Blog Post

Catchpoint’s SRE Survey 2020 Is Here

Catchpoint's SRE Survey 2020 is live. Take the survey to participate in the industry’s only global study on the roles of site reliability engineers.

The survey for this year’s SRE Survey is live! Now in its third year, Catchpoint’s SRE Survey is the industry’s only global study on the professional roles and responsibilities site reliability engineers play across a growing number of industries.

Google’s Ben Treynor Sloss coined “Site Reliability Engineer” (SRE) in 2003, famously defining it as “what happens when a software engineer is tasked with what used to be called operations.” In the last seventeen years, SRE has expanded beyond Google, but for the inaugural SRE Survey 2018 we nevertheless asked who are SREs are and what, exactly, do they do? The results were published in the 2018 SRE Report with answers revealing that organizational maturity, industry, and other firmographic factors contributed to what each SRE’s day-to-day responsibilities entailed. The following year’s survey examined the mounting pressure SREs feel when on-call, raising concerns over celebrating the so-called heroics of “firefighters,” “ninjas,” and “rock stars” instead of providing the necessary team support.

Despite these industry concerns, LinkedIn ranked SRE number five in its 2020 United States Emerging Jobs Report with the profession showing a 34% annual growth. This growing demand is not without growing pains as a skills gap problem has emerged due to the fact that SRE training requires a hands-on, interactive learning environment. “As we were growing our SRE department, we noticed how difficult it was to get new hires up to speed,” write Jennifer Petoff, JC van Winkel, and Preston Yoshioka, co-authors of Training Site Reliability Engineers (2020). But technical skills are not necessarily the problem. As the authors continue to explain:

Without a doubt, troubleshooting is an important part of incident management, but we also show that growing the student’s confidence, explaining the importance of good relations, and encouraging clear communications with other SREs and dev teams are essential to bringing your students up to speed.

Echoing this sentiment late last year was the DevOps Institute which announced that Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) Foundation would be added to its certification program beginning January 2020.

What does all this mean for the state of SRE in 2020? That’s what we want to find out! In addition, this year we’re interested in learning more about topics including:

  • Distribution of responsibilities among SREs and related teams
  • The role of synthetic monitoring in the SRE playbook
  • The prevalence of automation in the SRE toolkit

But we need your help! We’re looking for respondents who are themselves SREs, involved in SRE work, or have SREs as direct reports to take 20-25 minutes to complete this survey. What’s in it for you? When you take the survey, you’ll be entered to win one of four $500 gift cards. On top of that, for every survey submission received, Catchpoint will donate $5 to the global reforestation project that focuses on the conservation and restoration of one trillion trees within this decade. You can submit survey responses from now until Friday, February 28. The SRE Report 2020 will be released on March 23 just in time for SRECon20 in Santa Clara, California.

Thank you to those who have contributed to the SRE Survey in previous years and we look forward to sharing this year’s results with you shortly!


The SRE Report 2020 is available here.

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