As member of the third Camunda Champion cohort, Markus Stahl had been invited to CamudaCon 2022 in Berlin. It was the first onsite event Camunda had hosted since 2019. Markus has a history of combining open source automation ecosystem of Robot Framework with Camunda 7. He currently works as test automation architect at Arvato Systems, where he pursues orchestrating long running asynchronous test cases with Camunda workflow engine. In this blog post, he provides an overview about the conference as well not representative insights what he sensed from the community.
CamundaCon was a hybrid event. Onsite visitors enjoyed river cruises, barbeques and a lot of sunshine at the east side of Berlin. Online visitors got web-exclusive street art exhibitions and live interviews with onsite peers. Who has been onsite, but still did not want to squeeze in to packed conference halls, could view talks with headphones on screens in the lobby. Great for everyone who still is not comfortable with pretending covid is over or for everyone who wants to hop between talks without leaving the room. Thanks to the headphones, talks could also be enjoyed like a podcast while sitting outside inhaling late summer sunshine.
Questions could only be handed in over slido, which made it fair for every participant being heard.
Community: Outside CamundaCon Camunda Champions have a dedicated Slack channel. During the conference, the community stayed in private channels posting learning or insights live from talks. Thanks to seamless digital / physical collaboration, community members (onsite and online) were in constant contact sharing thoughts and news everyone just had learned in individual conversations. Best example for the power of collaborative swarm intelligence.
Does 7 equal 8 ?
Although the company has 2 successful products on the market, it focused entirely on their latest "Camunda 8" which sometimes is perceived for being the successor of Camunda 7.
Community: While clients seem to have mostly be curious about Camunda 8, the community seemed to agree on 7 & 8 being separate products for different use cases. While being on cruise on Spree river or sitting at a campfire, the community elaborated the use cases, whether Camunda 8 might work for non-enterprise approaches at all. Consent was that Camunda 8 has the better technology, but lacks feature sets. Also pricing/licensing models make it difficult to start proof of concepts, as developers must elaborate first licenses and foresee possible later use cases. For those uncertainties, consulting companies might and community will stick to version 7 while having an eye on the shiny new C8.
Connectors are pre-implemented tasks that can be configured entirely in the BPMN modeler. First available connectors post message to Slack or upload data to Google Drive. During next weeks connectors for Kafka and MS Teams will be added. Unfortunately, due to overtime and technical issues, no questions about the business model behind connectors could be answered. Do users need to pay per execution? Or do service providers implement their own connectors and offer them free on an implied connector marketplace (Salesforce approach). Despite slido flowing over from questions about connectors will be available, answers were not provided on stage.
Update: Questions are answered now at a very well documented post at Camunda blog.
Community: Due to their nerdy nature, the community debated whether connector is only a marketing term for standardized service tasks. The approach could maybe easily be adopted for C7. Regular topic was the confusion about the extend to which connectors work in C8 SaaS or on-premise.
The complete conference setup made networking very comfortable. You could easily get in contact with other onsite visitors. The empathic community grooming is probably the asset Camunda company is most appreciated for. DevRel and Community Management are known for making a great job making the community feel comfortable. They do this not only during conferences. DevRel supports peers in the community to stay in touch throughout the year, spreading news about upcoming presentations, connecting potential speakers with meetup hosts or simply collaborate on hacking new ideas for prcoess orchestgration.
All in all, I recommend going to CamundaCon, despite it does not provide many impulses for tech folks like me. But that's what the Camunda Community Summit is for anyway. Though, I recommend checking out the Keynote from Asim Hussain about How to carbon score your software for a better world . Asim provided nudges like scheduling workloads from night to daytime, since the energy consumed comes from green sources. His talk gave me a few impulses thinking about my own scheduled pipelines and jobs.
For tech folks still the most valuable learning from Camunda is reflecting with like minded people where you stand with your use cases and how others approach challenges such as licensing, pricing or connectors. You get great insight where workflow orchestration journeys for enterprises on one side and community on the other side go. If you ever get the chance to go to CamundaCon, take it!
For this conference I give a 5-orange-hearts rating
Stage image by Tales Paiva
Teaser image by Camunda
Conference photos by Camunda
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