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DevOps Engineer vs. SRE?

dizveloper profile image Edvin ・1 min read

Without much of my own additional input, how do ya'll feel that these two job functions differ?

To reiterate: DevOps Engineer vs. SRE?

Discussion (6)

srleyva profile image
Stephen Leyva (He/Him)

This is a touchy subject 😂😂 Implementation varies from company to company and tbh not sure industry wise there’s a correct answer. I don’t believe it’s a collection of tools but rather a philosophy with differing implementation based on the scale, skill set, and industry of the corporation. Though Google, where the SRE role originates (though I wouldn’t suggest attempting to follow it whole heartedly), has a quote in the SRE handbook:

The term “DevOps” emerged in industry in late 2008 and as of this writing (early 2016) is still in a state of flux. Its core principles—involvement of the IT function in each phase of a system’s design and development, heavy reliance on automation versus human effort, the application of engineering practices and tools to operations tasks—are consistent with many of SRE’s principles and practices. One could view DevOps as a generalization of several core SRE principles to a wider range of organizations, management structures, and personnel. One could equivalently view SRE as a specific implementation of DevOps with some idiosyncratic extensions.

SRE Handbook

dizveloper profile image
Edvin Author

What do you mean? Discussions in the dev community are NEVER touchy, hahaha. All jokes.

But yeah, DevOps and SRE are still pretty new methodologies and are still being molded. It definitely varies greatly from company to company in what those methodologies mean in their organizations. I am seeing a consistent them from the conversations I’ve had. DevOps is the general standard setter across programs and SREs are more fine grained within each program or team that expand on those standards in a more fine grained manner.

devhead profile image


  • SRE is responsible for managing incidents and problems; ensuring uptime.
  • DevOps is responsible for automating solutions to fix those problems and incidents.

** each role has much more breath of responsibilities; the environment you work in may change that context.

dizveloper profile image
Edvin Author

Yeah, that seems to be going along with the theme. Maybe it was actually better defined than I had thought, haha.

boris profile image
Boris Quiroz

Tricky question. In some cases you might find yourself with the title of DevOps Engineer but doing some SRE work, and vice versa.
In terms of philosophy, I think (which means that I could be absolutely wrong) DevOps is more like a set of tools/processes/actions/something that allows us to do certain job in certain way. SRE could be something like driving a car on that way.

Currently, I've the "DevOps Engineer" title at work but time to time I work as a SRE (in particular where everything is on fire). According to that (good or bad) experience, I'd say that DevOps Engineer builds things until those things are on fire. SRE are like fire department.

dizveloper profile image
Edvin Author

I'd say that DevOps Engineer builds things until those things are on fire. SRE are like fire department.

I love that description of it. Also, it’s really difficult to say from company to company. Sometimes DevOps engineers were sysadmins in a past life and sometimes were software engineers.

But the way you put it is kinda how I see it now. Initially it was pretty difficult for me to distinguish a true difference between the two. The job functions can be very similar.

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