In this webinar we talked to Rachael Bates who is a Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) at Adobe.

I had tons of questions. For example.

  • What is an SRE (Site Reliability Engineer)?
  • What are your responsibilities?
  • What is your daily job?
  • What tools do you use?
  • Do you work remotely? How do you handle it? What are the new challenges? How do you deal with them?
  • Can you tell me about a serious issue you encountered? How did you handle it?

and also

  • How can one become an SRE?
  • What should I learn for that, how can I get practice?


Rachael was so kind and shared her resources, so in her words:

I feel that all of these topics have been crucial to my success.


Writing a concise resume will put your best foot forward when applying for a new position: Writing a killer software engineering resume.

Soft Skills

Often in the IT industry you don't usually hear about people working on their soft skills, but if you want to better your chances at success and landing the job that you want, investing in learning better communication skills is an invaluable tool. This is a book I've read and enjoyed but there are some youtube videos on it that summarize nicely as well: How to talk Anyone

Additionally developing charisma will help you succeed. Here's the book that I read to help develop that skill but again there are youtube videos summarizing the book that you can get some helpful advice from: Charisma Myth Science Personal Magnetism.


I started learning Python by working through this book but there are many resources online for learning the basics to python including helpful tutorials on youtube: Python Crash Course Hands Project Based.

I have also used this course through Udemy that I purchased for $10 during a new year's sale (they will often do sales throughout the year so keep an eye on them to buy them at a discounted price): Complete Python Bootcamp.

After I felt more comfortable writing in Python I read this book which helped me to write cleaner and better code: Effective Python Specific Software Development.

A gauge that I've used to see what areas I need more studying in is by testing my knowledge using Plural Sight's IQ test. At first with Python I was testing in the intermediate range but with practice and more study I eventually made it to the expert tier: Skill IQ.


Getting familiar with the terminal and bash scripting will help you with automating manual tasks. Here are a couple of tools to get you started:


It's necessary to understand the linux boot order to successfully troubleshoot why a server may not be coming back online or if you are having issues when OS'ing new servers. This is a basic guide to get you started: The Linux Booting Process: 6 steps described in detail. However I found that this book was what helped me go from a beginner to intermediate level for understanding the boot process and learning about other fundamental practices for devops. It is a very quick read; it took me about 6 hours to go through the entire book so I highly suggest it: DevOps Troubleshooting Linux.


This is niche on its own but you will need a basic understanding of linux networking concepts such as MAC addresses, subnetting and IP Addressing, DHCP, DNS, and network interface bonding. This link has a good summary of most of these topics in Chapter 3 and would be a good starting point, but again you'll find many youtube tutorials covering these topics if you want to learn more: Cumulus Networks Linux 101 (pdf).

Last Words of Advice

When I'm learning any new languages I find it difficult to just read a book to learn anything. I find that the most useful practice is I will read a chapter or so then think of an exercise that I can do to apply the knowledge that I learned. Or I will just think of a task that I want to automate and start working through the solution, searching online for the syntax to get me from point A to point B.

As with learning anything, studying and practicing a little bit every day will really add up in the long run. Sometimes I feel like I can study for an hour or more, but most days I'm pretty tired after work but will still do about 10 minutes of reading. Consistency is key with developing any new habits.