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Intermediate · Specialization · 3-6 Months
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Beginner · Specialization · 3-6 Months
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Intermediate · Guided Project · Less Than 2 Hours
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Beginner · Professional Certificate · 3-6 Months
According to the International Society of Automation, automation is “the creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services.” The ability to automate repetitive tasks is an important tool for businesses of all kinds to maintain efficiency and quality assurance, but it has become particularly important for IT administration and software development.
For example, IT professionals can use Python programming to automate common system administration tasks, including troubleshooting and debugging as well as scaling solutions using configuration management and the cloud. Application developers also use testing automation techniques for software testing and security testing, as it allows them to verify and validate program correctness across a vastly larger range of use cases than would be possible manually.
Because robust testing and quality assurance is essential for the launch of successful software products as well as the use of software solutions, automation skills are an important asset for many careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developers and quality assurance analysts and testers are commonly employed by software publishers, computer equipment manufacturers, computer systems designers, and data processing and other information service companies.
As of May 2019, BLS data shows these professionals earned a median annual wage of $107,510, an excellent salary commensurate with the importance of this work.
Yes, certainly. Computer science topics are among the most popular courses on Coursera, and software automation is no exception. Coursera offers courses for beginning students as well as intermediate and mid-career learners to help you apply automation techniques to problem solving in IT, software development, web application security testing, and more.
You also have options to learn about automation from top-ranked institutions like the University of Minnesota, industry leaders like Google Cloud, or even through hands-on, guided tutorials taught by experienced instructors as part of the Coursera Project Network. Regardless of what choice is the best fit for your needs, online learning with Coursera lets you view and complete course materials on a flexible schedule that can fit your existing career or family life.
The skills or experience you might need to already have before starting to learn automation may include having skills in computer processes, network troubleshooting, data coding, and scripting experience. You might also have a good understanding of how much automation is already around us, in our smart home appliances, in driverless cars, and automated lighting systems. Automation works with software written for computer systems and processes, to reduce or eliminate manual actions with the system. Being open and curious to learn new areas around automation and systems processes may also help you to learn more about automation.
Learning automation may be right for you if you have an understanding of computer processes and an interest in understanding the efficiency of a fully automated network system. You may know if learning automation is right for you if you find yourself developing code for repeatable instructions for a particular system or process. That’s what automation is intended to do, in order to reduce the chance of human error in IT system work. If you are passionate about all of these areas, then learning automation may be right for you.
The kind of people who are best suited for work that involves automation often have skills and prior experience working with mechanical equipment, hydraulic or pneumatic tools, embedded systems in electronic devices, and computer algorithms. These people may also be certified in Selenium to become certified professionals in Selenium automation testing. Additionally, those who work in automation generally must keep up with current industry practices in automation.
The topics you can study that are related to automation include learning about smart home appliances, automated systems in manufacturing, communications and control systems, device measurement and control, and plant maintenance and operations. Learning more about any of these topics can open you up to gaining new knowledge of automation principles.