The interest individuals and businesses have in artificial intelligence (AI) and systematic automation technology is growing. As a result, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has catapulted into one of the fastest growing industries in this decade.
RPA is the implementation of software robotics, including AI, for automated systems. Successfully building and maintaining a top notch RPA system requires the expertise of an RPA developer.
What do RPA developers do?
Robotic Process Automation developers are at the crux of software developers, project managers and business analysts. They have to understand the requirements of the business operations and the business analysts to solve automation problems. In short, they design, build, and implement RPA software into machines and systems.
The terminology for this emerging role still varies, as you may see RPA developer being used synonymously with automation architect or process designer.
Skills Every RPA Developer Needs
Because this role is a fusion of at least 3 different career paths, a wide range of skills are required and the list can appear extensive.
Don’t worry! If you have experience in project management, software development, process design, or as a business analyst, you are already on your way to becoming an RPA developer.
Some essential skills of an RPA developer are:
1. Problem-Solving Skills
A crucial skill for every RPA professional is the ability to identify and solve problems. The developer job is to solve business problems with automated solutions. In addition, they will have to troubleshoot problems that arise during the lifecycle of the RPA product.
2. Communication Skills
RPA developer roles require collaboration. Business analysts will have requests that need to be translated to developers and managers. The RPA developer ensures that stakeholders and programmers understand one another for successful implementation of RPA technology.
3. Process Mining & Analytical Skills
Process mining is discovering, monitoring, and improving the tasks linked to providing a service or product. This skill requires in depth experience with event logs and IT systems to glean the appropriate data.
Being able to understand business processes allows an RPA developer to identify the areas that can be made more efficient with software robots, AI, and machine learning solutions.
4. UX Understanding
RPA software must be intuitive for the user, work seamlessly with existing software, and be flexible for adjusting as business processes change or require maintenance.
A well-rounded UX skill set is imperative for an RPA developer. The visual user interface must hide the complex inner workings of the tech, allowing the business user to easily feel in control.
At the same time, the interface should facilitate a better overall understanding of the workflows related to the process.
5. Computer Science and Programming Languages
While there is no education requirement to become an RPA developer, having a background in computer science, software engineering, or a related field will give you the fundamentals you need to hit the ground running on an RPA project.
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Typical RPA Developer Roles and Responsibilities
The role of an RPA developer is surging in popularity, but each organization has different requirements according to their business needs. In general, the responsibilities of an RPA developer include:
Identifying the business processes that will benefit from automation
Mapping out and setting the initiatives of the automation process
Designing, writing the software, testing, and debugging the automated workflow
Deploying RPA bots and automation tools
Monitoring the automation, ensuring optimum efficiency without errors, and troubleshooting when necessary
Writing & maintaining documentation on the project (this is important for future work, refinement, and scalability)
Training & Education To Become an RPA Developer
Bachelor’s degrees in fields related to IT, Computer Science, Business Administration, or Engineering are common for RPA developers.
Do you need a degree to become an RPA developer? You do not need a degree to become an RPA developer if you have the appropriate knowledge and experience in the aforementioned fields.
Anyone can transition into being an RPA developer, even without much experience.
What certifications do RPA developers have? RPA developers will have certifications based on the tools and containers they work with. To upskill into RPA development, there are self-study tutorials, training courses and RPA certification paths available to get you on your way to success. A few providers of RPA courses worth mentioning include:
Blue Prism is an RPA tool that businesses utilize to automate processes in an agile manner. They were one of the pioneers in the field and now offer courses via their Blue Prism University to teach RPA skills.
They offer 4 certifications, each one building upon the last, requiring a deeper understanding and expertise of Blue Prism functionality, tools, and RPA solutions. They include:
UiPath has courses covering both the software side and the business analysis side of RPA. UiPath RPA courses cover the UiPath studio, orchestrator tools, process mining, data manipulation and more.
There are 2 certifications available for RPA Development (and a third geared toward automation business analyst roles):
UiPath Certified RPA Associate (UiRPA): This is a broad course made for any career in RPA, including developers, but also architects and analysts.
UiPath Certified Advanced RPA Developer (UiARD): The material in the previous course is expanded upon for an expert level understanding of RPA development.
Automation Anywhere provides a very flexible configuration of classes. You can choose from On-Demand learning at your own pace, take live virtual classes, or try a combination of the two.
There are 3 different certifications for professionals from the Automation Anywhere University:
Automation Anywhere Certified Essentials RPA Professional: To obtain this certification, your ability to describe using RPA tech to solve problems and the value of the software must be demonstrated through an exam and by creating bots.
Automation Anywhere Certified Advanced RPA Professional: You must complete the Bot Developer trail for this certification. On this learning path, you’ll use Automation 360, learning to build and scale bots. You’ll also need to automate tasks on Microsoft applications, such as Outlook and Excel, and automate tasks between applications providing REST API and SOAP endpoints.
Automation Anywhere Certified Master RPA Professional: The Advanced RPA Professional certification is a prerequisite to obtaining the Master certification. To pass the certification exam, you will have to build multiple bots, handle various types of data, and write external script to extend capabilities.
Cloud software provider Pega offers a learning academy with “Missions” that guide you through a learning goal. If you are just starting out in this field, these courses are fundamental with little to no code, and will have you integrating robotic automations through Pega Robot Studio.
There are many other online learning platforms that have courses in Robotic Process Automation. Coursera.org will allow you to audit courses from UiPath and Automation Anywhere on subjects like RPA Lifecycle if you are just starting out or want to see if RPA is for you.
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How To Find a Job As an RPA Developer
If the 250,000 job postings on LinkedIn is any indication, now is a great time to find a job as an RPA developer. Process automation is advantageous and in high demand across industries from healthcare to finance.
We see it being deployed for processing claims and invoices, inventory management, e-commerce ordering, and more.
Because this is an emerging field, the educational and experience requirements will vary from company to company. If you have a related degree or prior experience, adding a certification will signify your dedication to forging your career as an RPA developer.
Even without any experience, you can get your foot in the door at an entry level position if you have the ambition to advance your skills on a certification path.
What is the average RPA developer’s salary?
The 2023 salary range for an RPA developer is forecasted to be between $70,000-$153,000 in the United States. The average salaries in the EU vary from country to country. Germany, for example, ranges from €60,000 to €83,000 while the UK ranges from £39,963 to £67,000.
Look to the future — and make the right Match.
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