Developing and releasing software is not an easy job that can happen in a day or two. Completion of the process sometimes takes months or even a year or so. And one of the professionals working on the process is a Reliability Engineer.
What exactly does a Reliability Engineer do? How can reliability engineering help us?
What is Reliability Engineering?
Typically, Reliability Engineering is a process that helps Software Developers create highly reliable and scalable software systems by incorporating Software Engineering principles and applying them to the daily production operations of the ongoing applications.
A team of Reliability Engineers focuses on using software to ensure that it is stable and highly reliable throughout the system. The team helps both the development team and the operations team to develop software quickly and without any issues.
So, Reliability Engineers are crucial for both the company and the consumers, as they guarantee that everything is working fine, while delivering to us what we paid for, at the right time.
How did Reliability Engineering start?
This branch of Engineering began in the 1920s and was promoted at Bell Labs by Dr. Walter A. Shewhart when Waloddi Weibull was working on creating statistical models for fatigue. Google then adopted this process to ensure the reliability of its software. People used Reliability Engineering, in fact, even before the introduction of Software Development and Information Technology Operations.
Because of the success that the discipline offered Google, other prominent companies such as Netflix and Amazon also adopted it. New aspects were added to the practice as time passed by.
How to become a Reliability Engineer
The role of a Reliability Engineer is to spend at least fifty percent of his time working to maintain the software application daily. During the rest of his time, he works on new codes as any Software Developer would.
Other duties of a Site Reliability Engineer include, but are not limited to:
- Handling emergency and on-call support
- Proactive monitoring and reviewing of software performance
- Creating and maintaining an operational runbook
- Ensuring that the software has proper diagnostics and logging
One of the qualifications to become a Reliability Engineer is to have a thorough understanding of coding, the application you create, its functions, its configuration, as well as its scale.
The candidate must have a college degree or a higher diploma and a full-time work experience record. What this means is that even if you hold a degree, if all you have is an internship experience validation, you will have to find a full-time job first and then wait for some years.
To become a fully licensed and certified Reliability Engineer, you also need to pass an examination. Studying and joining programs and reviews will help you. Though reviewing and studies might take months, once you clear your exam, you will be able to get your license.
The certification is valid for only a particular time duration, after which it expires. Re-certification takes place once every three years, and it includes new sets of processes.
Without a team of Reliability Engineers, the software that we receive will not be the kind that we can use for a long time. Sometimes, it may not even work properly the first time.
Being a Software Developer requires a great deal of hard work, and the role is in high demand. What this means is that Reliability Engineering has an enormous scope, more now than ever.