What is an SRE?

Hi everyone,

I’ve just been looking at the schedule for TestBash World and am particular intrigued by the following talk: ‘From SDET to SRE’ with Cristiano Cunha.

I’m unfamiliar with the SRE role. Could someone tell me what SRE stands for and what it is?

It looks like it’ll be an interesting talk, so I’m sure we’ll find out more on the day. However, I’m trying to figure out which talks to recommend my colleagues watch on the day and want to work out if this is something they’d find relevant and interesting.

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From what I can figure out SRE is Software Reliability Engineer. I get the general idea that SREs are sort of a sluice that’s installed between development and ops, to allow the code mulch to better flow between the two.

Testing is a victim of a certain kind of derealisation. Self-deception iterated like a proto-religion. The system’s moving away from thinking about the complexities of problems with the product and towards the complexities of shovelling it out and fixing it when it goes wrong as fast as possible. That’s where SDETs seem to come from.

SREs seem to be developers that understand operations - essentially someone who can look after how developed code will eventually be deployed, configured, stored, managed, so that the dev team has some ops in it. Infrastructure, data management, that sort of thing.

So “SDET to SRE”, I imagine is about how the massive project a company develops to perform checks on the other massive project a company develops fits in with how to plug that into giving the latter to people who pay for it.

I am, however, guessing.


Yea, it’s like a Site Reliability, Engineer, I attended a meetup talk a few years ago where an SRE person explained what his job is, seems very similar to DevOps, but more focused on making sure production is up and running, usually, these people are the first ones to get a call when something goes down.

This role requires a very strong generalist, and it does appear like it can be pretty stressful.

Pretty much like the gang explained already. Citrix used to have (probably still do) a system where SRE’s would be based around the globe to cover the clock and be on call to solve operational issues with all of the online services, it’s basically OPS, but customer facing. The job may entail “follow-the-sun” tasks to build something or doing the same to support a customer. Our SRE’s would have to hand a task to the person in the next time zone when they clocked off to keep communication and tasks going with a smaller team. Writing small scripts, mini-apps and having total database query-language fu are the big skills I can think of. Oh, and never panic. You have to be so mega cool in that job., one guy Gordon, was so cool, he was almost at ice temperature. but, the one SRE I do know, started out as a tester, so probably not a stretch in skills, but a very different kind of job.

Thanks for the help everyone. Much appreciated.

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