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You could find loads of high-level definitions out on the web about what site reliability engineering means and what site reliability engineers do.
However if you wish to perceive what it’s actually like to work as a website reliability engineer, there may be maybe no higher supply than job descriptions. SRE job adverts clarify what actual corporations are searching for and what they anticipate on a day-to-day foundation.
To offer perception on what SRE seems like in apply, we’ll have a look at some job adverts from a number of main corporations. As we’ll see, every firm has a barely completely different tackle what the location reliability engineer function entails, however it’s attainable to establish some core themes that underline what companies anticipate.
To grasp the content material of SRE job descriptions, let’s study examples from 4 main corporations.
GitLab’s SRE job description accommodates most of what you’ll anticipate from a typical website reliability engineer job advert. It highlights the significance of getting a mixture of technical expertise and collaboration expertise. It additionally emphasizes experience in areas like Unix/Linux, infrastructure-as-code and Kubernetes.
What could also be barely stunning, nevertheless, is the emphasis that GitLab’s job description locations on programming expertise. GitLab expects SREs to know the right way to code in particular languages, like Ruby and Go. The takeaway is that SREs must know extra than simply the right way to use code to unravel IT operations issues. They have to additionally have the ability to develop functions or contribute code to utility platforms (the job description mentions “contributing to code in GitLab” as a required SRE technical ability).
Additionally fascinating is the truth that GitLab expects website reliability engineers to have the ability to write weblog posts. Running a blog is probably not one of many first expertise that come to thoughts once you consider a website reliability engineer’s tasks, however at GitLab, not less than, it’s a part of the job.
LinkedIn gives an SRE job ad template that companies can use when posting their very own SRE jobs on the location.
LinkedIn’s advert is fairly high-level (which is unsurprising, provided that it’s a template relatively than an advert for a selected job). For essentially the most half, it doesn’t point out particular instruments—though the primary exception is programming languages, the place it says SREs ought to know the right way to code in languages like C, Python, JavaScript and Ruby. Like GitLab, then, LinkedIn clearly sees improvement as a core SRE job duty.
The LinkedIn job description additionally locations a heavy emphasis on the power to “collect and analyze metrics.” It doesn’t use the phrase “observability,” however that appears to be what LinkedIn is getting at.
Persevering with the theme of development-centric SRE work, a current job advert for a selected SRE opening at Microsoft reads loads like a DevOps engineer job description. The power to “design, write and ship software program” is the highest duty listed within the advert, which additionally mentions familiarity with CI/CD instruments.
The Microsoft job description additionally mentions the significance of written and verbal communication expertise. In contrast to GitLab’s advert, this one doesn’t say SREs might want to write weblog posts; nonetheless, it’s clear that corporations anticipate individuals on this function to be artistic communicators along with technical consultants.
It’s price noting, too, that Microsoft desires website reliability engineers who know each Home windows and Unix. For those who want additional proof that Unix expertise are completely central to SRE work, look no additional than this job advert from the corporate that created Home windows.
Even Amazon—an organization that’s extra of a platform supplier than a software program vendor—locations main emphasis on the power of SREs to code in one in all its recent SRE job ads.
Curiously, the Amazon job additionally highlights networking expertise as a significant qualification. That’s comprehensible given the complexity of networking within the AWS cloud. However it’s a bit stunning as a result of most different website reliability engineer job adverts don’t name out networking experience as a key ability—although community engineering is essential to SRE work.
The Amazon job description mentions the significance of an applicant’s willingness to be on-call, too. We suspect that’s essential in nearly any SRE job, however not less than Amazon is upfront about the truth that, at time, you’ll be woken up at 4 a.m. to handle incidents.
There are just a few key takeaways from these varied SRE job descriptions.
This isn’t to say that each one SRE roles are an identical or that each one corporations anticipate the identical issues from their SREs, after all. However the jobs adverts or templates we’ve surveyed do spotlight how the high-level understanding of SRE interprets to on-the-ground actuality at precise corporations.
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