Each week, we carry a developer column called ‘Behind The Code’, where we interact with the developer community in India and try to take a look at their journey till date, the way they work, and the tools they use. This week we got a chance to interact with Tejus Venkatesh, who is a Chief Evangelist at a noted company.
A computer science engineering graduate from VTU in Bangalore, Venkatesh has always been inclined towards technology and the reforms it could bring in any industry. He always knew he wanted to work for a company where he could contribute to these reforms and be at the forefront of innovation. And that led Venkatesh to start his career with as an RPA developer.
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With his first encounter with RPA, Venkatesh was fascinated by this technology and its applications. “This experience of witnessing the deployment of RPA solutions was truly indescribable,” said Venkatesh.
From being an RPA developer to RPA consultant, Venkatesh’s journey in this domain has led to becoming a Chief Evangelist. However, he believes that his work has remained the same. He has also said that he understands the power of RPA and knows the benefits it could bring to enterprises. “It is my job to make organisations realise this and look at the bigger picture, to visualise a work environment where employees have enough time to add strategic value to their work, while the mundane tasks are taken care of,” said Venkatesh. Additionally, Venkatesh works for in-house events for his employer where he gets a chance to connect with fellow developers and talk about ongoing work in RPA.
One of the major challenges that Venkatesh has faced in his work is bringing together the business and technology team of an organisation on RPA solutions. During an ongoing project, he realised that there are gaps between these teams which lead to difficulties in work. So at the very beginning, he makes sure that both the team are on board with RPA by educating them on how bots will make their life easier with no data security issues.
Code, Toolkit, And Skillset
We asked what according to him is the top coding language, and Venkatesh replied, “Almost every developer starts his journey with C++, and so did I. It provides the necessary foundation to build the aptitude required for working in technology. So, for me, it remains a top coding language.” However, he also believes that Python is probably the language of all emerging technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning is easily one of the top coding languages.
Talking about Venkatesh’s developer toolkit, he said that it comprises of different tools ranging from something as simple as a Notepad++ to software as sophisticated as UiPath Studio. Since he majorly works in RPA, he spends most of his time on UiPath Studio, which is the component of the UiPath Enterprise RPA platform where automation is designed and created.
When asked what the essential skillsets are needed for a successful RPA implementation, he explained that the first step would be to understand the software development cycle like any other technology. With that, developers need to have a strict exception handling mechanism. “These bots run independently so there is no room for error. For an unfaltering execution, exception handling becomes the key,” Venkatesh added. Also, one needs to have a working understanding of the business processes from their input to their output in order to develop end to end solutions.
Venkatesh’s Take On India’s RPA Ecosystem
Enterprises in India are increasingly adopting RPA to automate repetitive, tedious tasks so that they have time to focus on strategy and quality to ensure exceptional services to their customers. And Venkatesh believes that the future roadmap for automation is very encouraging with the convergence of RPA with AI and machine learning paving the way for cognitive automation. “Both the present and the future of RPA in India is bright,” said Venkatesh.
Talking about the talent pool in RPA, he said it is rich in India as the nation is witnessing many global organisations come-forth to work with developers for their RPA solutions. Further, there is an immense opportunity for upskilling developers and understanding various business processes to be automated. This gives India a unique advantage to become a global hub for RPA.
There is tremendous fear regarding job loss due to automation, and when we asked Venkatesh whether he thinks fear and scepticism is valid, he said, “automation cuts down on tiresome tasks, not jobs. In fact, with automation, a new genre of jobs are created.”
The chief evangelist also believes the digital workforce would augment the capabilities of humans. The future of automation points towards a world where human capabilities are augmented by software robots with intelligence and the capability to learn new skills.
Venkatesh has an interest in conversational AI and lately, he has been spending some time on chatbots. He feels it would be fascinating to see how RPA could come into play here. Going forward, he would also like to dip his feet in IoT devices, their integration with AI and applications in enterprise technology.
Looking into the future, Venkatesh wants to work on building and adding key capabilities in the areas of conversational understanding, process understanding, document understanding, visual understanding, services orchestration, and process discovery. Also, he believes that his future looks bright and exciting to be able to evangelize the future of automation and how it should scale up within an organisation.