One technology that has been making a huge impact in the business world is the Robotic Process Automation (RPA). It is an automation that uses computer software as a tool to mimic tasks traditionally done by humans. However, questions arise whether this application requires the workforce to have programming skill and knowledge before making use of it.

Programming Skill is the ability to write a program that allows the computer to process data to produce meaningful information. On the other hand, Programming Knowledge is the understanding of how to use a programming language, its syntax, keywords, code usage, as well as understanding the usage of object-oriented programming if it is an object-oriented language. This knowledge can be gained through reading textbooks and studying the language and concepts.

Using RPA tools sure takes time and resources to master, but many articles and case studies have proven that automation does not require its user to have a programming skill. Despite that fact, RPA needs its user to have at least the basic to configure and run processes within a tool. Let’s take a deeper look at why you need to acquire programming knowledge before getting started with RPA.


1. Background on programming will help you understand RPA easier.

Before you automate, it is best if you understand the terminology that you’ll encounter when creating your workflow. Having knowledge in programming will lessen the time spent on getting familiar with the RPA concepts and the RPA tool that you are using.

Look at it this way. You want to build a table. You’ve already prepared the tools such as wood and nails, but you cannot proceed because you don’t know how. So you study how to build a table. You did your research, watched video tutorials, and read books. You now know the proper use of tools, the right measurements, and the correct way to make your table.

Just like in RPA, you must first learn how to utilize your automation tools. You cannot jump to automating without knowing what tools to use and conceptualizing your final output.
Automation remains a complex application, but a user with basic programming knowledge can master RPA from scratch and produce a feasible workflow.


2. Automation needs logic.

We make automation workflows by understanding the logic behind the manual process to program bots to automate the process systematically. Yes. You don’t have to write the code, but you have to think like a programmer and use programmer’s logic, especially when you’re creating automation workflows for more complex processes. Processing automation depends on the input and activity set by the user.

For example, you want to rename your file from ‘Untitled’ to ‘Presentation.’ You ought to use an activity that will process your input that is changing the current text to your desired text. If you already know the basics such as data types and variables, you’ll have a good start of knowing what type of inputs are appropriate for your workflows.


3. RPA tools have limitations.

The objective of the RPA software tools developed is to make automation easier for the users. These tools make it possible for non-developers to create workflows. They also provide beginners with better UI/UX so they won’t have to deal with actual coding and just start dragging and dropping activities. Be that as it may, every technology has its boundaries, and RPA is no exception.

RPA tools offer various activities that you can use – each having different functions. You can mix and match these activities to come up with a certain workflow that will deliver your expected output. However, some RPA tools don’t guarantee to execute the activity needed for processing your data. This is where your programming knowledge comes in handy as you’ll be able to make workarounds and adjust your workflows brought about your tools’ limitations.


There is no question that RPA can be used by anyone who has access to any automation tools. However, to ensure success, avoid errors, and achieve desired outputs, a user should possess a logical way of thinking. There is a set of practical skills required in order to carry out well-conceptualized and well-planned automation workflows.


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