agile top banner

What is Release Train Engineer? Sneak Peek Into Skills & Traits

Read it in 9 Mins

Last updated on
29th Jun, 2022
Published
16th May, 2022
Views
547
What is Release Train Engineer? Sneak Peek Into Skills & Traits

The success of any organization or business resides in the effective workflow of all the involved processes. There are numerous aspects to consider when planning, assessing and executing the project objectives. This is where RTEs (Release Train Engineers) come into the limelight. They drive continuous development in the company. Along with the product, they have to manage the risks defined as the Release Train Engineer. They facilitate the program, level processes, and obviate impediments.  

The Release Train Engineer also acts as the full-time chief scrum master for the SAFe. All the lean practices along with the Agile software development practices are followed in SAFe, and the RTE ensures the teams abide by them. The RTE looks at the support needed for the project teams in the Agile Release Train. You can get the SAFe RTE certification online. Training providers can help you get certified as the RTE or the Release Train Engineer. Release Train Engineers will drive all the ART principles and events in an organization. They also interact with the stakeholders.  

Let us explore the traits and other vital roles of the Release Train Engineer.

What is a Release Train Engineer?

Just like the train has a master who has to lead the parade and make everyone work, the same is the case with a Release Train Engineer. He is a servant leader who has to fulfill many responsibilities. The RTE is also the servant leader who is the coach. They are the coach for the Agile Release Train or the ART.

Scrum Masters are usually the coach and servant leaders for their scrum team. When the crew of scrums gets together, they have to report to the release train engineer. This is the basic gist of what is a release train engineer.  

The SAFe RTE or the safe release train engineer would know how lean and agile procedures work. They would consider timely deliveries along with the team dynamics. You can get the certification from a known certification provider like KnowledgeHut.  

You will get a good Release Train Engineer salary once the course gets completed.

Key Responsibilities of the Release Train Engineer

Key Responsibilities of the Release Train Engineer

RTE as a Servant Leader and Coach 

All the program-level SAFe events are well sorted with the help of the Release Train Engineer. RTE is the coach who takes care of alignments and risk management evolving in the processes. Besides, RTE is a servant leader and program facilitator who facilitates program-level processes and execution. He becomes an important driving force in managing the entire process along its way to successful & desired completion. Let us explore how the release train engineer would carry out all the facilitation. 

PI Planning 

The team ought to be prepared on a prior basis for things to work out. This is called Program Increment (PI) planning. It is also called a plan out for the next 8- 12 weeks. The Release Train Engineer must carry out everything and plan the team’s goals accordingly. RTI in agile does all the PI. 

PI Execution 

Scrum of Scrums and all the PO sync, which is an indication of a diverse organization. As a Release Train Engineer, you would not be able to talk to every team member and rectify problems or analyze. You can host a scrum of scrums where all the scrum masters would come together, and the RTE scrum will facilitate them. Likewise happens with the PO sync. This would enable the product manager or the product owners together and can promote events accordingly. 

ART Development 

Same as the PI, the iterations are completed too. It is a longer process than a release train engineer cannot be time-bound. The teams have to showcase all the integrated work done in the ART or the Agile Release Train. Agile Train Release Sync - As the RTE, your roles are diverse; you have to make many choices, including synchronization, team building, and team ethics. This is what is done by the release train engineer. They would make sure all the scrum masters, product managers, and product owners are working in coordination in the Agile Release Train. The PI needs to be verified very safely. It has to be taken seriously, especially in the agile framework. The PI is discussed for the process identification and improvements. They will solve the entire PI and later would fit the problem-solving workshops. It is also called inspection.

Must-have Skills for an Effective Release Train Engineer 

Technical skills are the most important ones required to become a Release Train Engineer. There are three specific skills that every RTE should abide by and work upon- 

  • Lean and Agile Framework Understanding - All the release train engineers should understand the importance of the Lean and Agile framework. The SAFe framework should be cleared to them. They have to facilitate the processes along with the same. Any agile training online or offline can help enhance your comprehensive understanding of how to scale Lean and Agile practices. 
  • Budget Calculations - As the Release Train Engineer, you also must consider the budget. This is important as the budget calculation and how it affects the company should be a known factor. The budgeting along with the SAFe should work accordingly.   
  • Use of Metrics - is important to learn as the RTE. Which metrics are important and should be used is all tracked down by the RTE. Interpretation of the same, along with the project course and risks, is calculated with the help of the RTE. 

Apart from the must-have technical skills, the RTE should also have strong communication skills, critical thinking, and negotiation skills. They are servant leaders and have to learn all along with their lives. They have to-

  • Support team commitments 
  • Listen to team members and their problems 
  • Understand others 
  • Be open to discussions   
  • Mutual influence should be fostered 
  • Encourage and develop each member 
  • Use powerful questions and not be authoritative 
  • Practice system thinking and have a broader perspective. 

You can enroll for the KnowledgeHut SAFe RTE certification online to enrich yourself with the above skillsets and gain experience with practical scenarios.

How to Kickstart and Boost Your Release Train Engineer Career 

To become an RTE or start a career as an RTE, you must complete a certification course of 3 days. Here you will get to understand the role. You will also learn how to plan and execute the PI. 

After completing the course, you will be asked to join the SAFe community platform, which gives you access to the SAFe RTE examination. It includes all the related material and practice exams as well. Along with these, you will also get SAFe toolkits and templates. These will help you facilitate SAFe events. Your progress and portfolio building will start with business agility, training videos, forums, and valuable resources.   

Make sure you have a good knowledge of the SAFe Agile framework. Professionals who are scrum masters, lean-agile coaches, and program and project managers should opt for this role. You need to have a good understanding of Lean-Agile and work accordingly. 

Certifications 

A bachelor's degree is essential to be certified as an RTE professional. An equivalent work experience is also sufficient. The certification will ensure many things. One of the crucial aspects is that you possess all the knowledge needed to run the agile release train and manage it accordingly. You will become an influential scrum master and can coach the organization’s responsibilities.   

You can also apply for more professional certifications like the ASM or the Advanced Scrum Master, the SA or the Scaled Agilist, or any SAFe program consultant. They are getting certified as the scrum expert can yield many benefits, the most prominent and conspicuous being on the pay scale.   

Conclusion 

Getting the release train engineer job becomes easy with SAFe RTE certification. The certification improves your pay scale and gives you many other benefits. You will manage and ensure the success of continuous delivery pipelines in the organization. It is essential to consider that the release train engineer should focus on the outcomes and dynamics of the company rather than directly interfering in the work process. Planning and organizing are the two primary responsibilities of the project manager, but you will mentor, nurture, and improve the overall workers, teams, the organization, and its environment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

1. What is one primary responsibility of a Release Train Engineer? 

The primary duties of the RTE are to facilitate ART activities and procedures and assist teams in providing value. RTEs communicate with stakeholders, raise roadblocks, assist in risk management, and drive continuous improvement. 

2. What is a Release Train Engineer in SAFe? 

The Release Train Engineer (RTE) serves as the Agile Release Train's (ART) servant leader and coach. The primary responsibilities of the RTE are to facilitate ART activities and procedures and assist teams in providing value. They are in charge of ensuring that the agile release train (the group of agile teams) collaborates effectively and adheres to the SAFe processes. 

3. What is the RTE role?

The Release Train Engineer's (RTE) primary role is facilitating ART events and processes. They will also assist teams in delivering values. A great RTE is the Servant Leader by his work. They win the ART's respect, both from leadership and from groups. 

4. How much does a Release Train Engineer make? 

In India, the average yearly compensation for a Release Train Engineer ranges from 7.0 Lakhs to 40.0 Lakhs. In the United States, the average wage for a release train engineer is around $132,800 per year or $67 per hour. Entry-level salaries begin at approx.—$ 115,500 per year, with most experienced workers earning about $162,000 per year.

Profile

Mounika Narang

Author

Mounika Narang is a project manager having a specialisation in IT project management and Instructional Design. She has an experience of 10 years 
working with Fortune 500 companies to solve their most important development challenges. She lives in Bangalore with her family.