How to Learn RPA Software - ByteScout

How to Learn RPA Software

Let’s say you, a budding developer came across the term Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – a discipline concerned about automating usually laborious and monotonous tasks (for example, invoicing or data scraping). Perhaps you came across that term while reading some blog posts about the latest RPA report of PwC.

Maybe you stumbled upon RPA while attending an official gathering. Now you’re pretty excited to learn more about it – its use cases, pros and cons, and the associated challenges – everything about it. But… there’s this slight problem here. Where do you start from? Indeed, RPA is a huge domain and hundreds (if not more) of books have been dedicated to this specific topic.

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How you should approach

The easiest thing is to dive in headfirst. You’ve got to start from somewhere – anything that you can find on the topic at this moment would work. Start small – you can start by finding out what IS RPA and how it affects the workflow of an organization, how it can help a business and what its capabilities are. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of resources out there that can help you in this matter – blogs, articles, market studies and surveys, organization reports, academic papers and so on. 

And like any kind of automation is more of an art than science – and any seasoned automation consultant would tell you this – sometimes the opinion of an expert can be more helpful than a research paper. So, while the ideas can be slightly opinionated they can be helpful too for learning the ropes of this business.

Try to cover the subtleties of Robotic Process Automation such as the past usages of this tool, the usual pitfalls associated with it, and the challenges that both the organizations and the developers face while implementing it. If you’re at it already, why not attend some meetups? If nothing else, you’d get to meet some real humans that have actually been in this domain and can tell you what works (and what does not).

But reading up books and articles can only get you that far. For getting the actual feel of RPA you need to get your hands dirty. You need to get accustomed to the technology. Check out the tools used by the organizations, see if the vendors provide a trial version of their software, and start playing around. This is the only way you can get better at it.

Learn RPA Software

Five steps to glory

So these are the 5 steps that you need to follow to take a step towards becoming an RPA maestro.

  1. “Know Your Enemy” – Knowing your enemy, as Sun Tzu puts in his timeless classic The Art of War, is the essence of winning a battle even today. If you want to master this technology, books alone are not going to cut it. You’ve got to know the tools like the back of your hand. Go and check out the vendors offering an RPA tool. 

The RPA market is very dynamic and volatile. You would see a new software launching in every two months. But in the long run, very few tools survive. Even among those, only a handful are in general used by the big dogs, the corporate giants. Gather as much intel as you can about the vendor and the tool to be able to make informed decisions about those tools.

  1. Try it out – Most of the automation tools offer a trial version. For the organisations, this trial edition helps them understand how seamlessly that specific tool can be integrated into their workflow. For you though, as an individual, it comes as an excellent opportunity to use them firsthand. Theoretical knowledge is necessary, but the hands-on experience in certain cases can be THE difference-maker. So always stay on the lookout for the vendors offering a trial version of their product.

Additionally, some of the vendors provide some form of training (or training materials) along with their product. Try to squeeze as much value out of these materials as possible.

  1. Experiment – Don’t bog yourself down with a single tool. It’s not to say that you should try out every single RPA software available in the market. However, you should try to master at least a couple of RPA tools that are used by the corporate powerhouses. The big organizations as well usually prefer to employ more than one RPA tool at the preliminary stage. This enables the employees to get comfortable with the tools and the organization to understand which tool suits their workflow best.
  2. Stick to it – Now that the experimentation stage is over and you have gained quite a bit of experience playing around with different tools, it’s time to stick with the tools of your choice. Rather than frantically switching between tools from time to time sticking with the chosen ones would enable you to become proficient at those specific tools. Organizations as well usually settle down with a single tool as soon as the process assessment stage is over.
  3. Keep learning and stay updated – Learning anything new takes time – RPA is nothing exceptional. You need to keep up the hard work and keep learning new things. Try to automate more and more complex processes each time. The more complicated and practical the problem is, the better it is. No matter if you fail the first few times – in fact, it’s almost certain that you would – keep pushing forward. To be honest, at this phase the learning becomes more of a psychological task, than a physical challenge.

It’s also very crucial that you stay updated all the times. Robotic Process Automation is a dynamic domain as it’s still evolving rapidly. What is relevant today might become pointless tomorrow. So try to stay in touch with the trending tools. Try to keep up with the research going on in this field.

Robotic Process Automation is a hot topic these days. Learning it the right way can surely give you an edge over others and go that extra mile in securing your career. So, keep learning!