Build management is one of those tasks in a project team that most project managers are not particularly aware of. Many developers do not identify this as a separate task either, it is just something that the better developers do as part of their job, and the worse ones ignore.

So what is build management? There are probably a lot of people who can provide a better description than I, and who doubtless have more authority and subject matter expertise to do so, however here is my shot:

Build management is the process of ensuring that developers can consistently produce higher quality software through the introduction of tools and processes that streamline and simplify the development process.

Fairly open really, huh? In fact, if you define it like that, you will notice that within a successful development team someone is always taking on these types of tasks. This person is usually the one to look at why the build is taking so long, to see if they can find a better way to package the build artifacts, and even gets involved in ensuring that testers are provided with the right software when they need it.

A build manager is simply rolling all of these tasks and more into one role, and dumping it on some poor schmuck! For the last few years, and in my last few roles, this has been me.

In a totally self-serving approach to information dissemination, I am going to try and extol the virtues of employing someone for this type of role in an effort to increase the awareness and requirement for this skillset. That way, it should be even easier to get a job.

Oh, and other people may learn something. :)