According to 60% of current RPA professionals, the 2020 pandemic has accelerated the demand for RPA globally and many businesses are now planning on implementing RPA practices or advancing their use of such in order to increase agility and continuity, which will change the future of the business landscape in the long-run. As a result, there will be a significant rise in demand for RPA specialists to cater for this new automated business model and meet current and future skills shortages.
Let's take a closer look at the main roles and responsibilities of an RPA Developer and the key skills required on the job, including first-hand insights from two FDM RPA consultants.
RPA Developer Job Description
The roles and responsibilities of an RPA Developer include designing, developing and implementing innovative RPA systems. RPA refers to an advanced automation technology which is designed to enhance business productivity and maximise efficiency. RPA is extremely versatile and has already begun transforming business models across industries around the globe, including in healthcare, banking and supply chain.
RPA systems carry out processes on their own, but they still rely on highly skilled RPA Development teams to maintain them and make improvements. So, what does the role of an RPA Developer entail and why is it so important?
RPA Developer roles and responsibilities include:
- Identifying and designing business processes for automation
- Setting up, testing and monitoring automated workflows to ensure that business processes function at optimum efficiency without risk of error
- Monitoring and maintaining automation post-implementation and resolving any potential issues to ensure smooth business operations
- Producing process documentation in order to outline mistakes and successes and refine processes going forward
- Ensuring quality automation using Quality Assurance (QA) processes and prevent any potential bugs
Skills for RPA Developer
RPA Developers are required to demonstrate a variety of both soft and hard skills. Some of the key abilities required for this role include:
- Problem-solving skills
- Excellent written and verbal communication
- Attention to detail
- Mastery of Automation tools, such as Blue Prism, UI Automation or UiPath
- Proficiency in programming languages, such as C, C++, Java, Python or .NET
- Basic knowledge of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Experience with Databases, such as SQL and NoSQL
FDM’s world-renowned training programme is designed to equip you with all the necessary skills you need to succeed as an RPA Developer, including essential professional skills and relevant industry experience.
How to become an RPA Developer
The traditional route to becoming an RPA Developer involves obtaining a relevant undergraduate degree, such as in Computer Science or Computer Programming, as well as acquiring suitable qualifications and work experience. At FDM, we offer graduates the opportunity to pursue a career in RPA without the need for a technical degree or prior RPA experience; we welcome candidates from all academic backgrounds. Our RPA Graduate Programme will provide you with the training and skills necessary to succeed as an RPA Developer, followed by a two-year work placement with one of our leading global clients.
A day in the life of an RPA Developer
Abdul-Hameed Yussuf and Rory Dalton are FDM Consultants placed on-site within Robotic Process Automation roles. They shared with us their career stories and valuable insights on what it’s like to be an RPA consultant.
What is your role and what does a typical day look like for you?
Abdul-Hameed: I am an RPA Specialist, which is a combination of an RPA Developer, an RPA Business Analyst and an RPA Controller. I work in a small team with several other RPA Specialists in an international law firm.
A typical day for me starts with logging into Blue Prism and checking the control room to see if there are any issues with the early morning processes and whether the expected ones were sent to the appropriate recipients. I spend most of my day working on projects involving RPA Development, stakeholder management and maintaining the RPA Infrastructure.
Rory: Throughout my two years as an FDM Consultant, I have gained experience working both as a Business Analyst and an RPA Analyst in a multinational insurance company. Since the company is operating under Agile methodologies, a typical day involves a morning ‘stand-up meeting’, during which each member of the team provides an update on the latest task that they were working on. This is usually followed by a number of meetings with developers and stakeholders, as well as working on requirement documentation, process flows and other tasks to aid the Software Development Life Cycle (e.g. solution design reviews, testing support, deployment plans etc.).
What is your favourite thing about your role?
Abdul-Hameed: I have the opportunity to work with different departments in the business, which means that the projects I get involved with vary a lot. Due to the wide range of projects, tackling them and finding solutions to problems often require different approaches.
Rory: Having an experienced team within the organisation to learn from has been a great asset for my role. The team provides me with a wide range of projects that I am able to get involved with.
What challenges do you face in your role and how do you overcome them?
Abdul-Hameed: Processes have different levels of complexity, which can often be challenging as this affects their suitability for automation. I raise these concerns during the Process Analysis stage of a project, which involves both the RPA team and most of the stakeholders, so that a solution can be reached where both sides are satisfied.
Rory: Most of the challenges I have faced were mainly caused by the complexity of the organisation’s legacy systems or stakeholders who were difficult to manage. To overcome these issues, I tried to spend more time learning the system processes, speaking to technical leads and creating simplified process documents and diagrams. This way, I was able to better explain to stakeholders what we were doing in a non-technical and jargon-free way and also show that I had a high-level understanding of the project objectives and deliverables.
What is your academic and professional background?
Abdul-Hameed: I have completed a postgraduate degree in Advanced Systems and Control Engineering. I studied different ways to improve, control and reduce errors in systems. What I learned at university has been helpful in my current role, especially in the process analysis phase.
Rory: I studied History and International Relations. Whilst it is not directly relevant to a technical role, it did help me in terms of having a foundation of analysis and research skills to build upon, as well as other soft skills such as collaboration, communication and organisational skills.
How did FDM help you get into your role?
Abdul-Hameed: At FDM I had the opportunity to learn different coding languages which was very useful. Also, stakeholder management and UiPath training were good starting points in getting me ready for my current role.
Rory: I didn’t know much about RPA until I joined the FDM Academy. Initially, I did the Business Analysis training stream from which I picked up some valuable information that could be applied to the RPA world. While on site, I would have weekly catch up meetings with the lead Analyst, where I had the chance to ask questions, receive feedback and help settle in the team.
What are your top tips for someone trying to pursue a career in RPA?
Abdul-Hameed: Work on your personal development - I would suggest downloading the free version of some of the available RPA tools, as well as watching online tutorials and practising first-hand on your own.
Rory: Ensure that you understand not only what RPA is, but also what the standard Business Analysis practices are. Personally, the BA training helped me build that core knowledge and hit the ground running within the Robotics team.”
If you think you’ve got what it takes to pursue a career in Robotics Process Automation, why not check out the FDM RPA Graduate Programme to find out more?