Release Manager: Job Responsibilities, Salaries, and Tips to Become One

IT is growing very fast and new technologies emerge frequently. DevOps is one such emerging methodology, which is the result of the latest technological developments and has become popular in recent times. Most of the businesses are adopting the DevOps, and therefore the demand for DevOps Release Manager who can plan the projects by scheduling shorter and faster releases has increased. In this article, you will get to know more about the roles and responsibilities of the DevOps Release Manager, their salary, and the skills required.

Release Manager vs DevOps Release Manager

A Release Manager in IT is a person responsible for managing the complete software delivery life cycle. They have to work with the team from the planning phase to the deployment phase through the development and testing phases. 

On the other hand, DevOps Release Manager not only works with the development and IT operation teams from the start of the process to the end but is also responsible for planning the shorter feedback and scheduling fast releases. DevOps Release Manager has to work closely with the teams from the beginning of the project and follow the classical agile methodologies such as PMI, SCRUM, and ITIL; therefore, any incidence can be identified and resolved on time. DevOps Release Manager has to be familiar with DevOps and the related tools

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Release Manager Job Description

  • The Release Manager reports to the manager in the Release Management team. Release Manager, in DevOps, is responsible for scheduling, planning, and controlling the software's development and delivery process. 
  • As a Release Manager, you will be responsible for handling the DevOps team to make them deliver the services on time and will manage both IT operations and developers. 
  • You will be responsible for the Release Management lifecycle that involves the stages such as scheduling the release, coordinating between teams, and deployment of release as per the schedule and within budget. 
  • As a DevOps Release Manager, you will have to release the software after completing the testing stage and deployment stage, and work closely with the application development team, testing team, and production team. You will have to maintain proper coordination between these teams to update the project related information. 
  • You need to define the strategic usage of release management tools to manage the revenue for the release. 
  • Overall, you will be concerned with planning, testing, tracking, release, deployment, communication, and risk management. 

Release Manager Roles and Responsibilities:

From a birds-eye view, you will spend most of your time planning, testing, tracking, release, deployment, communication, and risk management. Below are some details:

  • Plan the release of project deliverables and release life cycle.
  • Communicate the project-related tasks such as plans, timelines, requirements, etc. between different teams.
  • Coordinate the release schedule and resources required depending upon the third-party applications, defect backlogs, planned releases, and infrastructure updates. 
  • Identify the risks that can delay the release and manage them, such that the scope scheduled, and quality of the release is not affected.
  • Track the progress and find issues, if any. Always work to improve the process of release.
  • Make sure that the release is planned, according to the requirements and budget.
  • Schedule the release readiness reviews before deployment and milestone reviews after each release.
  • Create plans for the implementation and deployment as per the release schedule.
  • Plan and give weekly updates on the release activities
  • Make sure the allocation of Release Engineers to every release.
  • Communicate with release managers from different IT departments.
  • Lead the Go-Live activities to deploy the software successfully.
  • Team up with relevant development teams responsible for building the automation tools used to develop and deploy the software.
  • Schedule the CAB meetings to discuss the release schedules with the team and find roadblocks, if any.
  • Maintain documentation related to procedures on build and release, various notifications lists, and dependencies.
  • Make improvements in the methodologies used for configuration management and development of software that helps to find ways to use in configuration management.

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Skills Required to Become a Release Manager

As the role of a Release Manager is quite competent, so you need to master or at least be an expert in some of the key technical skills. In addition to that, some soft skills are also required to make the communication easier and the coordination between different teams to go easy.

  • B.Tech in Computer Science or an equivalent degree
  • Project management experience
  • Knowledge of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CD/CI) pipelines
  • Experience in working with DevOps and Agile methodologies
  • Working knowledge of Software Development Lifecycle
  • Expertise in computer programming
  • Team management skills
  • Experience in the use of Application Release Automation tools such as ElectricFlow, Puppet Enterprise, Buildmaster, and Visual Studio Release Management.
  • Knowledge of traditional agile methodologies, including Scrum, Waterfall, or Kanban
  • Good understanding of application infrastructure, system architecture, and operating system

Soft Skills:

  • Excellent communication skills 
  • Leadership skills
  • Project management skills with knowledge of presentation
  • Problem-solving and analytics skills
  • Team and time management skills

According to payscale, the DevOps Release Manager salary starts from INR 829,072 to a maximum of INR 2,00,000+ depending upon the number of years of experience and employee count of the organization. 

In the US, the Release Manager salary ranges from $73,000 to $160,000, with an average salary of $105,000. You can also earn enough money working as a freelance Release Manager in DevOps. In freelancing, the salary is hourly based and varies according to the client and project.

Your Next Step: Becoming a Release Manager 

If you are looking forward to becoming a DevOps Release Manager, there are certain tech skills and soft skills you must know. But having a certification is surely an added validation our DevOps Engineer Master’s program and the Post Graduate Program in DevOps will help you do just that. From learning the principles of continuous development and deployment and IT service agility, the program will definitely help you get one step closer to your dream job role. Start learning now!

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