Why I joined Release

Kelsey Chamness
February 24, 2022
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During my 5 year tenure at AWS, leading teams who supported B2B software companies, I had the opportunity to observe an extremely broad cohort of customers, challenges they faced, and opportunities for technology disruption. Companies were making substantial investments in the cloud - all at various phases. Some were in their infancy and needed guidance formulating a migration strategy, others were all-in seeking support to modernize their stack, and every customer in between. One commonality across these customers in various phases of the cloud journey is that they were all looking to achieve a similar outcome: offload undifferentiated heavy lifting of maintaining infrastructure to focus on what’s core to their business, their “special sauce.”

While the cloud offers building block services to ultimately achieve this ideal state, there is still a substantial burden on the teams responsible for managing cloud services. The burden wasn’t eliminated - it simply transferred. Teams previously in place to manage hardware became teams in place to manage cloud infrastructure. In many instances, companies invested even more in internal cloud teams (SRE, DevOps, etc.) than they did in the data center days. This is by no means a slight to the cloud. It is the only way companies can innovate at the pace necessary in today’s demanding market. However, I instantly recognized Release’s ability to address these challenges and maximize the value of the cloud’s agility, ease of experimentation, and cost efficiency.

With Release, instead of allocating massive amounts of resources to DevOps, engineers can focus on the core of the business. How, though? Release offers environments-as-a-service, containing the manifestation and execution of all of the code, data, infrastructure, settings and services needed to run any application. Environments can be ephemeral, short-lived for testing and branch-based development or permanent for environment needs such as staging and production.

Environments are critical to organizations because every member of product development is dependent on them in every step of building and delivering products. Oh and my fellow sales and GTM folks, I’m talking to you too. You might not know it, but you rely on environments every time you demonstrate your product offering to a customer (arguably the most critical stage of the sales cycle). We have on-demand environments for you too, so you never have to worry about the tech failing mid-demo (defeating Murphy’s law!). With Release, customers get environments for virtually every use case, best practice DevOps out of the box, instant data sets, development isolation, uniformity, and more.

Not only do I firmly believe in the company’s mission and their novel technology. I strongly believe in the founding team and have had quite a poetic journey with the three of them. It started back in 2017 when I supported Tommy, David, and Erik on a journey to migrate from several data centers to AWS. This was a multi-year effort requiring expertise from dozens of AWS resources, substantial SOW dollars, and months of training and enablement. I wish I could say this multi-year effort gave them everything we promised (agility, scale, innovation), but the migration was only the beginning. They spent years building a homegrown solution in an effort to become less reliant on DevOps resources and remain product-oriented. They recognized the need to give developers the independence to build, test, iterate, and re-iterate in their own isolated environments and to share those changes with others. Their mission to bring ideas to the world faster ultimately led to the inception of Release.

It has come an extraordinary way since then, but we’re still early. If you’re excited about joining a mission-driven company backed by the most credible investors in the world, you know where to find us. Spoiler alert: We’re hiring.

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