SWE vs SE vs SRE (What is the difference?)

Nov 10, 2019 12 Comments

Came across various titles of Software Engineer, Systems Engineer and Site Reliability Engineer. I’m kinda confused as to what is the main difference between them and which one is more customer facing?
Is any of the above close to sales and marketing?

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TOP 12 Comments
  • New scheme
    Main difference is TC.
    Nov 10, 2019 4
    • Google doebsnp
      There's no comp difference between SWE and SRE (besides that SRE more often has an oncall bonus)
      Nov 10, 2019
    • NetApp MuBu58
      OP
      Do they have more oncalls with the customers or with the swe’s
      Nov 11, 2019
  • Auth0 I Mata I
    SWEs are usually directly customer facing because they work on product, customer facing features. With SRE, their customers are usually the SWEs, they make sure product is running and meeting SLAs. In this sense, they can interface with customers when those SLAs are not met.

    Product SWE and maybe SE would work close to sales and marketing. However, is also roles called Sales Engineers and marketing engineers. They are engineers under those orgs that doesn't work directly on product but build things to meet the goal of that org.

    A structure Ive seen is companies would have an Engineering org and a Product org. Product is the bridge between Engineers and Customers, Sales and the business.
    Nov 10, 2019 1
    • NetApp MuBu58
      OP
      Thanks for such a detailed response.
      Nov 11, 2019
  • Lockheed Martin / Eng devopdegen
    They all program in some capacity. SWE build software (Gmail, Office, you get it), SE use programming to create tests and figure out long term stability for endpoints and users, SRE program infrastructure and are concerned with scaling. This is a very very high level overview. They all program though but at different levels.
    Nov 10, 2019 2
    • Lockheed Martin / Eng devopdegen
      SRE is fun as hell if you're into never dealing with customers and no one knowing what the hell you do. Source, me and the last 3 companies I've been with.
      Nov 10, 2019
    • FLYR hQJf32
      Meh idk SRE seems very heavy on configurations and deployments. Not so much on software, which I think a lot of people find more fun. But both can be fun!
      Nov 10, 2019
  • Microsoft xIdC37
    SRE sounds like devops with a fancy title. No idea what a SE is but sounds kinda like Datacenter IT.
    Nov 10, 2019 0
  • Dell pKnb65
    Systems Engineers AFAIK use software.
    SRE is what I believe they call network engineers in 2019. SWE is people who build software.
    Nov 10, 2019 0

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