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Construction Engineer Pivots Career to Robotic Process Automation

WithYouWithMe - June 16, 2021

Why RPA is a great career for someone pivoting industries

Robotic Process Automation, what on earth are you talking about? was the first sentence I asked
WithYouWithMe when its innovative testing platform spat out my potential tech career matches. I
am an Engineer of construction, I lift stuff and move it, I use blunt heavy implements, hammers,
sledge hammers, monkey hammers and cordless drills and I have been a football coach for the last 6
years so how can I possibly mess with robots.

RPA is in fact a low code, user friendly and easy to understand methodology that uses software to
copy the end-to-end repetitive tasks of humans so that they can concentrate on adding value to
their workplace instead of being bogged down with repetitive admin tasks. It is engineering and its
tools come in many forms, but my point here is that without question it’s a career that’s attainable,
does not require experience or previous technical knowledge and is easy to learn. Imagine
someone’s face when they ask you what you do for a living and you reply, “I build software robots
that mimic the actions of human beings” usually their reaction is priceless. So below I am going to try
and explain why RPA is a great career to get involved in and why it’s important for the future.

It's Still In It's Infancy

RPA can incorporate a number of technologies like machine learning and language processing which
have actually been around for longer than you might think. Other advancements such as screen
scraping, which is used to extract data from websites, documents and programs also gained
prevalence in the 1990s. Then came the buzzword of all buzzwords, Artificial Intelligence with basic
RPA software being developed in the early 2000’s it started to gain mass attraction in 2015 when
very clever people built software platforms that put much of the above together to create the
modern RPA platforms we see today. Below is what the Blue Prism software looks like.

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Because of its ability to take the mundane tasks away from the workforce so they can concentrate on things that require unique decisions, creativity and emotional intelligence, RPA has use cases in almost every sector of business and industry across the globe. It is already highly prevalent in big business especially in the tech space but there is now evidence to suggest it is being adopted widely across mid and small cap companies. In my own experience I have seen start ups looking at RPA almost from inception as a means to scale quickly and efficiently understanding that retro fitting it later on can cost a lot more than embracing it from the outset.

What Might Happen in the Future

As RPA becomes more and more mainstream its logical to assume that its uses will expand. As it takes over internal processes and becomes common place its likely that it will expand to external processes and then innovation could see it used and integrated with other tools on an industrial scale. 

As RPA and AI have become increasingly friendly it is also predicted that its use cases will expand from rules-based implementation to more unstructured and less basic automations. Understanding and dealing with unstructured data as well as using cloud technology and machine learning in more complex ways to contextualise, decipher and decide in a much more ambiguous way.

Thinking About What I could Achieve and Learn

As the title suggests RPA is a great future career, not only do you not need a technical background or a degree in computer science but its only really 5 years old. Technology does move quickly and that’s a good thing, it keeps you on your toes, it makes you stay ahead of the curve and if you like to learn and be involved in meaningful change then RPA can really satisfy those cravings. Being involved in something that’s got a long way to run and is changing the way business operates is something I personally never thought I could do. Yet here I am, a construction engineer a person used to heavy tools and machinery and now as a qualified RPA developer, I am excited to be at the forefront of change and my own growth has been off the scale. WithYouWithMe has taught me that the only barrier to entry is yourself, they have also shown me that like it or loath it technology is only going to become more and more important and embedded in our every day lives. RPA is at the forefront of this and its only just the start.

Written By Neil Liddle 

Associate Instructor RPA

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