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Stellar Keynote Recap: Unlocking Career Success with Automation Anywhere Certification

  • 4 May 2023
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Stellar Keynote Recap: Unlocking Career Success with Automation Anywhere Certification
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Welcome to our Stellar Keynote Recap Series!

 

As part of the 1st Annual Pathfinder Community Space Camp & Generative AI Showcase, we’re hosting live sessions with Community MVPs and industry experts to share the latest developments in intelligent automation—especially Generative AI!—and provide you with learnings and resources to drive success at scale. If you don’t have the chance to attend the live session or want to come back to reference some of the critical mission information that was discussed, we’ve captured key intel from each session to share with you!
 

Day 2 Stellar Keynote featured an educational takeover by our Automation Anywhere University team!

 

 

This session was led by Binu Kurup, Sr. Director of Education Product Management, and she was joined by two special guests—Anne-Sophie Derame, Digital Transformation Manager at Abbott, and Swarna Kuruganti, Digital Innovation-Operations Transformation at Moffitt Cancer Center—who were kind enough to share their experiences with AAU courses, certifications, and continued learning in intelligent automation, as well as how these things have impacted their own career growth, and the career growth of their team members. We wrapped up the session with great questions from our live audience and a look at the curated learning trails and robust resources from AAU with Lead Certification Developer, Sanjay Kunithala.
 

SESSION POLL SAYS…

We polled our live audience on all things learning-related. Here is what they had to say!

Poll 1: What was the most helpful way by which you learned something new in the past year?

  • 40% of our audience reported it was by Going Through a Learning Trail
  • 2nd most popular response was a tie between Consuming Short Videos and Classroom Sessions (ILT/VILT) with Hands-on Practice

 

Leveraging AAU’s Offerings

 

💫  Main Intel: The offerings that AAU provides create a baseline where people are able to take off from together.

Swarna: I had been freelancing, looking to get back into the corporate world, and came across RPA and immediately saw the value of how it could help automate all the types of work that shared services organizations do in the back office. I have a passion for emerging technology., so I explored how I could get trained in it and found AAU training, got certified and never looked back. Now, my team has started a new cohort of citizen developers and when we add more Pro or IT Developers, we require them to go through the AAU courses and demonstrate that they've completed the certification, because that allows us to know that we're starting off on the same page of how we're going to support and enable these individuals. It sets the baseline for my team.

 

Houston, We Have A Problem: Challenges Upskilling Teams

 

💫 Main Intel: Change is difficult for everybody and takes a lot of motivation. The challenge is getting people to see beyond their apprehensions.

Anne-Sophie: Being able to see beyond what you already know, which for many people is not really robotics or intelligent automation, is so important. Each individual comes with their own worries about themselves and are reluctant to change because learning new skills that seem so foreign is such a big step. They fear the gravity of something so new. That’s where AAU sets the pace for everyone to start in the same place and do the same things. Having peers act collectively as a cohort, they are able to help each other. So first shifting that mindset is key.

 

Continued Learning’s Impact on Career Acceleration

 

💫 Main Intel: Learning opens doors. Learning is vital to expand your thinking and drive value, and that leads to career advancement.

Swarna: My team, each of us, recently did a strength finder exercise and mine is learning. It’s been a singular path leading me to every decision I’ve made in my career. Particularly I love learning about emerging technologies, so I read a lot and that’s really helped me keep pace with change and continue to learn about implications of new tech—how it is actually going to work and drive business goals in different ways, how it is relevant for my teams, and how it is relevant for the work we do day-to-day—and then I’m able to adapt to changes, plan ahead, incorporate things that we could do on a short term or immediate basis and continue to drive transformation. All of this helps drive value and hopefully helps with career advancement as well.

Anne-Sophie: Learning will always get you to the next level and that doesn’t always mean up—I’ve changed many roles in parallel and many people in my organization will believe I have an IT background which I don‘t. I’ve just connected with people and asked questions to teach myself why things matter and that has opened doors for me. Learning will always get you places and that’s not even specific to emerging technologies, it’s also when you want to learn about a process or want to know what others may be doing, or how countries may be doing something similar but coming at it in a different manner. And then sometimes you realize that you start learning something that you don‘t like, so you step away. That’s beneficial too!

Binu: Learning is not just taking courses or doing an assessment. It’s a 70-20-10 model: 10% from structured content, 20% from informal learning like reading, and 70% from being on-the-job doing the work, observing others, and trying new things. When we build courses, we add understanding questions so you can assess where you are and if there is a weak area you can go back and reinforce your learning on the topic.

 

Hiring! To Be Certified or Not To Be Certified?

 

💫  Main Intel: Organic learning, together with certification to provide structure, gives you a boost in knowledge and paves the way for the next step—vertical or horizontal— in your career.

Anne-Sophie: When we started our citizen developer program, we took people internally, so by default we didn’t know what they had done previously in terms of experience with intelligent automation. That allowed us to set the standard for what we wanted out of them. However, as we’ve grown that community internally at Abbott, we’re now looking for certifications from AAU when hiring. A big reason is we realized that people who come in with that skillset already were stronger.

Swarna: A couple of people in our space learned on their own through AAU. Once I came into the picture, I started bringing in the certification angle, so when we hire new developers we look for the certification—that tells us that once we hire them, they are going to hit the ground running because they have some basic level of knowledge. For us, speed is important and we’ve found that having certifications enables speed. But with citizen developers, there was initial organic development of individuals coming in from the process side. We eventually got them to the point of going through certification because it helped them put all the learnings they had in a more disciplined, structured manner.

Binu: Peer learning is the biggest strength of a community and that’s bringing a lot of rewards to our customers and partners.

 

SESSION POLL SAYS…

Poll 2: What inspired you to take Automation Anywhere certifications?

  • Majority of our audience answered to Increase Professional Credibility, for Better Career Opportunities, and to Contribute to an Organizational Goal.

 

An Upskilling Mission Success

 

💫 Main Intel: Be proactive, embrace change, and be future motivated!

Anne-Sophie: A lady came from the accounts payable team with no IT background. When the suggestion was made that we would start a citizen developer program, she immediately saw the benefits for herself and her team—how to save time with credit reviews for customers, how to save time updating the credit line for a vendor, etc—so she had ideas of how she would put automation into practice. She started thinking how robotics would help her day-to-day. She did the mandatory courses put in place and just a few months later she had already built some bots that were saving minutes or hours here and there, which built her confidence. Then, she was asked to join a team starting a new project to introduce a new ERP globally and she immediately jumped in with the same forward-thinking mindset of how she could support the implementation and close gaps in the long term. She’s become a shining star for the organization!

 

Advice When Just Getting Started

 

💫 Main Intel: Find your niche and don’t give up when you hit a hurdle!

Swarna: If you’re starting out new it’s important to understand what intelligent automation is because the definition has a spectrum. Then determine where you fall in that spectrum. If you’re on the process side, find your niche and find the technology that matches it. If you’re on the tech side, find your passion and apply it to whichever business problem is presented. It’s so important to know your niche, the right space, to learn how you can add value.

Anne-Sophie: Be curious, but be willing to push yourself because you will face hurdles if intelligent automation is new to you. Don’t give up at the first hurdle, keep pushing and believe that you will achieve your goal and you will go far.

 

SESSION POLL SAYS…

Poll 3: Is there any AI product or technology you want to learn more deeply about?

  • Generative AI was the clear leader!

 

Questions from the Pathfinder Community

 

  • What do you recommend to land a job after getting certified as an RPA fresher?
    • Start job searching with companies who are implementing automation initiatives, but really just having the certification on your CV will be a differentiator even if the company isn’t heavily invested in RPA. You are coming to the table with something new. Being able to demonstrate that you have process understanding is a huge boost whether it’s already in your toolkit or something you can demonstrate by logical or analytical thinking, it is a big value add.

 

  • What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced for non-technical citizen developers in training?
    • Swarna: We get some enthusiastic people who are so smart in terms of understanding process issues. But when they start coding, suddenly all the logical and analytical aptitude they have may not translate. So what we’ve learned is some people are able to translate that natural skill very quickly in actually doing the coding, and then others, who are phenomenally logical, struggle a little bit with getting into those details. The way we’ve handled it is we give them guidelines and structured templates for how to go about leveraging something, but also a lot of coaching. We haven’t nailed the perfect formula yet.
    • Anne-Sophie: Practice with little exercises. Start small. Usually those people are so detailed, they know their process and want to solve it end-to-end. Break it down, piece by piece and that will be easier for them to tackle that challenge.
    • Binu: If you look at the Citizen Developer trail, we have 2 parts. One is the Basics Trail, built for people that may be absolutely new to this. Then there is the Practitioner Trail, which is more technically advanced. 

 

Flight Briefing: Learning Trails and Paths To Certification

 

💫  Main Intel: A certain level of preparation is needed before you can take the certification exams, so AAU offers a rich catalog of courses that are highly interactive and cover important functionality of A360 and its components.

The AAU catalog is organized into role-based learnings to provide a curated list of content for various roles that play a part in intelligent automation, be it the Pro-Developer, Advanced Pro-Developer, Business Analyst, Automation Leader, or even admin roles such as Control Room Admin.

  • Pro-Developer/Bot Developer Journey: Once you have the fundamental knowledge of RPA or intelligent automation, you’re ready to get hands-on experience building automations of various complexity levels, that’s where Bot Developer learning trail comes in. The courses take you through various action packages that are available in A360 to teach you how to use the platform, build bots, build a scalable or resilient bots. Courses provided step by step instructions for learners to build automations from real use cases.
    • Once you’ve completed this learning trail, you’ll want to take a certification to establish your skills. After conquering the Advanced certification, you would next look at getting the Master certification which requires a little more knowledge and different set of skills as it’s a notch higher than the advanced cert. We have an instructor-led training called Mastering Bots ILT. This provides you an opportunity to try hands-on building bots from simple to medium complexity in a virtual environment to test the A360 product and its latest features. Then there is also a Master Cert Prep learning trail to prep before attempting the certification.

 

  • Advanced Developer/Advanced Pro Developer: (LINK) As you work more on the A360 product, you may eventually evolve into this role. What we offer once you reach that stage is a newly created trail that takes you through advanced concepts such as building bots that are compliant with guidelines the CoE has set forth for you, how to troubleshoot bots, how to use control room apis to remotely access control room and deploy bots, as well as how to develop custom action packages that you can deploy onto the control room for other bot developers to use. In this role, your journey to certification is the same as Pro Developer or Bot Developer.

 

  • Citizen Developer: Start with the Basics Learning Trail that takes you through basic concepts of automation, various industry use cases, and how applying intelligent automation in those use cases will help with your organization in its automation journey. Next step in the journey is the Practitioner Learning Trail, which is a great example of blended learning. We have a set of e-learning, or self-paced learning, courses in the trail that cover many topics. Then apart from that we have mentoring sessions with experts so you have a channel to discuss questions in terms of building automations with experts and you have the benefit of learning from your peers during those sessions based on the questions they ask.

 

  • Getting Started with RPA Learning Trail is for someone completely new to automation and covers basic concepts and functionalities in RPA and how you can use RPA to build automation that you can use in your organization. Follow that with industry focused Automation Use Cases Learning Trail that talks about challenges faced by different industries such as Telecom, Banking, Insurance, Accounts Payable, and Healthcare, and how you can apply automation to address those challenges. Next, Getting Started with RDLC (RPA Development Life Cycle) Learning Trail allows the new learners to picture how the automation journey would be, what are the different phases in that journey, and what the different roles’ responsibilities and rules and responsibilities will be.

 

  • CoE/Automation Leader: Milestone-based learning trail to cover the significance of the CoE, setting up a CoE, and how to use CoE manager to build a pipeline. Additional courses coming soon, so stay tuned!


We are consistently listening to feedback and creating new content that’s relevant to each of these roles. Pathfinder Community also has a lot of informal content we urge you to use in your automation learning journey.


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