SRE Reducing Toil

14m 31s

This lesson looks at what toil is, and why having less of it is a good thing. Toil, as quoted here by Google, is "the kind of work tied to running a production service that tends to be manual, repetitive, automatable, tactical, devoid of enduring value, and that scales linearly as the service grows." By the end of this lesson, you will have a clear understanding of what toil is, how to recognize it, and how to address and replace it with automation.

If you have any feedback relating to this lesson, please contact us at

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what toil is and how to recognize it
  • Learn the negative impact that toil can have on organizations, teams, and individuals
  • Explore how toil can be reduced within the context of site reliability engineering

Intended Audience

  • Anyone interested in learning about SRE and its fundamentals
  • Software Engineers interested in learning about how to use and apply SRE within an operations environment
  • DevOps practitioners interested in understanding the role of SRE and how to consider using it within their own organization


To get the most out of this course, you should have a basic understanding of DevOps, software development, and the software development lifecycle.


Link to the YouTube video referenced in this lecture: Automate Yourself out of a Job

About the Author
Jeremy Cook, opens in a new tab
Content Lead Architect
Learning paths

Jeremy is a Content Lead Architect and DevOps SME here at Cloud Academy where he specializes in developing DevOps technical training documentation.

He has a strong background in software engineering, and has been coding with various languages, frameworks, and systems for the past 25+ years. In recent times, Jeremy has been focused on DevOps, Cloud (AWS, Azure, GCP), Security, Kubernetes, and Machine Learning.

Jeremy holds professional certifications for AWS, Azure, GCP, Terraform, Kubernetes (CKA, CKAD, CKS).

Covered Topics