What Does a Site Reliability Engineer Do? 2023 Guide

SRE promotes shared ownership between development and operations teams. They achieved this by automating tasks performed manually, such as provisioning access and infrastructure, creating accounts, and building self-service tools. It is used by businesses to guarantee that their software applications are reliable even when they receive frequent upgrades from development teams.

SRE inherently feeds into a forward-thinking, efficient DevOps culture. Additionally, SRE helps feed IT concerns and information back into the development teams – leading to faster, more resilient software development. As with system monitoring, on-call support also provides metrics that can be used to drive improvement. With on-call support, site reliability engineers work to reduce metrics like Mean Time To Acknowledge (MTTA) and Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR). As you may suspect, SRE roles require actionable metrics that drive our systems to improve aspects of system reliability. Software developers are increasingly taking a larger role in deployments, production operations, and application monitoring.


They may spend more time on improving or validating system and business-related metrics. For example, a newer company may need SRE support in getting general outages under control. With the increasing popularity of distributed systems, there’s a greater need for increased monitoring and automated alerting.

What should a Site Reliability Engineer know

On the contrary, it’s a highly creative, stimulating, and technically challenging role. Depending on how it’s defined, the SRE role requires a mix of development and operations skills. But creating a functional site reliabilty engineer takes more than telling a software developer or systems engineer to read Google’s book.

Skill 4: Using Version Control Tools

It changes the way developers, product owners, admins and general engineers all interact with one another. You have to shift your operating model and how you approach building in your organization. Located at the crossroad of software development and IT operations, site reliability engineers (SREs) should be schooled in both areas.

What should a Site Reliability Engineer know

While there is no perfect formula for building an SRE-based organization, the following example is how I’ve immersed myself in the mindset over the years. Prometheus and Grafana are widely used monitoring solutions, so it makes sense to learn those. But there are some common things that just about all successful site reliability engineers need to know. The full compensation package for a site reliability engineer depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average site reliability engineer’s salary. According to Glassdoor, the estimated total pay for a site reliability engineer in the US is $136,229 per year [2]].

Skill 9: Improve Your Communication

Ultimately, they follow SRE principles to reduce toil, monitor  and improve systems, and solve reliability problems when they occur. Although site reliability engineering has been around for a while, it has only recently gained fame in general software circles. But there are still a lot of questions as to what a site reliability engineer (SRE) is and does. Infrastructure SREs typically have a background in system engineering and architecture.

In-depth knowledge of Windows or Linux systems management isn’t much of a priority for us. However, it may be really critical to your team depending on how your applications are deployed. Traditionally, DevOps has been more about collaboration between developer and operations. Site reliability engineering is more focused on operations and monitoring.

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Site reliability engineers use DevOps principles to assist in the production and release of new software features. SREs also fix issues that arise with new releases to maintain the functionality of software products. Here are some general roles and responsibilities in a site reliability engineer job that SREs need to perform.

What should a Site Reliability Engineer know

SRE teams should keep calculating the response time a system or service takes to serve any request. The MTTR helps assess the efficiency and effectiveness of incident response and recovery processes. As an example, assume that service level objective is set to meet an accuracy of 95 percent in generated monthly reports. In this case, the SLI will be the actual accuracy attained in the report.

This figure includes an average base salary of $111,384 and $24,845 in additional pay. No matter how you define and implement SRE in your company, the role and the practices it embodies should have a cascading effect. So, just as we recently unearthed the “secrets” of DevOps, we’re here to do the same with the related field of site reliability engineering. According to Glassdoor, the annual average base salary for a site reliability engineer in the UK is £65,396 with most SREs earning between £56,000 and £116,000 [1]. For instance, your application’s uptime is lower than the promised SLO at 99.92% of the time.

  • Leveraging that knowledge and focusing on the SRE mission will significantly improve the overall implementation.
  • Site reliability engineers must monitor all components of the product or system.
  • According to Built In’s salary tool, site reliability engineers (SREs) in the U.S. make an average base salary of $124,604.
  • You can leverage the expertise that SRE teams bring in to manage the products and services you offer to your customers.
  • It also discusses aspects such as organizing the SRE team and on-call duties.

It also encourages sharing knowledge, documenting best practices, and conducting blameless post-incident reviews, leading to a culture of continuous learning and improvement. SRE practices ensure high availability, reduce downtime, and mitigate the impact of failures by enforcing monitoring, proactive alerting, https://wizardsdev.com/en/vacancy/sre-site-reliability-engineer/ fault tolerance mechanisms, and disaster recovery strategies. Regardless of size or industry, every company can benefit from implementing SRE practices and principles to achieve a more reliable and scalable infrastructure. For instance, an SLO uptime of 99.95% indicates that 0.05% of downtime is permitted.

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