How to start with RPA as a developer?

Were you thinking about starting with RPA? Today we prepared an article that will respond to all your questions!

If you are still a little confused about what RPA is, don’t worry, there is a small introduction to it:

Robotics process automation (RPA) means that by creating your own software bots to carry out business processes, you may replicate and integrate human behaviour into digital systems using a digital workforce of software robots. The robots can mimic every human action made on a computer; they can extract data or make a decision.

It is important to be clear about what processes you want to automate. There should be a few decision points in the process that follow clear logic, inputs are in the form of tables, spreadsheets, or general text formatted for every case in the same way; and your backlog is full of tasks that your team cannot handle anymore. If this describes your work process, using RPA is the right decision. 

But what if you want to start with RPA as a developer?

We have few tips for you here as well!

We asked our COO, Johannes Van Wijk, what he would recommend to someone who wants to start with RPA.

How did you start with RPA, and how was the start?

We started with RPA back in 2017. It was because of one of our colleagues that we started to consider using RPA for a project within Interoute. We had to automate a process involving 20 external portals, and the only way to do this was to use some type of RPA solution. It was extremely smooth, I have to say. It was very easy to get a Proof of Concept (POC) up and running in no time. And it was nice, because we had to work with the Subject Matter Experts to understand how they were using these portals, day in and day out. And then we automated like for like.

What are three things you wish you knew when you were starting?

I think there is a big misconception about RPA. Some people, particularly hardcore developers, may regard it as an improper method of automating things because it typically involves something that is already broken, such as a system that lacks an API or a process that makes little sense. But I always say, “Once you take the human out of the process, it’s a lot easier to optimise the process.”

A second thing I could mention is that starting with RPA is very easy. It is possible to build your first robot in one week of training. But don’t get disappointed when you get stuck at some point. Although it’s advertised as a “no code” or “low code” platform, there might still be a need to do some coding or other more complex things. (This is exactly the reason we started to provide the RPA assistance service – to help people get over the more difficult things, not by doing it, but by explaining to them how.)

What is your advice for people who would like to start with RPA?

Do a course, build your first robots. Then maybe consider doing a real course with some real cases that are a bit harder and a bit more complex. Then continuously try to automate your work and ask when you get stuck. You will get stuck at some point, even senior developers will. Just keep going with it. Remember, there are multiple ways to resolve a challenge.

Even though there are a lot of tutorials on the internet where you can learn RPA, it is always best to learn from professionals. We have The RPA Academy, where you attend live courses. Each live course is tailored to the audience’s level of technical proficiency. You can make quick progress while learning RPA on our courses. If there is anything uncertain, you can ask the trainer right away.

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