code and documentation, which became old and outdated very quickly, as our code keeps evolving. Our strength was having teams with really nice people and experts in their business.” 

Q: How did Camunda help solve those issues?

Alves: “Well, as we started to build diagrams with BPM, I felt that I could finally communicate with developers and business people using the same language. It’s like showing some part of your code in a business meeting, but in a language that everyone can understand and even help us to improve it with their experience. And then, automating this with Camunda was very easy because Java was already our strength, and Camunda was a really nice fit for our microservices ecosystem.” 

Q: How has your utilization of Camunda changed in that time? What processes do you currently automate/orchestrate, and which Camunda products do you utilize?

Alves: “We started with just one or two processes running in a Camunda standalone WildFly server with Camunda 7.7. Since then, we moved to have Camunda as an embedded library in our microservices running at Kubernetes, just like any other service we have. Today, we have 40 teams, and I can say that almost every one of them has at least one or two microservices running Camunda. We use Camunda Modeler, Camunda Cockpit, Tasklist, and REST APIs a lot.” 

Q: Did you receive support from the team at Camunda? If so, what role did that support play in the implementation process? 

Alves: “Yeah, we get a lot of support from Camunda. If you go to the Camunda Platform Forum and search for me, you will see that in the first years, I was always there asking questions. Geniuses like Niall and Thorben were always helping me. Today, I try to give back by helping other people the same way.” 

Q: Does Camunda have any impact on your life outside of work? In other words, have you built relationships due to the Camunda Community?  

Alves: “Of course! My life changed a lot in the last few years because of Camunda. There are many daily jokes around me being a Camunda Champion, like ‘Oh, look! Here comes the Champion.’”  

“I even love to talk about Camunda with other companies who have asked me on LinkedIn about how to start this journey. I really love being part of such a nice community built around Camunda. In my 10 years of experience, there is no other tool that I have become so involved with, nor have I been as embraced by their community as I am now with Camunda.” 

Q: What does being a Camunda Champion mean to you? 

Alves: “It’s an honor and keeps me remembering to help others just like how the community helped me when I started.”  

Q: Would you recommend Camunda to someone looking to solve similar challenges? Why? 

Alves: “Of course! I’m always selling Camunda to everyone who needs the same help we received to solve the same problems.” 

Q: You were a speaker at Camunda Community Summit this year! Can you tell us about that experience? 

Alves: “First, I have to say that Camunda Community Summit keeps getting better year after year, and this one was my favorite by far. Speaking at Camunda Community Summit was my first time giving a presentation in English, so it was even more special for me. I was really nervous, as you can probably see in the video, but the community embraced me so well. And after the presentation, I even made many friends on the Slack channel, ones who I’m still talking to now.”

Q: How do you hope your relationship with Camunda will grow over the years?

Alves: “I’m sure it will only continue to grow and improve. Now with the arrival of Camunda Platform 8, we have a lot of space to talk about the news and bring even more people to this lovely community.” 

Read about another inspiring Camunda Champion >>