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Release management is the process of planning, coordinating, scheduling, and controlling software releases and updates to ensure the efficient and reliable deployment of new software features or updates to existing software. It involves managing the entire lifecycle of a software release, from initial planning and development to final deployment and monitoring.

The main goal of release management is to ensure that the software is delivered to end-users on time, with minimal disruption to the existing system, and with the highest possible level of quality. This involves ensuring that the software is thoroughly tested and validated before release and that any potential risks or issues are identified and addressed before they impact end users

Effective release management requires close collaboration between development teams, testing teams, and operations teams, as well as strong communication and documentation processes to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that there is a clear understanding of the release schedule and the expected outcomes.

Release manager: salary and job outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for computer and information systems managers, which includes release managers, was $146,360 as of May 2020. However, the salary range for release managers can vary based on factors such as industry, company size, and location.

As for job outlook, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that computer and information systems manager employment is expected to grow 10 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is driven by the increasing reliance on technology across industries and the need for companies to stay competitive by adopting new technologies.

Starting a career in release management: tips and guidelines

If you’re interested in starting a career in release management, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Build a strong foundation in software development

While a computer science degree is not necessarily required, having a solid understanding of software development principles and processes can be helpful in release management. Consider taking courses or pursuing certifications in software development to gain a deeper understanding of the field.

  1. Gain experience in related roles

Many release managers start in other roles within software development, such as quality assurance, project management, or software engineering. This can help you better understand the development process and prepare you for the responsibilities of a release manager.

  1. Learn about release management processes and tools

Familiarize yourself with the tools and technologies commonly used in release management, such as continuous integration and delivery tools, source control systems, and issue-tracking software. MLSDev – software development firm that can provide you with a list of tools and technologies they use and recommend for release management.

  1. Develop strong communication and collaboration skills

Release management requires close collaboration with development, testing, and operations teams. Developing strong communication and collaboration skills can help you work effectively with these teams and ensure everyone is on the same page.

  1. Consider pursuing certification

There are a variety of certifications available for release management professionals, such as the Certified Release Manager certification offered by the DevOps Institute. These certifications can demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in release management to potential employers.

Skills required to become a release manager

  1. Strong technical background: A release manager should have a solid technical experience in software development, testing, and deployment processes. This includes understanding software architecture, source control, build automation, and deployment technologies.
  2. Attention to detail: A release manager must pay attention to detail and be able to identify potential issues or risks during the release cycle. They should be able to spot inconsistencies and errors in code and documentation and ensure that all release artifacts are accurate and complete.
  3. Excellent communication skills: A release manager must communicate effectively with various stakeholders, including developers, testers, and project managers. They should explain complex technical issues in simple terms and be able to influence others to achieve release objectives.
  4. Project management skills: A release manager should have strong project management skills, including the ability to plan, organize, and execute complex projects. They should be able to manage multiple projects simultaneously and prioritize tasks effectively.
  5. Problem-solving skills: A release manager should be able to identify and resolve issues quickly and effectively. They should be able to develop creative solutions to complex problems and have a strong understanding of root cause analysis.
  6. Time management skills: A release manager must manage time effectively, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines. They should be able to work efficiently and productively under pressure and adapt to changing priorities.
  7. Collaborative mindset: A release manager should have a collaborative mindset and be able to work effectively with cross-functional teams. They should be able to build strong relationships with stakeholders, resolve conflicts, and negotiate compromises when necessary.

Overall, becoming a successful release manager requires a combination of technical expertise, project management skills, and soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, and collaboration.

Author’s bio: Anastasiia Lastovetska is a technology writer at MLSDev, a software development company that builds web & mobile app solutions from scratch. She researches the area of technology to create great content about app development, UX/UI design, tech & business consulting.