12 May 2022

The Extra Technology team conquer Automation Anywhere’s Season 2 Bot Games

Automation Anywhere is famed within the Intelligent Automation community for developing easy-to-use, powerful, yet low-code, tools that solve complex problems. And to prove that this is the case, they annually run ‘Bot Games’, a series of increasingly difficult challenges to be solved in a short time.

The 2022 Automation Anywhere Bot Games included a trio of exciting challenges that tested developers’ coding skills and problem-solving abilities to the very limit. Developers with varying degrees of experience took part in the event, with many also gaining new knowledge and expertise as they battled it out, trying to find the most efficient and inventive methods to achieve the best possible times. Only relatively few competitors completed all 3 tasks, each more demanding than the last, receiving the esteemed ‘trifecta certificate’. I was one of the successful challengers and this blog is a report of how me and my team performed in this year’s competition.

The 3 Challenges

Challenge 1 – Auction Sniper

The Extra Technology team conquer Automation Anywhere’s Season 2 Bot Games

The 2022 Bot Games kicked off with a unique challenge called ‘Auction Sniper’. Contestants were made to compete in winning an auction bid for a pair of shoes with the least possible time remaining before the bidding closed. The key for this task was not about speed, but absolute precision, ensuring your bot made the closing bid at the very last moment. The Extra Technology team used our extensive expertise and cunning to all make it into the 0.00X seconds remaining club, with Zakk Rockett our Head of Training and Pre-Sales Practice Lead achieving an astonishing exact 0 seconds remaining. When the Automation Anywhere adjudicators suggested that maybe Zakk’s perfect score was a lucky anomaly, he immediately achieved an exact 0 seconds remaining again. Lightning had struck twice – or more accurately Zakk had got off to the perfect start.

Challenge 2 – Quarter Close

Week 2’s challenge was the ‘quarter close’ challenge, the task involves building a bot to help the finance team who are dealing with their tough end-of-fiscal-quarter checks. This task was a bit more challenging than the previous one, and there was a lot more variation amongst the bot games competitors in the methods performed to complete the task. With our knowledge of the huge arsenal of commands that Automation Anywhere provides, this task proved no problem for the Extra Technology team. (Even our most junior developer is an AA Certified Master and has been immersed in Automation Anywhere for years, we really do enjoy getting into the nuts-and-bolts of how these products work. Our dedication is understandable as A360 is fun to work with – and that dedication is turbo-charged as our inter-team competitiveness is off the charts!)

The Extra Technology team conquer Automation Anywhere’s Season 2 Bot Games

One trick I used and spread around the community for this task was to open up the various accounts in separate chrome tabs and use the simulate keystrokes to function as hotkeys to switch between them as needed. This allowed me to shave-off valuable seconds and achieve a better overall time.

The Extra Technology team conquer Automation Anywhere’s Season 2 Bot Games

Challenge 3 – Cyber Loss Prevention

Week 3 saw the third and final challenge: ‘Cyber Loss Prevention’. Automation Anywhere had dialled up in difficulty with the purpose of stumping a lot of the competitors – the ‘trifecta certificate’ is a precious prize and not given-away easily. The Extra Technology team revels in a challenge, so we adopted the #TeamExtraTechPower hashtag and felt more than well-equipped to deal with the challenge, especially with our many years of experience and vast and extensive knowledge of the latest Automation Anywhere A360 release.

The instructions were to build a bot that would help in the serious problem of credit card fraud. The scenario set up a situation where a Dark Web Location known as Ryan’s Club had recently published a large dump of stolen credit card information. The bot had to scrape the partially available information and crosscheck it large and complex customer database from a financial institution called Eagle One Financial. If matches are found then the customer is added to a cancellation list. This challenge proved too difficult for most of the initial competitors, but our team persevered and earned our Trifecta certificates.

The Extra Technology team conquer Automation Anywhere’s Season 2 Bot Games

Bot Games final thoughts

The Bot Games was a great experience for us at the Extra Technology Team, it was a great set of challenges and we thoroughly enjoyed competing and getting involved and sharing our solutions and tips with the Bot Games and RPA community.

The first challenge was a great demonstration of the power of A360, showing good results for competitors of all abilities (and encouraging truly expert users to produce phenomenal results, like our team’s perfect and near perfect scores).

By the final challenge Automation Anywhere’s challenge setters had raised the bar to ensure that the Trifecta certificates maintained a genuine prestige. But it is important to note that the ‘Cyber Loss Prevention’ bots demonstrated a truly powerful product, harnessed by expert developers, undertaking a business critical task in a very short time. It was a great example of why business leaders need an appreciation of the true power of Intelligent Automation and how it is frequently a organisations best ‘get-out-of-jail’ card when business challenges present themselves.

The Extra Technology team conquer Automation Anywhere’s Season 2 Bot Games

Thank you to Automation Anywhere for the excellent organisation of the event, it was very engaging and interactive and my praise goes out to the Developer Evangelist team: Micah Smith, Lara Argento and Arjun S Meda. The Extra Technology team actively encourage all RPA enthusiasts to take part next year’s Bot Games, whether you are a seasoned RPA veteran or a new starter. It offers a fantastic opportunity to be challenged, tests your ability to think laterally, and gives you a chance to experience using one of the most sophisticated automation tools on the market today.

Learn about Automation Anywhere from true experts

For developers who want to be personally coached by Zakk 'Zero Seconds' Rockett and myself Aidan Szczurek, please contact us for details of our public courses. I look forward to competing with you all next year!

Business leaders who want to understand how Intelligent Automation (RPA and beyond, including; Intelligent Document Processing, Machine Learning, Process Mining, Natural Language Understanding, AI) are encouraged to attend our Executive Course. We have positive references from C-levels, Finance Managers, Operations Managers, HR Execs and Business Specialists and from most sectors, including; Retail, Banking, Insurance, Healthcare, Manufacturing and Biotech.

About the author

Aidan is a key member of Extra Technology’s award-winning Intelligent Automation team. An Automation Anywhere Certified Master RPA Professional and Certified Training Instructor. Aidan has worked with Automation Anywhere since September 2019 (gaining over 15 vendor certifications). In-line with Extra Technology’s mantra of using the best tool for any job Aidan’s Intelligent Automation experience and skillset is extensive - he is an ABBYY Vantage Certified Business Analyst, a certified expert.ai Professional, and holds certifications for UiPath and Microsoft RPA offerings too.

Aidan develops and delivers training courses. His students enjoy working with Automation Anywhere’s products because of the vendor’s focus on useability and positive user experience. Aidan’s courses receive exemplary feedback, notably because of a generous helping of practical exercises solving everyday business challenges.

Perhaps Aidan’s greatest skill is his ability to teach students of all abilities, adapting the course pace and offering special attention, as required. His soft skills have been honed over many years, as a black belt Karate instructor, a Primary School Teaching Assistant and Customer Services Team Leader.

In his free-time Aidan likes to participate in sports including Rock Climbing, Football, Cricket, Karate, Cycling. He also enjoys working with animals. As an occasional quiz-master of the Extra Technology quiz evening Aidan shares the mantle of toughest question-setter (did we mention his degree in Zoology?) with his colleague George.

Extra Technology’s CEO, Mark Mannion, says “Aidan is personable, intelligent, diligent, enthusiastic, and a dedicated team-player. From the first moment we met him, it was clear that Aidan strives to deliver the highest possible standards of customer satisfaction. Every great team needs an Aidan!”

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