How to win a good appraisal as a Release Engineer

In most of the companies, they will have 5 ratings in their appraisal system.

It is 1, 2, 3-Successfully meets expectations, 4-Exceeds expectations, 5-Outstanding.

And it will have the same competencies for every employee. like Business Ethics, Innovation, Teamwork, and Project Management.

for the objectives, they are different from everyone.

I don’t want to discuss what’re those competencies meaning as they are very frank. Here I will just share my first three years after my graduation from campus.

First year:

I got a rating with 3-Successfully meets expectations. Actually this was also the same as my expectation since in the first year I didn’t have too many chances to perform. I think this is very common for every newbie in career. So my suggestion here is, in your first year, don’t expect too much but just work hard and learn with a good attitude. As a release engineer, you should learn how to build a project from inception. How to setup a build environment/machine. Get a basic sense about continuous integration and delivery. Knowledge in SCM tools. And fall in love with Release Engineering.

Second year:

In my second year in career. I got a rating with 4-Excellent. To be honest, I did think I should have got a 5-Outstanding. But my manager told me that my hard working and diligent did impress her but she said that it was not enough to get a 5-Outstanding as my work was only helping the Release Team only. She said I should extend my responsibility outside of Release Team. So here I learnt a lesson is that, as a release engineer, you can not just focus on your release activities, you should seek chances to involve more into other aspects like testing, development, architecture, even requirement management. Here my suggestion is, in the second year, a release engineer should have nice scripting ability and should have automate as much as possible. And should have deep understanding of CI, take part in project management from inception to deployment. Also should enhance your tools experience, like JUnit, DbUnit, Findbugs, PMD, etc.

Third year:

In my third year in career I finally got a rating with 5-Outstanding. In this year, I not only could complete  my Build/Release tasks with a high satisfaction but also could help my team members in Relase Team as a problems killer, besides that, I could also help others from other teams like Testing, Platforms. In this year, I enhanced my skills like Database Management, Linux, etc. And I could work with a very effective way and always eager more. Worked with good attitude and detailed in analysis.

Above is my career path in the first 3 years. I hope it could help students who want to join in the Release Engineering. In a word, no pain no gain. RE is a very interesting field and it deserves your dedications.

Starting from your third year:

You should be over qualified for any release activities for any projects. Besides that, you should be passionate in how to develop an integrated platform to automate and centralize your automated scripts/reports, and upgrade them to be the core utilities for developers.

Here is a conclusion:

first year: from a newbie to a junior release engineer. Knowledge in SCM & CI. Tools slave. Learn scripting. Can do attitude.

second year: Good knowledge in SCM & CI. Tools expert. Can help other members in Release Team.

third year: Problem killer. Can help others outside Release Team. Be a generalist.

Fourth year and going on: working on integration infrastructure.

Welcome to Release Engineering! 😉