IT automation engineers help develop, test, and implement technologies aimed at automating business, IT, and development processes — a growing business imperative.
Automation has been a hot course in the job market for several years now, with plenty of pros and cons surrounding both the idea of job creation and job loss. A study from Zippia found that automation has the potential to eliminate 73 million jobs by 2030, with 35% of Americans worried about automation displacing them and 25% of American jobs “highly susceptible” to automation. But automation is also predicted to create 58 million new jobs, with 85% of Americans supporting automation when it applies to jobs that are “dangerous or unhealthy for humans.”
Regardless of how people feel about automation, it’s here to stay, and companies are embracing automation technologies to streamline IT, business, development, and service processes. As automation increases, organizations across every industry are looking for automation engineers to help facilitate, manage, and oversee enterprise automation.
Automation has been a cornerstone of the manufacturing industry for decades, but it’s relatively new to the business, healthcare, and finance industries. Outside of manufacturing and factory automation, IT automation is typically focused on service automation and QA testing of automated processes. The goal of an automation engineer is to eliminate defects, errors, and problems with product or software development and with business or customer service processes.
Businesses are also increasingly embracing automated chatbots to help solve customer issues or to direct customers to the right person, and automation engineers help build, implement, and maintain that technology. Automation is also used to streamline IT help desk ticketing, service management and to deliver quality products and software faster, with fewer defects. Ultimately, the goal of an automation engineer is to reduce the load on workers and to Strengthen efficiency and reliability by streamlining manual processes that are redundant or inconsistent.
In IT, an automation engineer refers to someone who delivers automated solutions for software processes to Strengthen efficiency, boost performance, and maintain systems. As a software automation engineer, you’ll have to work closely with other teams to help discover and eliminate problems by gathering requirements and implementing process automation. Sometimes this will include hardware or software, but other times you might be asked to automate service or business processes.
Responsibilities vary depending on the industry and specific company, but in general an automation engineer is expected to:
The most common IT automation engineering jobs fall under the role of QA engineer. According to data from Glassdoor, the average salary for QA automation engineers — and similar job titles — is $100,523 per year. Senior QA automation engineers reportedly earn an average salary of $136,927 per year.
As an automation engineer, you’ll need a wide range of technical skills and soft skills. You will need to understand the systems, networks, hardware, and software you’re working with, but you also need the skills to communicate and collaborate with other business units, clients, or customers.
The job requires programming skills in languages such as C#, SQL, and Java, but the languages and tools you’ll need to know will vary by industry. You’ll also need a working knowledge of mobile, web, and desktop operating systems as well as experience with analytics, robotics, AI and machine learning. Leadership skills will also be important, as you will need to lead cross-departmental efforts to help streamline business processes.
Some of the most common skills for an automation engineer include:
You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a similar field to become an automation engineer. You’ll want a program that includes courses on robotics, databases, statistics, AI, control systems, and artificial neural networks (ANN). Depending on the role, some employers will also want a master’s degree and experience with manual and automated testing procedures.
Automation jobs often combine engineering, science, and IT but the skills you need will vary by industry. You’ll want to look at different job descriptions for automation engineers in different industries to get a better sense of the skills, tools, and education relevant to those industries.
While QA automation engineer is the most common IT automation job title, there are several other job titles that fall under the same category, including those aimed at building and developing services and solutions to bring automation into the workplace. Some positions focus on the cloud, while other jobs focus on automating with specific tools or services available on the market.
The roles and responsibilities fluctuate with each job description, and there are several different career avenues available for an automation engineer. According to PayScale these include:
The most commonly used software for automation engineering is automated testing software. These tools help businesses automate alerts, integrate QA processes, and test automation processes in the organization. They can also help solve automation problems, deliver reports, and automate the QA testing process.
According to data from Capterra, the highest rated automation testing software tools include:
Automation is a relatively new field, but certifications are emerging to help you validate your automation skills. You’ll want a well-rounded technical background in IT, and there may be certifications that are industry-related, but there are several automation-specific certifications you can earn:
More on automation:
To ensure the best possible help desk software solutions for our readers, we use a rating system ranging from one to five stars. This allows us to objectively compare and contrast each solution against its competitors. Our ratings are not influenced by any third-party relationships. We assign weighted scores to each factor to come up with an overall star rating for each product.
When we rate help desk solutions on our website, we take into account the following factors.
For pricing, we considered several factors, such as how much the software costs, is it a good value for the price and were there any hidden costs or fees. If a provider offered a free trial or a free version of its software, we gave bonus points for that. We also looked at how inexpensive a provider’s lowest-price plan compared to its highest-priced plan and how much benefit a user received by upgrading to a higher plan. This accounted for 10% of our weighted scoring.
We wanted to know what kinds of features the software offers and if it had all of the features that users need. We broke features down into two categories: general features and additional features. For general features, these were features that we expected every software provider to offer, either as part of its regular plan or at least as a paid add-on. These included offering mobile apps―bonus points for offering software for both iOS and Android―plus self-service capabilities, asset management, social media connectivity, access to a knowledge base and community forum for assistance and the ability to work remotely.
For additional, or “nice-to-have” features, we focused on customer support. We were looking for chatbots or live chat options, support widgets, self-service ticketing and reporting dashboards. We wanted to see how responsive each provider’s customer support was and if it was available by phone, email or live chat. We weighted features at 50% of our total score.
Looking at third-party customer reviews on websites that included Capterra, G2 and Trustpilot, we looked at customer responses to using the software. We gave higher ratings to providers that had at least 300 or more reviews on these websites and then again to those providers that had positive reviews of at least 3.5 out of 5 on each site.to supply a complete picture of reality and reduce bias. These accounted for 10% of the total score.
Factors that included ease of use made up the final aspect of our analysis by our panel of experts. When looking at ease of use, they wanted to know how easy it is to set up and use the software, if the interface was intuitive and if the software required any training to get started using it. Besides ease of use, other factors our experts considered were the overall popularity of the software, any stand-out features and the value for the money each provided. Altogether, these criteria make up 30% of the total score.
Augmented reality (AR) systems have long been used in gaming, but advocates have always insisted that they could do so much more, and they were right. In exact years, VR/AR systems have improved everything from neurosurgery to fashion, and now we have one for police work.
The Dutch police force, the Netherlands Forensic Institute, and the Dutch Fire Brigade are experimenting with an AR system developed by the Delft University of Technology. The system allows an officer to harness the knowledge of multiple experts without them needing to actually be present at the scene of an investigation.
Footage from a body cam on the officer is relayed to the experts, who can then provide clues and suggestions to the officer via notes that appear on a smartphone or heads-up display. This system could reduce the potential for contamination in crime scenes and make it possible for the most qualified expert to weigh in on a scene even if they are thousands of miles away.
The complete system is expected to be available in six months, and while it could prove very useful for examining crime scenes and gathering evidence, it won't be used to actively make arrests in the field — the notes and AR visuals have been found to be too distracting by the officers testing it.
A system like this one could one day be used to recreate crime scenes in court, but before that could happen, the technicalities of accepting AR evidence will need to be worked out by legislators. Until then, this new system will help officers in the first steps of an investigation while traditional methods remain in place for the rest of the process.
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Thanks to a variety of advancements in veterinary care and dietary habits, dogs are not just living better, but also longer. In 2020, nearly 50-percent of American dog owners had a dog age 7 or older. While dogs living longer is obviously a good thing, owners are now being forced to deal with more age-related issues than ever before. However, getting older doesn't have to be unduly hard on your pet thanks to Wuffes advanced dog vitamins and supplements.
Wuffes Multivitamins and Supplements For Dogs are formulated with the most effective and advanced ingredients to ensure your pup gets the help they need to ease into old age. From Glucosamine to D3, their team has spent thousands of hours studying every ingredient that goes into their products. They do this to ensure they make and manufacture the most effective blend for all of their products. That's why these next-generation Multivitamins and Supplements For Dogs include using premium ingredients that are made in the USA and are GMP verified.
Wuffes Advanced Hip & Joint Support
Did you know 70-percent of dogs suffer in silence with joint pain? The easiest way to help your pup before it’s too late is by adding Wuffes Advanced Hip & Joint support chews to their diet. These fast-release chews work to support and lubricate the joints of aging dogs. They also help aid in the strengthening of cartilage, tendon elasticity, and flexibility with active ingredients that have been formulated by veterinary experts to ensure your dog is getting what they really need.
Glucosamine - Proven to be effective in the reduction of pain and a significant reduction in joint inflammation while increasing joint mobility. It does this through the maintenance of synovial fluid, which helps lubricate the joints, reducing any friction and enabling easier movement.
Chondroitin – Chondroitin is a key structural component of cartilage and is part of a proteoglycan (a large protein molecule) that gives cartilage elasticity.
MSM - This is included because of its anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, it offers a huge benefit to dogs with joint stiffness, aching joints, tender joints, and arthritis.
Yucca Schidigera - Anti-arthritic properties plus it helps reduced Waste Odor.
Vitamin C - Helps in the production of collagen, which is vital for joint and bone health.
Vitamin E - Contain antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and pain.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Made from Salmon, stimulates cartilage growth, heart & brain function.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids - Made from Flaxseed - strengthens to the cell membrane, ensuring stronger joints and tendons.
Wuffes Advanced 17-In-1 Multivitamin
Vitamin B12 – Helps promote a healthy nervous system and brain function, as well as the formation of blood cells.
Vitamin D3 – Helps regulate the calcium and phosphorous balance in your dog's body helping aid bone formation and muscle control.
Vitamin A – The vitamin in carrots that is responsible for good vision also helps with overall health and wellbeing.
Vitamin E – An antioxidant that helps defend against free radicals making it good for immune system health and a healthy skin and coat.
Manganese – Helps your dog produce energy, metabolize protein and carbohydrates, and to make fatty acids.
Iron – Helps oxygenate red blood cells, and promotes a healthy immune system & production of energy.
Wuffes Daily Probiotic
CFU - Proprietary Blend of 1 billion
250 mg of Prebiotic Fiber - Bacillus Subtilis, Bacillus Licheniformis, and Bacillus Pumilus
Guaranteed Analysis - Moisture (max): 4.82%, Crube Protein (min): 7.3%, Crude Fat (min): 11.0%, Crude Fiber (max): 3.9%
Wuffes wants you to feel totally secure about making your first purchase of their multivitamins and supplements. That’s right! They want you to feel comfortable knowing your pooch is getting the very best products. That’s why they back up each and every purchase with a 90-day, no BS warranty. So if you’re not happy with anything (and they mean anything), email them, and they will do whatever they can to make things right. Putting you at ease is also why they offer free shipping on every order.
So what are you waiting for? Order Wuffes dog vitamins and supplements today to ensure you're doing everything possible to ease your good boy into their senior status.
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To better understand which help desk solutions small business owners rely on, we reached out to the general entrepreneurial community to see what they like about the platforms they use.
One of the biggest players in the scene, according to our research, is Zoho Desk, which received Full Marks in our research but was edged out because its 24-hour, five-day customer service – which is less than some other vendors offer – is behind a paywall. Still, James Boatwright, CEO of Code Galaxy, said his company uses the service for its affordable pricing and its feature set.
“Our small business chose the competitively priced Zoho Desk because the Enterprise edition was $25 per user per month,” he told business.com. “Some of its handy features include VoIP and social media integration, support for multiple brands in the customer portal, data analysis of advanced SLAs, report scheduling, custom ticket templates, and live chat support – and, importantly, [it] seamlessly integrates with our other apps.”
The popular Zendesk platform would have been a strong candidate for a best pick had it not kept common features behind an additional paywall. For DebtHammer CEO Jake Hill, the decision to move from Zendesk to Jira hinged on the latter’s more extensive features. “We used Zendesk previously but moved to Jira because there was more support for customization and more options for automation.”
Jira also received praise from Ravi Parikh, CEO of RoverPass Campground Management Software. The platform’s flexible, multipurpose ticket management system was a major selling point for his company.
“We use Jira for general support tickets, as well as a means of reporting bugs in our management software,” Parikh said. “Jira makes it easy to separate out these tickets so the appropriate employees can handle them. In addition to providing a record of support interactions, it lets us easily escalate tickets with all of the necessary information so the customer’s issue can be resolved as quickly as possible.”
While most respondents said they wanted feature-rich help desk software, Jonathan Newar, CEO of Captain Experiences, said his company wanted a more “baseline” platform without the bells and whistles. To that end, his company relies on Freshdesk, which can be as robust or simple as you need.
“My need is mainly internal, so I keep things simple,” Newar said. “I need the help desk to route a trouble ticket, modify and close it, and keep a record of it. For me, Freshdesk was the way to go because it’s intuitive and customizable. It meets all our needs and leaves room for growth as well.”