It has been 14 years since we started practicing SRE at Google. Some of what has come in that time seems obvious in retrospect, while other developments came as something of a shock. The past two years since the publication of our first SRE book have been especially interesting. The number of companies now practicing the SRE discipline and the amount of time we spend talking about it at conferences and with customers has grown beyond anything we previously imagined.
That change in particular—the rapid expansion of the non-Google ecosystem around SRE—is the most exciting development, but it makes predicting the future of the SRE profession more difficult. Still, in our own SRE work at Google we are starting to see some trends that might inform an outline of the profession’s future. This chapter represents our effort to share what we, along with our SRE coworkers around the globe, have seen, and what we have concluded so far.
The only way to make any useful sense of the future is to start with a set of principles and work forward. Some of what follows should be uncontroversial. Other bits, not so much. In every case, though, these principles are based on real things we’re seeing in the world.
People don’t normally disagree much with us when we assert that “reliability is the most important ...