Release management is a complex topic, which touches on many aspects of software development, from organization and culture to methodology, development practices, operations, deployment strategies, configuration management, and process automation.
The team at Electric Cloud – maker of ElectricFlow, a release automation solution – set out to make release management more accessible, not just for release managers at huge enterprises, but also for ordinary developers and team leaders who want to better understand how software delivery should be done. So we built the Release Management Wiki – the first knowledge hub that collects all the relevant information on release management from around the world, and organizes it in a meaningful structure:
The wiki started with an intensive 6-month research project – the first stage was building a tree of over 200 sub-topics of release management including – release automation, release process, deployment automation, agile release practices, ITIL/ITSM release concepts, release planning, tools, you name it. Then we collected 27,000 web pages that cover these subjects, and our editorial team hand-picked the most relevant ones for each category, and divided them into “content types” such as How To, Case Studies, Real Life Examples, Vendor Information, Product Comparisons, and so on.
Making Sense of the Space
If you search Google for any of these specific topics, you’ll get a bunch of products, some articles, pages from StackOverflow and similar sites, mixed up with pages that contain only a few lines, are unclear, out of date, or useless for other reasons. It takes an effort to sift through all that and really learn about the space. Plus there’s no context – if you search for “deployment automation tools” you won’t be able to move up a level to learn about “software deployment” in general, or drill down to learn about “deployment automation using continuous integration tools” or even “deployment via Jenkins”.
Our wiki provides all that and adds another layer of meaning above the basic indexing that Google provides.
It was a humbling effort going through everything anyone had ever written about a field we know so much about. But we realized we don’t know everything, and while Electric Cloud has top experts in many aspects of release management, we aren’t the only ones, and in many parts of this field there are others who are more specialized. We decided to bring all these community voices to the front stage and let our visitors choose from a large variety of views and opinions – even those of our direct competitors!
It’s a democratization of technical knowledge which can save a lot of time for the many professionals who are adopting and deepening their knowledge of modern release management techniques. We strongly believe this will serve the community and make release management a reality at more organizations.