Career Days: Software Release Coordinator wrap-up

On Wednesday, October 18, 2012 at 19:00 UTC Silvia Bindelli (Dolasilla) presented on being a Software Release Coordinator. Here’s the better-late-than-never wrap-up of her session.

cds on a mirror

Career Path

  • Started being involved in opensource in 2007 but has been using open source tools for longer
  • Graduated at the Politecnico di Milano 4 years ago, with a master thesis in software engineering
  • Master thesis was about an autonomic system (a system able to self-manage) and it was integrating some open source projects, like for instance LIME (http://lime.sourceforge.net/index.html)
  • After graduation she worked for 5 months at the university as an assistant researcher in the same field as her master thesis (software engineering)
  • She then worked in the IT department of a fashion company where she was in charge of the business process management project
  • “I love talking to people, and improving their life through technology and that position gave the possibility to really do that”
  • During that time she had to discuss with managers to understand the way they worked, and then implement the same or improved processes in the tool in order to automatize part of their activities and provide a way to organize the output of each phase, in order to build an organized knowledge base structured on the activity flow.
  • She had a lot of fun “playing” with it in order to customize it to better fit the needs of the company and said that “Such a job was allowing me to deal both with technologies and with people, that is a balance I try to find in all my jobs, as I love both aspects.”
  • After a couple of years she moved to south of France, looking for new experiences but always trying to keep those two element alive in her day-to-day job and managed to get it in her current position as a release coordinator.

Current Work

  • She is currently working in a big IT company which operates mainly in the online booking business. Bookings of flights, hotels, etc…
  • Her job mainly consists in coordinating the activities that bring a new release of a software or a patch to the production systems for one of the divisions. “Basically my role starts after the QA phases and before the actual use of the system by everyone.”
  • Customers are airlines, hotels and even travel agencies whose needs they need as far as customizations
  • If we look at the day-to-day activity, it actually consists of a mixture of technical and social skills that you need to use everyday.
    From a technical point of view, for instance, in her team they maintain the configurations of the the production systems, they get the updates of such configuration set by architecture and development teams, and store them in the tool to make sure they are applied to the right server farm
  • About the social side of the job, instead, they often have to coordinate several activities at the same time (technical changes on production servers, new customization of customer websites, new software releases,…), and often find themselves to be in the middle, having to mediate between the need to keep production environments as much stable as possible, and the needs of marketing to keep the customers happy complying to all of their requests for new features

Q&A

The session wrapped up with a Q&A session, with questions including:

  • What is the usual time table you are working on? How long is the release process?
  • Is your job one that you “leave at work” or is it the type of job that if something goes wrong you’ll get a call during the night that something needs attention?

Full logs which include very thorough answers to these questions are available on our wiki:

http://wiki.ubuntu-women.org/CareerDays/SoftwareReleaseCoordinator

If you’re interested in getting involved, please see the Ubuntu Women Career Days wiki page or email Cheri Francis or myself (lyz@ubuntu.com).

These sessions are open to the whole community, you don’t need to be a woman to attend or participate.

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