Complete Beginner's Guide to becoming RPA Developers
(Frequently Asked Question by RPA Developers)
What can you achieve by learning RPA for six months as a complete beginner? When you first get started with RPA, you’re surely curious to know about RPA tools and their capability.
In this post, I’ll share with details and most frequently asked questions around RPA tools and will also give you an overview of the main resources I used and found helpful.
So, if you’re new to RPA and thinking about where you could be after learning RPA for six months yourself, this post is for you!
Table of Contents
Well, first thing first! What is RPA all about?
RPA is an emerging field of business process automation which uses the digital workforce (Sort of Software Robot) with AI (Artificial intelligence) and Machine learning capabilities to automate task just like a human being was doing them across multiple systems.
It utilizes the user interface of the existing system and provides the ability to automate high-volume, monotonous and repetitive task.
Robotic process automation, which is driving the digital transformation of businesses around the globe, has applications in almost all the industry type and any sort of processing. It can be used from Employee onboarding to Payroll Process to exit clearances.
While Insurance and Financial Industry are ahead in the race to implement the best in the class digital workforce to automate their stuff and provide better customer experience and also by saving many FTE.
RPA has gained a huge amount of success in no time and many organizations have already created COE for transforming their business process. Not only this some organization are also in the race to implement RPA 3.0 (Intelligent Automation) based on decision supported by Machine learning and AI capabilities.
SO, it’s going to provide many opportunities for qualified and skillful job opportunities!
Several Enterprise has benefited from efforts to automate any business process using RPA. You can find more about leading success stories by visiting RPA tools website such as Blue prism, UIPATH, Automation Anywhere, Kryon etc.
They have also published many case studies of real-life RPA success stories of teams that have moved beyond tactical robotic process automation (RPA)
For Example –Microsoft pays approximately $4.5 billion each year in royalties to third-party games developers. Before the implementation of Kryon RPA, the manual royalties process flow was complex, taking 15-20 minutes for each statement to be completed. Microsoft used Kryon to automate the royalty payouts process, significantly cutting down processing time. The Royalties team achieved a time saving of 2900%, with 300 statements processed in just 2.5 hours using Kryon, compared with 3 days when done manually.
Source – [ Microsoft Case Study ]
However, the flip side of the coin is – RPA skills shortage, poor change management, lack of IT ownership, ill-defined success criteria, and disregard for infrastructure management considerations are some of the factors that have led to the failure of several RPA initiatives.
You can read more about – Three things that matter for an RPA Success Story – Script
So far my journey has been fascinating with different RPA tools I have worked upon and it has provided me with some real digital workforce to build and automate some boring stuff I do at home!
And … I am still learning to implement various third-party integration to support AI-Based decision.
Well …based on my findings and exploring various forums I have put together most commonly asked a question about RPA developers and tools used in the market.
What is an RPA Developer?
Well, RPA Developer is a new career path and many organizations offer different positions and titles like ‘Process Designer’, ‘Solution Designer’ or ‘Automation Engineer’.
But no matter the title given to your role it requires specific tool knowledge such as UiPath or Automation Anywhere or Blue Prism (Many others) along with cross-functional knowledge of business process and operations to create or optimize an existing process.
Whatever the tool you will work it will require an understanding of workflow diagrams and some basic understanding of common programming language such as .NET, Python, Java (to name a few!).
What does an RPA Developer do?
Responsibility of RPA developers vary based on skills/experience and choice of tool your organization is using, however, most of RPA developers are responsible for –
- Perform Proof of Concepts to help the business recognize the feasibility of an automated solution
- Design process solutions in accordance with organization laid design principles and conventions
- Configuring new processes using core workflow principles that are efficient, well structured, maintainable and easy to understand.
- Supporting existing processes and implementing change requirements as part of a structured change control process.
- Creating and maintaining solution documentation such as Processor Solution documentation. It’s also include designing of other documents such as initial Process analysis document (IPA), Operational Handover Documents (OIDs) etc. to support the Operational Teams during the UAT and rollout phases
- Problem-solving issues that arise in day to day running of processes in Production Environment and providing timely responses and solutions as required.
- Mentoring colleagues through the training and accreditation program – providing advice and guidance on best practice and development techniques
- Supporting Production Issues during off business hours (RPA Support Professionals)
How to Become an RPA Developer?
Looking at the Pace of changes happening and making use of Artificial intelligence through RPA is a fascinating career option for SURE!
To make avail of these exceptionally high ranging career opportunities provided by the field of RPA, the major prominent thing for anyone to do is to leverage their knowledge regarding all the in-depth aspects of Robotics Automation.
- You don’t need to be master of all the tools available in the market.
- Gain technical knowledge in one of the leading tools like Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism and UIPath.
- Trust me no prior experience is required for RPA tools to learn however some basic knowledge on HTML, .NET and programming skills will help you to get going.
- Below are the official links of leading tools to start learning with the official training programme. Most of these are free and some also provide free certification to access your knowledge.
If you are thinking of a career in Robotic Process Automation (RPA), you should definitely start gaining skills and go for it as a career in this field is considered to be very effective in one’s career development.
What is knowledge prerequisite for RPA developer?
Mostly RPA is code-free or requires very minimal programming knowledge and there is no as such criteria that you should know ‘This or That’ before starting learning RPA however Analytical skills will be most valued.
You don’t need to have technical background and software development and programming experience initially; However, in case you want/need to extend the capability of RPA tools you need to have professional experience in programming (including scripting /coding), SQL and relational databases.
Typical RPA development involves:
- Designing workflows – Familiarity with Flow charts and UML diagrams will be basic building blocks of your workflow so good understanding of Flow charts will be required.
- Perform Operations – Interaction with REST API, Database or Machine Learning Model require a basic understanding of SQL concepts and API terminologies to interface with external applications advanced knowledge of XML and XSD, understanding of REST API would be required to build effective automation.
Some Latest Tutorials Based on RPA Tools
Different RPA Roles and Responsibilities
- Process Designer/RPA Developer/ Solution Designer – Responsible for designing workflow-based to automate business process.
- Automation Architect- Automation Architect implements RPA project using the RPA tooling including infrastructure and other requirements.
- Production Manager- After a project is tested and rolled into production, it then becomes the responsibility of the Production Manager to Handle day to day operational stuff more like production support job.
There are few other titles available in the market they mostly cross-function role of above three such as solution architect, Control Room Manager, Configuration Analyst etc.
Some fancy name such as Intelligent Automation developer, Cognitive Automation Developer etc. are also in trends.
How to Get RPA Certified?
It depends on in which RPA tool you want to get certified. Most of the vendor provides a self-paced learning platform to gain knowledge around RPA tools.
There are around 40+ tools under RPA, from which Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, UiPath,Workfusion and OpenSpan are most trendings in the market.
And here is the link for you to start looking at –
RPA vs. AI & ML (Or are They Better Together?)
This is of most talked and even the most confusing terminology like IA. Let be clear!
“RPA is a software robot that mimics human actions, whereas AI is the simulation of human intelligence by machines.” –
According to IoT Agenda, Robotic process automation (RPA) is the use of software with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities to handle high-volume, repetitive tasks that typically needed humans to perform.
- RPA is highly process-driven — it is all about automating repetitive, rule-based processes that typically require interaction with multiple, disparate IT systems. On the other hand, AI & ML are based on data-driven.
- AI is more outcome-focused, correlating data from every source (including what RPA bots can bring) and making the right decision based on time, place, and any other available information.
- As a matter of fact, RPA, even when empowered by AI, is not a Terminator-like robot. It’s not cloning humans. It’s just an advanced set of software that follows rules to perform business actions. Humans are requested to build the rules, handle exceptions, bring emotional intelligence, and deal with complex and unpredictable issues.
Most of the vendors are bringing AI & ML together to solve & automate the more complex process and focus is shifting toward cognitive automation & Intelligent automation potential to make business processes smarter and more efficient.
How does experience in RPA help me in learning AI/ML?
Frankly speaking, it will not unless you write your own model to train data and then deploy robots to perform your task. AI/ML algorithms are being utilized by RPA tools providers to enhance their own product functionalities but learning these tool will not help you learn the core technology behind the AI &ML.
Even if you are using some third-party library for routing of mails received at customer service using sentiment analysis and NLP you will not have a proper flavour of capability that it brings in.
Various Third-party library are available to be consumed by RPA tools in the following area; alternatively, you can build your own custom activity or utility objects –
- Text Analytics: Sentiment Analysis, Key Phrase Extraction
- Natural Language Processing: Extract concepts, entities, Content Classification
- Computer Vision: Extract Text (OCR), Handwriting Recognition, Detect objects
- Translator Text: Language Detection and Translation
As an individual is distinct in their style, the same as in RPA, every tool is unique in their applications & used in different industries.
Everyone has their own set of requirements pertaining to the company they are working with. Hence the interest is vested in your hands to make the best choice for your use case to implement RPA Solutions.
Despite the fact that the RPA market is still small, it is growing steadily. According to the HfS research, the global market of RPA will reach $1,2 billion by 2021. By that time, 40% of large organizations would be using RPA solutions with AI and ML features.