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Plutora Blog - Release Management

The Release Engineer’s Job

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What do The Release Engineers job typically do.

Release Engineers are the unsung heroes of the IT world. They are the guys who literally work behind the scenes building, innovating and making people’s lives easier when it comes to understanding and making the technical aspects of releases seem simple. Whilst you may never really pause to notice, these guys keep the continuous integration and continuous delivery conveyor belts moving. They also make sure version control is applied to the correct code sets in different environments and develop automated configuration tests.The list goes on and on.

Typically before release engineers move into this role, they would have been a software developer, system administrator or an automation scripter in a previous life. Naturally, release engineering is heavily focused on scripting and integration so its rare to find release engineers who don’t have a programming background.

On a daily basis a release engineers job involves collaborating with developers, testers and system administrators across various stages of the development lifecycle. They are also involved in service transition plays when handing over scripts and packages to IT Operations for execution in production.

Release engineers look after software configuration processes (this applies to infrastructure and applications), continous integration (which is ensuring that developers’ code can be automatically built using a 1-click build server process), continous delivery (packaging up of code and configuration bundles and deploying them with automated tools to different test environments and production) and version control tools.

What are the common tool sets used by a Release Engineers in their job?

(There are literally hundreds of tools but naming some of the most common)

SCM (software configuration management)
  • AccuRev
  • Clearcase
Version control & Source Repository
  • Sub-version
  • PVCS
  • Git
  • Mercurial
Release Automation -also known in the new world of DevOps as Continous Delivery
  • Puppet
  • Chef
  • Xebialabs
Automated Test
  • Cucumber
  • Jbehav
  • RSpec
Continuous integration
  • Jenkins
  • Hudson
  • Teamcity
  • Buildforge
Scrpting languages
  • Perl
  • Shell
  • Ruby
  • Javascript