Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) is a discipline that combines aspects of software engineering and systems administration. SREs focus on creating and maintaining reliable, scalable, and efficient software systems by applying engineering principles to operations.
SREs are responsible for designing, building, and maintaining systems that are highly available, performant, and scalable. They work to ensure that applications are reliable, automate operational tasks, monitor system health, and respond to incidents.
SRE emphasizes automation, treating infrastructure as code, and applying software engineering practices to operations tasks. Traditional operations roles might focus more on manual maintenance and firefighting, while SREs focus on preventing incidents through proactive measures.
The core principles of SRE include setting Service Level Objectives (SLOs) to measure system reliability, using error budgets to balance reliability and development velocity, automating operations, and fostering a blameless culture that encourages learning from incidents.
SREs use a wide range of tools including monitoring and observability tools (Prometheus, Grafana), configuration management (Ansible, Puppet), version control (Git), containerization (Docker), orchestration (Kubernetes), and cloud platforms (AWS, Azure, GCP).
SRE and DevOps share similar goals of improving collaboration between development and operations teams and achieving reliable, automated software delivery. SRE is often seen as an implementation of DevOps principles in a structured and specialized manner.
SREs practice a blameless post-incident review process, focusing on learning from incidents to prevent future occurrences. This process helps identify root causes, improve monitoring, and refine response procedures.
Essential skills include programming/scripting, system administration, cloud computing, automation, troubleshooting, networking, and familiarity with containers and orchestration tools.
While reliability is a primary focus, SREs also work on aspects like capacity planning, performance optimization, security, and ensuring that systems are designed with scalability in mind.
Consider building on your existing skills, such as systems administration, software development, or cloud expertise. Seek opportunities to work on projects that involve automation and reliability.
Highlight skills such as automation/scripting, cloud platforms, version control (Git), containerization (Docker), monitoring, and familiarity with configuration management tools.
Cloud platforms are integral to modern SRE practices. Demonstrating experience with platforms like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud can be a strong selling point for your transition.
Yes, a computer science degree is not always required. Many SREs come from diverse educational backgrounds. Focus on gaining relevant skills and practical experience to demonstrate your capabilities.
SRE interviews might include technical assessments related to automation, troubleshooting, scripting, and architecture. Expect questions about incident management, monitoring, and collaboration as well.