Q : I work as a software engineer for a company with an outdated build infrastructure, meaning something like continuous integration is practically impossible.
We have a huge code-base and anyone can deliver to the repository regardless of how broken the build is. Predictably, labelled builds take several days. Imagine trying to fixo the build as other people are breaking it at the same time.
The company has asked me to crawl through build logs and ask the person responsible to fix their errors. This can take the whole day.
I feel like I shouldn't have to do this. Igonoring the fact that it's pretty annoying, it's a people management job in everything but name. It feels like it's got sod-all to do with the software development process.
Is this is a reasonable thing to ask from a software engineer?
A : It's perfectly reasonable to ask you or any other dev to take on that role. But rather than thinking of it as a 'burden,' consider it an opportunity to implement a sustainable CI environment. Start by setting up a build server and gradually add more features (i.e. unit or integration tests, code coverage, code analysis, packaging/deployment).
Not only will make things easier for yourself, you'll will have been instrumental in improving your company's way of working. And when you're looking for your next opportunity, it's something you can point to as showing ingenuity, foresight, and creative thinking. These are hugely important for companies looking to hire devs in 2020.
It's only a burden if you make it. Take step up and own the process - your career will thank you for it.