DevOps Release Manager – Tech Hiring Guide

DevOps is deeply rooted in communication theory. But do you know DevOps is a merger of Developers and Operators? Like bmcblogs says, the role is a blend of developers and operators as they have to coordinate on many levels and across other departments too.

As an emerging career, a DevOps Release Manager (or just  Release Manager) works in tandem with Agile methodologies like Scrum, SDLC, PMI, ITIL, etc so that any incident can be instantly contained and resolved. 

Source: https://blue5green.com/

Speaking of them, Release Managers are an integral part of software deployments. As tech specialists, they are critical to DevOps success. Our tech hiring guide on DevOps Release Manager has the ultimate recipe for making a brilliant hire for the role.

Who is a DevOps Release Manager?

A DevOps Release Manager works on the release management lifecycle through a combination of DevOps and Agile methodologies. It involves multiple iterations, stages of production, and projects. They steer the team by facilitating conversations about the status quo and release impacts on overall the business.

According to Tom Smith, There’s a wrong notion that DevOps is all about tools. But DevOps is indeed about using the ‘right tools’ for automating as many tasks as possible. Automation not only frees engineers from mundane repetitive tasks but also ensures organization-wide consistency.

In the words of Marin Jankovski, Director of Infrastructure, Platform at GitLab, a release manager is an invisible hero because they’ve to take care of even the tiny details in the release directory, including the new updates and features before the project release.

Why is this role in high demand?

The demand for DevOps Release Manager is no surprise. The U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts growth of 22% for various roles in DevOps between 2020-30. As an extension of Agile methodology, it delicately balances flexibility and rigorous testing of new software.

Talking about the DevOps trends in 2022, Michelle Gienow, Full Stack Product Content Strategist at Cockroach Labs observes that serverless adoption is proliferating and they will just become serverless will eventually become just an implementation detail, providing inherent scalability and reliability — and automating routine operational tasks that few developers enjoy.”

Average pay

As per Glassdoor estimates, the national average salary for a DevOps Release Manager in the USA is $1,06,754  per year with an added compensation between $2,705 – $29,324.

Sample KPIs:

DevOps Release Management is all about IT services that are built, tested, and deployed including hardware, software, and other components too. Here are some of the KPIs that the role revolves around:

  1. Downtime
  2. Estimated Release Downtime
  3. Actual Release Downtime
  4. Number of Outages caused by a Release
  5. Number of Incidents caused by a Release
  6. Percentage of All Changes that End up causing Major Incidents
  7. On-time Delivery
  8. Releases delivered on Schedule by Application and Priority
  9. Releases  Priorities
  10. Total number of Lates by Application

Job Description

We know that CAMS or Culture, Automation, Measurement, and Sharing are the core functions of the DevOps Release Manager’s job. However, a candidate must be aware of the DevOps Release Manager job description:

  1. Maintaining knowledge of application infrastructure support processes and procedures
  2. Overseeing the deployment function for EV/UC related applications or infrastructure releases
  3. Promote effective analysis to determine the root cause of application/product/services problems
  4. Monitor efficiency and effectiveness of Release Management activities for assigned area
  5. Creation and maintenance of the ‘release schedule of events’ for all deliveries
  6. Day-to-day administration of Microsoft Team Foundation Server(s) system in support of various project development teams
  7. Creating projects, new code branches, and merging code streams in TFS
  8. Creating and maintaining TFS build scripts
  9. Facilitate project team verification of successful code migrations, including component traceability
  10. Develop service readiness and risk plan and ensure that transition risks are identified and mitigated

Interview Questions

DevOps Release Manager is responsible for the Release Management lifecycle. They also coordinate various aspects of production and projects that are integrated into a single solution.

In essence, the job description of a DevOps Release Manager talks about timelines, resources, and the entire process quality.

  1. On what terms do you collaborate with the software development team? 
  2. Which is the best configuration usage for files – Pom.xml Or Settings.xml? Why do you think so?
  3. Please explain the benefits of transitive dependency in Maven.
  4. Describe Jenkins.
  5. What is your go-to approach to a task that requires you to execute DevOps?
  6. What is the role of AWS in DevOps?
  7. What are the 3 significant DevOps KPIs.
  8. What are the key differences between Git Merge and Git Rebase?
  9. How do you achieve continuous Integration for a development team?
  10. What is your understanding of a Cyclic Dependency?

Best Practices for hiring DevOps Release Manager

Hiring for DevOps Release Manager is crucial for any tech-based industry as they are responsible for the release management lifecycle. Many video interviews suggest that recruiters are struggling to find quality talent for the role. While there is an acute talent shortage due to inadequate skills and experience, it must also be noted that most employers are still stuck in the traditional methods of hiring.

Hiring red flags like over-reliance on credentials than competencies and lack of advanced evaluation tools in skill assessments have severely limited the talent pool.

On the other hand, recruitment software like Glider AI takes candidate evaluation to the next level. Through a structured and standardized process, interviews are made candidate-friendly and also accurately assess skills and competencies. Hiring is not only bias-free but evaluated on real-world scenarios as well.

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