International Programmers’ Day
Luke McGovern
Automation Consultant

Computers, technology and software make the modern world go around – but for every piece of clever software, there’s a programmer (and often a team of programmers) behind the scenes, solving problems with clever code, cloud security solutions, and intense development projects.

Many people observe International Programmers’ Day on the 256th day of the year (13th September) because ‘256’ is the number of distinct values that can be represented with an 8-bit byte, and 256 is the highest power of 2 that is less than 365, the number of days in a year.

This year, to celebrate International Programmers’ Day, our Technical Consultant for Ultima Labs- Luke McGovern, shares his views as to why he chose a career in Automation / Programming and some top tips to help you get started in the industry.

Starting Out

My initial interest in programming started at school. During my studies, I decided that the best option for me was to pursue a Degree Apprenticeship instead of the traditional route of going to university, mainly because I wanted to gain ‘real world’ experience working within the industry.

Moving Into Automation

Initially, when I first started my Apprenticeship course in Digital and Technology Solutions, I trained in both SQL and Java as my role involved working with Oracle products. After a few years working in this field, an opportunity appeared within the company to allow me a change of direction and I was given the chance to retrain in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) which I found really interesting. RPA had just started to become an emerging technology at the time and was beginning to gain traction within the IT industry, making it an exciting area to work in.

As automation and RPA began to grow in popularity, more and more free training resources have been made available by some of the leading RPA software vendors and this has been growing ever since.

Where Should You Start?

For anyone starting out or looking to pursue a career in automation and specifically RPA, I would recommend making the most of the free online training courses available and to train in more than one product to give you good exposure.

I would take the opportunity to pursue certifications where possible as not only does this give you a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each product, but a great starting point to demonstrate your competencies in these areas to prospective future employers.  


I would also recommend checking out some of the free Microsoft learning resources covering topics on PowerShell and C#, because with RPA and the flexibility it offers, there are always opportunities to extend RPA tools beyond native functionality with custom code modules which will really enable you to get the most out of any RPA solution.

Lastly, get hands on! There are many RPA tools which offer training or evaluation editions and by having real experience and creating custom extensions you will really start to evolve your RPA skills.

Join Us

If you’re keen to start a career in automation / programming or if you are already a seasoned professional, why not check out our vacancies to see our latest openings at Ultima.


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