Browse Definitions :
Definition

site reliability engineer

Site reliability engineer is a job title for a specialist who works with software developers to ensure that an organization's computing systems are scalable, stable and predictable. The position calls for someone who is comfortable with both software engineering and IT operationsThe term SRE was coined at Google around 2003 when the company hired Ben Treynor Sloss to lead a team of software engineers to run a production environment. The company needed to create new paradigms to manage its large systems, while continuously introducing new features and a high-quality end user experience (UX).

Although site reliability engineering duties were historically done by operations teams, today’s SREs use machine learning (ML) to automate tasks previously performed by human labor. Typically, SREs are responsible for selecting infrastructure tools, managing production changes and determining emergency responses. SREs typically devote up to 50 percent of their time on operations responsibilities (including issues, on-call and manual intervention) and the rest of their time on coding and automation tasks. However, these percentages and SRE duties may vary, depending companies’ business models and culture.

The job of the SRE has evolved beyond that of the system administrator (sysadmin). Required skills for SREs include a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field as well as production-level experience in at least one high-level command-line interface-written code language (such as Java, C/C++ and Go) and at least one dynamic language (including Ruby, Python and Node.js). Other required skills may include advanced experience in either networking, Linux/Unix administration, systems programming, distributed systems, databases or cloud engineering. Employers are also looking to hire SRE team members who have experience in data-driven analysis and infrastructure-as-code (IaC) as well as server clusters, load balancing and monitoring. Other desirable SRE skills are experience with at least one major cloud provider and one container technology. Soft skills such as being a good communicator are a plus.  

Site reliability engineering and DevOps have similar goals: keeping a diversely skilled team involved in software development, from design through operation; automating repetitive tasks; and using engineering tools in operations. In contrast, while DevOps applies to positions both within and outside IT, SRE is focused on supporting IT operations during software development and deployment in production. Additionally, although business leaders usually are involved in DevOps, they are not often involved in SRE.

This was last updated in April 2018

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance framework

    A compliance framework is a structured set of guidelines that details an organization's processes for maintaining accordance with...

SearchSecurity

  • DNS over HTTPS (DoH)

    DNS over HTTPS (DoH) is a relatively new protocol that encrypts domain name system traffic by passing DNS queries through a ...

  • integrated risk management (IRM)

    Integrated risk management (IRM) is an approach to risk management that uses a set of practices and processes to improve an ...

  • MITRE ATT&CK framework

    The MITRE ATT&CK (pronounced 'miter attack') framework is a free, globally accessible service that provides comprehensive and ...

SearchHealthIT

  • telemedicine (telehealth)

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

  • Project Nightingale

    Project Nightingale is a controversial partnership between Google and Ascension, the second largest health system in the United ...

  • medical practice management (MPM) software

    Medical practice management (MPM) software is a collection of computerized services used by healthcare professionals and ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification and is used in internally mounted ...

  • kilobyte (KB or Kbyte)

    A kilobyte (KB or Kbyte) is a unit of measurement for computer memory or data storage used by mathematics and computer science ...

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an operating system (OS) that uses hardware and software to allow a computer ...

Close