What was your undergraduate degree and when did you graduate?
I have a degree in Computer Games Development.
What is your job title and role?
IT Build Manager
Could you briefly describe the organization you work for?
I currently work for one of the fastest growing insurance providers in the UK, based in Exeter.
Did any of your degree modules inspire you or help you in choosing your job?
Interestingly the subject I disliked the most (Software Engineering) ended up being the bread and butter of my daily work.
What modules are most helpful to you in your job?
Build and Release management is an interesting field because it’s not an intensive programming role, be we are often seen as the problem solvers.
Where do you find yourself using the transferable skills that you developed in University?
Because of the architectural complexities behind games development I was often presented with a myriad of different types of problems – the skills I developed throughout the course are all used on a daily basis. In some ways I would even say I had an edge over some other candidates from a computer science background.
Where do you use your specialist skills and abilities?
Whilst I don’t do real-time software development, I do use many of my programming skills, and ability to learn programming languages.
Do you have a typical day and how would you describe it?
The build manager is the person responsible for managing the following processes:
-Create baselines from the initial version of software.
-Organize and refine the structure of your software.
-Set up build management projects for testing and staging.
-Set up and maintain process rules and folder templates.
-Collect software changes from developers, then build test areas.
-Run reports to find out features and tasks that are in or not in a build.
-Freeze software at important milestones, such as a customer release.
-Make the latest changes available to developers.
-Delete baselines that are no longer needed.
-Recreate old software releases to identify problems and create fixes.
What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?
Every day offers a new challenge. As I work on most projects in the company, I don’t get stuck doing the same thing constantly. I also have a real opportunity to make software development faster and more reliable. The pay is excellent too (more than a developer).
Any tips for someone wanting to develop a career in your sector?
If you have a passion for software development, but don’t want to cut code every day, then this is the perfect role for you. Work with open source tools, look at how they are built and find out ways to improve it. This will set you off on the right foot for a role in IT build management.
Written by jameswilliams
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