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Here's my situation, I saw a job offer from a company which offers "Paid Internship on Python RPA/Automation Development", they look for a Jr. Python Developer with 1+ year of experience, the paid internship will be focused on RPA, process automation and Robot Framework.

At the end of the internship, one will have the chance to take a client’s technical challenge to prove the newly gained skills and – if passed successfully – one will land a full-time job with a US based automation enterprise focused on Automation.

Based on that, I did a fast research about how many positions have the word "RPA" in their job description on indeed.com, and there are currently 433 in the US, there are also some Senior QA or Software Engineer positions that require experience in this particular field.

I also looked at the Robot Framework and it seems to be related to QA and Selenium, it has even a "bridge" to selenium and can be installed on Python as well as other main programming languages.

I also noticed that such framework was released at 2005, but started to get some recognition at 2018-2019, according to google trends, but that trend is currently going down.

Personally, I have developed 3 projects on Python (which are strongly related to automation, Selenium and use of Pandas tool) but I have never worked as professional developer, so I came here to get a feedback about RPA and realize if it's worth it to start with for then making the transition to the QA or Software Engineering fields, or if I just should move on and keep learning other stuff (like NoSQL, MySQL, Making APIs with Postman...)

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This question is about to be closed, and I am sure I will get downvotes too, but RPA is a very interesting topic.

Robotic Process Automation [RPA], exists because many businesses are unable or unwilling to upgrade/replace the 20+ year old application suites they use to run their operations.

One example would be Oracle Enterprise Business Suite [EBS], it's a miserable antiquated set of application modules for ERP, inventory, payroll, sales orders, PLM and time-off-requests, that has it's tentacles deep inside the operations of many companies. Some of the modules are web-applications (old-timey early-naughts style) and many are straight up java Swing applications with a greyish-blah counterintuitive UI that was designed in a different era. These applications require endless clicking and navigating and have really REALLY intractable UX ("UX" wasn't even invented when these applications were made). Moreover, getting data "out" of these systems programmatically is very very hard, they don't have "REST API's". You basically have to either beg the highly-paid Oracle jockey in your org to get it for you or you have to spend enormous amounts of time to get the data manually, or, you have to pay Oracle for an awful, turgid "business intelligence" solution like Discoverer (yeah, there's really an extra "er" in there), or Orbit.

In the past, there has always been a deep bench of office folks who were quite happy to use these awful applications until retirement. Unfortunately, retirement time has come for many of these folks and they're dropping off quickly. New hires have a really hard time when they find themselves plopped in front of these legacy applications and the older folks who have the knowledge ingrained from decades of use, lack the empathy to mentor the new hires. This leads to all kinds of expensive problems for the companies that depend on this stuff (here's an extreme $500 million dollar example of what can happen, this was a Oracle forms app, you can see it in the screenshot).

This is where RPA solutions come in.

These solutions use a variety of techniques to extract data from or interact with legacy applications. It's all about various forms of web-scraping, carefully interacting with old databases, and using the tools of SQA for actual production work. It ultimately means that the staff that runs these applications can retire in peace and the business processes that they once ran can now be handled by a complex stack of modern applications, mediated though an RPA solution like UiPath, etc.

I think this is definitely a growth field, at least for a while. It involves clever work and a wild mix of modern tools and really old stuff. On the downside you will have to interact with rigid-thinking personalities (bean-counters, battle-axe types), to learn the actual business processes so you can automate them fully. I think it's a very good work opportunity if you can handle it. You will get exposure to useful tech and also learn how many companies perform their operations. That's valuable and marketable knowledge.

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  • Oh cool, thanks for your feedback, I appreciate it, I think now it's very clear to me why RPA exists as well as how it deals with these old systems from companies which can't upgrade to better technologies. @teego196
    – Noah199520
    Commented Jan 22, 2022 at 22:00
  • Do you also happen to know, how much money could an RPA Jr dev expect to earn?
    – Noah199520
    Commented Jan 23, 2022 at 0:23
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    @Noah199520, I don't know, it depends on your location and who you work for.
    – teego1967
    Commented Jan 24, 2022 at 15:40

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