How Do I Become a Software Release Manager?

D. Nelson
D. Nelson
Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

A software release manager is responsible for overseeing the development of complex software. He or she specializes in testing software to ensure optimal functionality, and works with software developers to fix flaws and to release products by scheduled dates. To become a software release manager, you need education and work experience in software development. In some cases, an undergraduate degree might be enough for an aspiring software release manager. More competitive job markets, however, may require job candidates to have graduate degrees.

To become a software release manager, earning a master's degree can be beneficial, even if it is not required. Not only can this credential improve your resume, but it can provide you with more advanced training and can even enable you to work in a more specialized area. For instance, a person who would like to become a software release manager who works specifically with medical software might want to earn a master's degree in health care systems.

You need to understand complex terminology and principles to become a software release manager. Just as important, however, is the ability to translate complex data into language that clients, executives, and managers from other departments can understand. It is common for a software release manager to make reports on software development processes to clients. He or she might also consult with clients about their needs and expectations and report back to a software development team with production guidelines.

In most cases, it is possible to study business management and communication while you are studying to become a software release manager. If this is not possible in your degree program, or if you are not able to fit management courses into your schedule, you might want to consider pursuing continuing education classes in these fields. As you work in entry level positions on software development teams, you can get some business training during evenings, weekends, or online at your convenience. The combination of a strong technical background with a clear understanding of organizational management can make you a top job candidate.

One of the most common ways to become a software release manager is to find a software company where you will have the ability to work your way up. This kind of company might nurture its employees by allowing them opportunities for professional development. If this is not the case for you, consider joining a professional association, where you can meet colleagues who can lead to job openings. No matter what path you choose, make sure that you consistently update your resume to include new experiences and acquired skills.

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