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Stands for "Site Reliability Engineering." SRE is a structured approach to software development that originated at Google. The goal of SRE is to create and maintain software applications that are reliable and scalable.

SRE is similar to DevOps, but is developer-focused. Instead of requiring two separate teams (development and operations), SRE developers work as a unified team to produce reliable software. The ideal SRE team includes developers with different specialties so that each developer can provide beneficial insight.

SRE focuses on stability rather than agility and proactive engineering rather than reactive development.

Site reliability engineering is designed to give developers more freedom to create innovative software solutions. By establishing reliable software systems with redundancy and safeguards in place, developers are not limited by traditional operations protocols. For example, in a DevOps team, the operations manager may need to approve each software update before it is published. In SRE, developers may be allowed to release updates as needed.

Since SRE is developer-focused, the manager of an SRE team must have development experience, not just operations knowledge. An SRE manager may actively help with software development instead of merely overseeing it.

NOTE: SRE is also short for "Site Reliability Engineer," a title given to a member of a site reliability engineering team.

Updated: November 16, 2019

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