What Are Site Reliability Engineer Skills? (With Examples)
Updated 19 September 2023
If you have an interest in a career as a site reliability engineer, it is important that you possess the technical knowledge and unique skills required for this role. Individuals in this field are typically familiar with coding, operation system knowledge and database management, so you may want to ensure you are familiar with this information and processes before pursuing this role. Understanding site reliability engineers' strengths and competencies can help you prepare for your prospective career and qualify for the position you want.
In this article, we define site reliability engineer skills, list several examples for you to consider, describe how to improve them, explore how to highlight them in the workplace and review how to demonstrate them throughout the application process.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.
What Are Site Reliability Engineer Skills?
Site reliability engineer skills are strengths and competencies individuals in this field possess that allow them to execute their job duties accurately. For example, these skills may help site reliability engineers operate, manage and maintain a website's digital infrastructure. Companies may hire these experts to review existing software and improve its performance or efficiency alongside other IT experts. This means it is important for them to understand at least one coding language and possess several soft skills that help them communicate and collaborate with their colleagues.
Examples Of Site Reliability Engineer Skills
Employers looking for site reliability engineers to hire may prioritise some skills over others. Here are some examples of skills you can focus on developing:
CI/CD pipeline development
CI/CD is an abbreviation for continuous integration/continuous development. CI/CD pipelines connect development teams and activities to their operational counterparts. Site reliability engineers can construct CI/CD pipelines through automated testing for each application in a company's portfolio. This technical skill demonstrates your ability to adapt and shows you can bridge the needs of the user base with management goals.
Having experience with distributed computing systems may distinguish you as a site reliability engineer. Distributed computing systems depend on connected devices that communicate with each other over a shared network. Employers may want you to know how to handle these complex systems so you can ensure the sharing of information between the company's network systems or employees.
Monitoring and version control tools
Version control tools are complementary to coding. Git and GitHub are the two main version control tools that you can master. Site reliability engineers also benefit from knowing how to use monitoring tools like Grafana and Prometheus. Monitoring tools give you a quick summary of the system's efficiency and performance. Site reliability engineers often have prior expertise in implementing both version control tools and monitoring tools.
Operating systems and databases
Site reliability engineers spend a lot of time working on various operating systems and databases. Knowing the characteristics of common systems is a marketable skill, as is database management. Data models are an integral part of their work, so it makes sense for you to be familiar with relational and non-relational databases.
Automation skills reduce the need for manual work, which improves efficiency. Site reliability engineers can automatically program repetitive tasks and give themselves more time to do high-value work that requires intellectual input. Potential employers may prize site reliability engineers who have strong automation skills and can save companies time and money.
Site reliability engineers navigate between the technical and business worlds. Fluency in the correct terminology is important for conveying concepts directly and precisely. For example, if a customer requests certain features and functionality, the site reliability engineer has to translate that request into technical know-how before implementing it. Site reliability engineers also communicate with fellow team members and explaining an issue clearly from the outset can help to ensure a quick resolution.
Troubleshooting is one of a site reliability engineer's major responsibilities. Being a successful troubleshooter is about having strong analytical skills that enable you to recognise the problem, devise a solution and execute that solution. Creative site reliability engineers can find unique and innovative ways to solve problems.
How To Improve Skills As A Site Reliability Engineer?
Here are steps you can follow to help you improve your skills as a site reliability engineer:
1. Track the projects you complete
One way to continue to improve your skills as a site reliability engineer is to document your digital projects and track your progress. This can help you build a portfolio and review your work closely so you are able to identify if any aspects of your work may benefit from improvement. This can help you recognise hard or soft skills you still want to improve while also developing a list of projects you can show to a prospective employer.
2. Sign up for a coding course
It is essential for you to be familiar with coding as a site reliability engineer, since you may use it to handle your daily responsibilities. While you may already be familiar with one coding language, you can continue to develop your skill set by signing up for a coding course and exploring a new coding language. This can help you qualify for a broader variety of professional roles and allow you to continue your skill development.
3. Grow your professional network
Connecting with other individuals in your field is a great opportunity to learn from each other and continue to hone your skills. Consider growing your professional network to meet other site reliability engineers. This can also help you find an open position that interests you when you look for a new role and the individuals in your network can advocate on your behalf to their employers.
Site Reliability Engineer Skills In The Workplace
Here are some ways you can highlight and hone your skills as a site reliability engineer in the workplace:
Ask questions. If you receive onboarding training or other guidance from senior employees, use this as a learning opportunity. Ask questions to learn more about the role and the skills an employer expects from you so you can continue to grow and succeed in your position.
Constantly monitor troubleshooting processes. Measure your response time to software issues as they arise and manage viable solutions to maximise your future efficiency. Site reliability engineers look for the underlying causes of system disruptions.
Become a mentor. One great way to demonstrate your strengths and technical knowledge is to become a mentor for new and onboarding employees. This can show an employer that you feel comfortable executing your job duties and explaining them to other individuals in your field.
Highlight Your Skills As A Site Reliability Engineer
When you are applying for a position in your field, highlight your skills throughout your application documents and in a cover letter. Here are some ways you can demonstrate your strengths throughout the application process:
Highlighting skills in a resume: You can add a skills section to your resume to list your strengths and distinguish yourself from other candidates. Consider reviewing the job description to understand what skills an employer is looking for and add them to your resume when applicable.
Highlighting skills in a cover letter: Submitting a cover letter in addition to your resume can be a great way to demonstrate your personality and discuss your role-related skills. Besides listing your competencies, you can include an anecdote related to your skill development and professional growth.
Highlighting skills in an interview: When you meet with a hiring manager, you have the opportunity to provide a more in-depth overview of the skills and expertise you can bring to the position. Consider sharing why you think you are a good fit for the position and how your skills can help you fulfil your job duties.
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