How to Hire the Right RPA Developer – the Skills to Look for: Bridging the Technological Know-How Gap (Part 1 of 3)
In this first article of our series, you will learn the steps you have to take to hire the right RPA Developer for your RPA Journey and how to bridge the technical know-how gap.
Introduction to the series: Just Drag and Drop?
Since the inception of RPA, most vendors and implementation partners have marketed RPA as an easy to use set of drag and drop tools, that can easily be learned by employees from a non-technical background. Blue Prism, for instance, claims that its software is led by operations and governed by IT, while UiPath’s founder is famously known for his vision that in the future every person will have a personal robot assistant.
And yet, one of the recurrent challenges that we see in our clients’ journeys is that the RPA learning curve for a non-technical RPA developer is typically way slower than what the vendors claim it is. This mismatch of expectations usually leads to unnecessary frustration, loss of momentum for the overall RPA program and even to potential cost impacts.
Assuming you are under pressure to show the results of RPA, and you need to find and hire the right RPA Developer to grow your RPA team, the question moves us into the next block.
Which skills you should be looking for?
The consequence of the rapid growth of the RPA industry has been that it is not always easy to find the right candidate to join your organization. It is especially difficult to find RPA developers with significant prior experience in the field. Yet, there are a few skills that serve as a proxy to evaluate the suitability of the candidate to work in RPA.
• The backbone of both Blue Prism and UiPath is the .NET framework, and both software vendors support languages such as C# and VB.NET. Thus, from a purely technical perspective, this should be the point where to start looking. Developers with prior working experience with such programming languages will immediately feel at home in the UiPath studio, or when using “code stages” in Blue Prism.
• A second skill to look for is what can be referred as “process thinking”. Developers with a strong understanding of business processes are typically faster at suggesting the necessary process optimizations, as well as challenging the status quo. A couple of good qualities that can accomplish this requirement are:
- Previous role in another type of automation (e.g. VBA developers typically have been involved in the creation excel macros)
- Previous experience that exposed the developer to work with some workflow tool.
You should also consider that, since RPA is rarely implemented in isolation, the type of underlying applications and integrations can significantly increase the complexity of your implementation. You need to ask yourself the following:
- Will the integration with our tools happen through APIs and Web Services?
- What type of automation will you have to perform? (e.g. Citrix automation vs. regular UI automation).
Make sure that the project manager and the RPA team are aware of these kind of things. It’s important to have them in mind while programming your RPA journey.
Finding the right candidates to start your RPA journey, is not as simple as it looks. The candidate needs to have a degree of experience in this new development technique and meet the technical requirements of the project.
Hopefully you have found some insights on this post and found the right instruments and motivation to begin your RPA journey.
Don’t worry if you still need more information, this is just the first of 3 posts. Keep track of our blog to see more RPA stories.