I have only attempted Automation Anywhere certifications, so the article has been tailored accordingly.
If you want to avoid the fluff then click here.
Anyone can learn RPA and become an RPA Developer, but that won’t land you a job as an RPA developer.
What Does That Mean?
What makes you a great RPA developer, is not what gets you employed.
Let me rephrase that, what makes you a great RPA developer is not what gets you an interview.
There are few prerequisites you have to meet, before a company even considers offering you an opportunity.
Project experience is the most important factor, but there are other factors that tie into it as well – like certifications.
Why Get Certified?
Getting certified is like getting a degree.
It tells the recruiter you have the minimum base requirement to apply for the job. It makes you stand out from those who don’t have any, even though the certification in itself doesn’t guarantee that the individual is skilled.
Yes you read that correctly, getting certified doesn’t automatically transform you into the Grand Wizard of RPA.
It only makes you look like the Grand Wizard.
This is probably the worst possible way to encourage people to write the exam, but facts are facts.
Much like my degree in mechanical engineering, I don’t know a damn thing about cars or engines because I wasn’t taught a damn thing about it.
I had a lot of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and mathematics to study, and all I remember is the pain it induced.
People often look at me and wonder why I am slaving away in IT, when I should be busting my behind in a petroleum unit somewhere down in the Middle East, making hellotta money.
Jokes’ on them.
They don’t know how devilishly skilled I am with RPA, and that you can make hellotta money in IT as well.
That being said, I have yet to make this mythical ‘hellotta’ money.
So the joke’s on me this time.
Success Getting an Interview
Put simply, Recruiter-san will only consider you for an interview based on three key criteria:
- Where You Graduated From
- Years of Experience
If you are looking for a decent job and haven’t spent at least 4-7 years in IT, then certifications are what will help you get past the first door.
Wait, Wait, Wait, “Where You Graduated From”?
That plays a key role as well.
If you are an Ivy League or IIT/IIM graduate, you wouldn’t be reading this.
You worked hard, invested in yourself, developed the discipline necessary to get to where you are today, and I am incredibly jealous of you.
Companies offer higher pay to graduates from top universities, and obsessing over it isn’t going to change anything for you.
It would be wise instead to shift your focus to areas of your life which you can improve to better yourself.
Getting Certified Gets You Ahead.
First of all, getting certified is not as easy as you think, especially IT certifications.
You can watch as many tutorials as you want, but that alone won’t help.
What helps is setting things into motion.
Don’t just sit there and watch one tutorial after another, try implementing those solutions.
Say you watch a video on Automation Anywhere Forms.
Don’t hit next and start learning AARI, learn how to develop and use Forms.
Once you learn how things are put together and invoked, that is when you become creative.
In my experience, creativity happens spontaneously, since you are familiar with the materials, their behavior, and how they can be stitched together.
I sometimes develop solutions based off videos I see on YouTube, and it isn’t always easy but I have a lot of fun converting those ideas into RPA solutions.
Engaging in exercises like these helped me understand forms to an extent most people don’t.
Do I Have to Become Creative?
The reason I encourage you to become creative is because it’s only when you think out of the box that you encounter issues nobody wants to deal with.
Good, because most RPA questions are based off such issues.
For example, if you open an Excel Spreadsheet and have to run a couple of macros before performing other operations onto it, can we simply trigger the macro and proceed right away…or do we have to wait for the macros to finish executing?
Sure, you understand that the macro has to do its job first, but how will the Bot understand that?
Its questions like these that get you thinking, also, at the end of the day if you can’t find a way to be playful with what you have to spend 8+ hours everyday working with, then you are suffering. This is why many dread having to go to the office.
We all have a child inside of us that requires nurturing from time to time.
Creativity allows you to connect with that child inside.
That being said, I ain’t holier than thou – I don’t like going to the office either.
“Okay I’ve Decided to Get Certified!”
There are two certification exams in Automation Anywhere:
- Automation Anywhere Certified Advanced RPA Professional
- Automation Anywhere Certified Master RPA Professional
The Advanced RPA Professional costs 50$, and there are no prerequisites to attempt it.
The Master RPA Professional costs 100$, and you can only attempt it once you clear the Advanced RPA Professional Exam.
Also, the exams are structured differently.
The Advanced RPA Professional consists of:
- 60 scenario based MCQ
- Score 80% to clear the exam
- Time limit is 2hr
- 2 Attempts
The result is instantaneous.
As soon as you submit the final answer, your score is displayed on screen.
You won’t receive the certification right away though. It can take anywhere from a few hours to two days at max.
Also, you better come prepared, because I was only able to clear the exam on my fifth attempt. Yup, I paid twice, and didn’t have to pay the third time because Automation Anywhere took pity on me and offered me a coupon instead.
Well not really.
There was an event called Automation Anywhere Imagine back in 2020, where they discussed the progress they have made so far, as well as new products (AARI) and partnerships.
They were generous enough to hand out “special” coupons.
They were Special, because if I were to clear the Advanced Professional exam before 9th of November, then I would also receive a coupon for the Master’s Certification – Which I did.
Aaaand I cleared the Master’s on my first attempt.
You Attempted it “Five” Times?
My manager wanted me to get certified at any cost, with that “cost” coming out of my pocket.
I didn’t even have access to the partner portal(and still don’t).
I could only rely on the free courses offered at Automation Anywhere University, documentation and whatever was available on YouTube at the time.
The only YouTube channel putting up content at the time was Quality Assurance Lab, which is why I always give shout outs to her channel (Make sure to like and subscribe!).
It was hell, but it’s only thanks to Manager-san that I know Automation Anywhere so well.
I became so good, that I eventually started helping others out on the forum and attained the all too coveted 180 Degrees.
And I’m only about to complete one year in the RPA division.
Go ahead and take a look at my Linkedin page.
Circling Back to The Topic At Hand
The Master RPA Professional is divided into two segments. Segment one consists of MCQs, and segment two consists of three bot use cases which you have to develop either on Enterprise Trial or Community Edition.
Enterprise OnPrem is not allowed.
- 50 scenario based MCQ
- Score 75% to clear the exam
- Time limit is 1hr 40min
- 2 Attempts
But it doesn’t end there.
As mentioned earlier, you have to develop three bots.
The details are provided in PDF under “Additional References” and make sure you follow each and every step. Don’t try to get creative here – you are expected to do as you are told(something Mr.OffTangent struggles with).
Keep in mind, that the bots have to be submitted within two weeks of passing the Q&A section.
- Score atleast 75% for each bot submission
- Time limit is 2 weeks for all three bot submissions
You might get lucky and have to sit for an interview, but you have to be really lucky for that.
The result will be announced anywhere from three working days to two weeks.
In case you don’t receive a notification, you may draft a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, that is how the exams are structured.
I haven’t covered each and every aspect of the exam, just the core segments.
Make sure you go through everything provided in the documents under Additional References and pay special attention to the name and how you structure the directory before zipping it, appending a .psd to it before submission.
I guess the exam also tests how good you are at following instructions as well!
Any “Sample” Questions You Would Mind Sharing With Us?
I can’t give you the “Sample” questions, because that would be CHEATING, so don’t ask me that.
I can however, provide you with few resources to browse through before attempting the exam:
Quality Assurance Lab: Probably the best resource out there, which helped me the most. This was the only channel which created content for A2019 when it first released and it helped me greatly.
Naveen Automation Lab: Naveen is an Automation Test Architect who makes videos on the regular on Automation Testing. Its thanks to his amazing videos on Xpaths that automating web applications is a cakewalk for me today.
RPADemo: A website developed by Automation Anywhere, for Automation Anywhere users like you and I. Too bad it’s not all that well known, so show it some love by creating an account and getting started on the practice problems.
Automation Anywhere University: You don’t necessarily have to purchase any of the courses, since most of the useful ones are free. Don’t forget to check out the learning trails, which covers most concepts.
Automation Anywhere Actions(Documentation): Actions are the building blocks of automation. You have to be intimately aware of the options you have at your disposal, so as to gauge a project’s feasibility, or if you have to develop your own packages for certain operations.I would highly recommend studying all Excel Actions (Advanced and Basic), as most of the automations you develop will include excel interaction.
And Most Importantly
Practice, practice, practice!
You need experience to develop the skills required to pass the exam.
That experience also sharpens whatever skills you have making it extra pointy.
Overall, the exam will expose you to a wide variety of concepts.
You might not clear it on the first attempt, so make sure you pay attention to the questions being asked, and the packages in question so that next time around, you will be prepared.
Practice hard, glean whatever you can, and best of luck for the exam!