Build-release engineering may not be among the most glamorous software development roles, but it's essential. When a tech team grows, it's really helpful to have one dedicated person in charge of overseeing systems and scripts across all projects/groups.
The lack of build-release engineers, per Adam Gordon, CTO, New Horizons Computer Learning Center, is due to four factors:
“Building complex code is not easy. Building products for distributed systems or large scale deployments is even harder,” says Ivo Vachkov, Software Engineer, Xi Group Ltd.
The successful build engineer needs to know the intricacies of the build systems that come with the technology stack, expected environment parameters, deployment and rollback techniques and multiple other variables that are thrown in the mix.
The required array of technology skills for the build-release engineer is similar to that of an experienced developer. They use multiple technologies in every step of the technology process.
“People with the necessary background to be successful build engineers can easily take on other roles such as systems engineers / administrators and even systems architects, which are better paid,” Vachkov says.
Over the past 18-months, SDLC-based projects in software development and upgrades have seen the majority of the need and opportunity for these candidates, says Gordon. “I have many large development shops as clients that are struggling to find qualified release engineers,” Gordon says.
Or they are doing their due diligence and Cost Benefit Analysis and, as a result, have realized that it is more cost effective to hire on an as-needed basis, says Gordon.
It will help employers to understand what they have and what they need in their development teams.
There is no guarantee that a build-release engineer who specializes in embedded systems will be a good fit for a Java or Ruby team.
To better attract quality candidates, in addition to offering money, titles, freedom, and interesting / challenging projects, employers need to provide the proper tools to do the job.
“Resources and tools can make engineers work far more productively. No employer should rely on the Build Engineer’s personal laptop for a vital part of their business,” Vachkov says.
Check out build and release engineer jobs.
This article was written by David Geer, technology writer and journalist.