IT Careers: How to Get a Job as a Site Reliability Engineer - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software
News
7/31/2019
08:00 AM
Cynthia Harvey
Cynthia Harvey
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

IT Careers: How to Get a Job as a Site Reliability Engineer

If you have a passion for development and systems, site reliability engineering might be a good career path for you.
Previous
1 of 10
Next

SRE, for site reliability engineer or site reliability engineering, is a relatively new position that combines software engineering with IT systems management. In fact, it's so new that in the 2019 SRE Report from monitoring vendor Catchpoint, 64% of SREs surveyed said that their companies had been employing SREs for three years or less.

If you're not exactly sure what an SRE does, you're not alone. In a nutshell, you can think of an SRE as being a systems administrator on steroids. While a systems administrator might be responsible for deploying, monitoring and management dozens or hundreds of servers, SREs keep watch over thousands or tens of thousands of systems. It's their job to maintain the reliability customers expect while helping their organizations continue to scale.

The only really effective way to manage so many servers at once is to write software that does most of the work for you. So SREs spend a good bit of time writing scripts and using automation tools.

They also spend a lot of time on incident management. In the Catchpoint SRE survey, almost half (49%) said that they had worked on resolving an incident within the last week. When your favorite Web service goes down, an SRE is probably taking the blame and working to fix it -- and that can be a tremendously stressful position.

On the other hand, that stress comes with some definite rewards. According to Hired, SREs earn an average salary of $126,000 per year, and salaries can be even higher in cities with a lot of demand for SREs. The job board reported that the cities with the highest demand for SREs include the following:

So what qualifications do you need to land one of these lucrative positions? Most companies are looking for someone with a bachelor's degree in computer science or an equivalent level of expertise. They would love to have someone with previous SRE experience, but since the field is relatively new, it can be hard to find those people, particularly for junior-level positions. If you're currently working as a developer, software engineer, systems administrator, or DevOps engineer, you could probably land an SRE job if you first do some work to fill in any gaps on your current skills list.

What follows are nine steps for moving from your current IT role to a job as a site reliability engineer.

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay

Cynthia Harvey is a freelance writer and editor based in the Detroit area. She has been covering the technology industry for more than fifteen years. View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 10
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
Reflections on Tech in 2019
James M. Connolly, Editorial Director, InformationWeek and Network Computing,  12/9/2019
Slideshows
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Commentary
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Video
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll