Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) Roles and Responsibilities

What do the Site Reliability Engineers do and what exactly are their roles and responsibilities within an organization? Have you ever thought of it? Read on to get a clear view from this article that keeps focusing on sharing with you the core responsibilities of SRE teams across its members. It will also acknowledge the talents that each member brings to the organization while striving towards a shared objective of reliability.

What is Site Reliability Engineering (SRE)?

The term Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) has its origin from the approach of leveraging Google had over automation, processes, and tools in Service and Operations Management. The main objective of it was to assure operations management regarding availability and reliability. Site Reliability Engineering is a method of implementing software engineering expertise to IT activities to improve the performance of software system reliability while optimizing functionality.

System Administrators used to maintain services when handling important incidents and changes according to preference under the old approach to Service Management. This had a major disadvantage in that it involved frequent manual interventions, which was costly. Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) while addressing some of these drawbacks had introduced Site Reliability Engineers. The individuals who work as Site reliability engineers are responsible for integrating and building the software tools to enhance the organization’s automation, reliability, and scalability. As the sector progressed, solutions such as on-call management, automatic capacity preparation, disaster response plans, and infrastructure scaling were added. We’ll now go through their roles in depth in the following part.

Common Roles and Responsibilities of an SRE

Many benefits can be brought in in both the teams of software development and IT operations by implementing an SRE team. Not only thus the approach drives deeper reliability into the systems of production but also provides helps the IT by supporting and developing a team that spends less time in supporting escalations. It thus gives more time to build new services and features on the other hand. The common roles and what the SRE team requires for the stage of operational maturity include:

  • SRE Team Lead: The team lead creates a job scope for every team member who takes part in the workflow streamlining and architecture design.
  • System Architect: The system architect builds an open, flexible and replicable system that guarantees service continuity as their core responsibility.
  • SRE Infrastructure Engineer: This engineer is an individual who performs half-percentage for Dev tasks and a half for Ops activities. He is also responsible for resolving the existing problems as well as for preparing and enforcing system upgrades.
  • Release Manager: The manager is responsible for preparing and implementing the code releases, as well as any other required rollback techniques.
  • Monitoring Engineer: The monitoring engineer is responsible for observing the four important ‘golden signs’ which are saturation, traffic, faults, and latency. 

The next aspect which you need to know about SRE is the core responsibilities that they play. These are like:

  • Helping support teams and operations by building software: SRE teams are responsible for promptly developing and deploying services to help IT and support teams do their work more effectively. Modifications, tracking, and notifying to code alterations in production are also examples of this.
  • Support for fixing escalation issues: A site reliability engineer may typically spend time in repairing the support escalation situations, which is kind of similar to the point explained above. However, as the operations of SRE get matured, the processes become more stable and will become less prone to critical accidents in developments. This in result will decrease the service escalations. 
  • On-call rotations and structures get improved: Often at times, the site reliability engineers need to take on the on-call responsibilities. In most organizations, the team thinks of improving the system reliability through these on-call processes. The SRE teams can thereby assist in the process of automation and context of warnings while allowing the on-call responders to have a stronger response through real-time collaboration. 
  • Documents the ‘tribal’ knowledge: Both engineering departments, as well as the process of planning and development, are exposed to SRE teams. They tend to work with software development, IT processes, on-call assignments to help by accumulating a lot of historical experience due to overtime. 

Pros and Cons of SRE Role

Pros of SRE Role

  • By focusing more on the system reliability factor, the SRE Engineers can lower the maintenance costs, reduce and minimize the failure points as well. They can even automate time-consuming and resource-incentive-based activities. A s a result the company saves both resources and time.
  • Due to the wider automation administration process, SRE Engineers improve the production process and machine performance. 
  • SRE Engineers detect the breakdown factors early and mitigate the errors more pragmatically, so failure mitigation becomes proactive.

Cons of SRE Role

  • As the field of reliability engineering is pretty recent, several site reliability engineers are working in unexplored terrain. As a result, it could be impossible to repair any possible flaws in its implementation.
  • The barriers of entry are strong, as it necessitates a diverse range of skills ranging from coding and testing to operations management.


Thus it can variably be stated that Site Reliability Engineering is a paradigm present within a software lifecycle. It handles the operations while utilizing the software principles to make reliable systems. Site Reliability Engineers are often in charge of all technological and organizational activities within an organization. SRE Engineers utilize the technical knowledge to simplify and reduce the need for human action in operations management as a result of the vital responsibilities.

A site reliability job thus can typically be considered as demanding and requires much dedication and desire for automation. It also requires programming skills and a software-centric mentality. These professionals function in an organization to help in minimizing overhead costs by improving the system’s stability. This then benefits both the consumers and the company.