In many people’s eyes, a “DevOps engineer” is seen as the future profession of top-tier success (even though it isn’t an actual profession). International companies of the highest level (just to name a few - Netflix, Facebook, Amazon) are rapidly implementing the DevOps system into their workflows. Naturally, with such high demand, a need for DevOps professionals is on the rise, too. That why in this tutorial, I want to talk to you about DevOps interview questions.
We’ll cover both the general and AWS DevOps interview questions, talk about some of the basic and advanced questions that you might expect, and discuss some things that you could do before the job interview to maximize a potential positive interview outcome.
Table of Contents
- 1. Fundamentals of DevOps
- 1.1. Question 1: What is “DevOps”?
- 1.2. Question 2: What are some of the most popular DevOps tools?
- 1.3. Question 3: What are the main differences from Agility?
- 1.4. Question 4: What’s Version control?
- 1.5. Question 5: What are the 4 key components of DevOps?
- 1.6. Question 6: What are the programming languages that are used in DevOps?
- 1.7. Question 7: How does AWS fit into DevOps?
- 1.8. Question 8: What is ‘Extreme Programming’?
- 1.9. Question 9: What is a ‘design pattern’?
- 1.10. Question 10: What is CBD’s?
- 2. More In-depth DevOps Interview Questions
- 2.1. Question 1: Explain ‘branching’.
- 2.2. Question 2: How to copy Jenkins to another server?
- 2.3. Question 3: Name three methods that you’d use to secure Jenkins.
- 2.4. Question 4: Describe ‘automation testing’.
- 2.5. Question 5: What are the main benefits of using ‘automation testing’?
- 2.6. Question 6: What’s Memcached?
- 2.7. Question 7: If some data changes, how can you update Memcached?
- 2.8. Question 8: Why is the component of Continuous Testing so important for DevOps?
- 2.9. Question 9: Is Selenium a good testing tool?
- 2.10. Question 10: How can you maximize the efficiency of Continous Integration?
- 3. General Interview Tips
- 4. Conclusions
Fundamentals of DevOps
We’ll start with the basic questions - the short and sweet ones. This is the type of questions you are most likely to receive at the beginning of your job interview.
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Basic DevOps interview questions don’t mean that they’re easy, though - they are just ones that usually don’t need to be explained or expanded upon with follow-ups.
Question 1: What is “DevOps”?
Naturally, this is the very first question you’re bound to get asked. Your potential employers might even ask you to explain it in your own words.
To put it very simply, DevOps is a philosophical method of shortening life cycles of system developments. The word itself is a combination of “development” and “operations”.
The way that DevOps aims to achieve this is by implementing automation and event monitoring (and testing!) through ought the entire process of the building of the software.
Question 2: What are some of the most popular DevOps tools?
Git, Jenkins, Docker, and Selenium are some of the more popular tools used in DevOps.
Question 3: What are the main differences from Agility?
DevOps and Agility are often put together and against each other. One of your DevOps interview questions is likely going to be to compare and contrast the two.
One of the main differences between the two is that while Agility is purely time-oriented, DevOps puts the same emphasis on both time and quality. This way, high quality is ensured together with everything being delivered on time.
Another big difference is that when it comes to feedback, Agility solemnly relies on the customers, while DevOps uses only self-monitoring. Both methods have legitimate arguments to back them up, but self-monitoring is still considered to be the better option. This is because it is seen as a more objective way of viewing potential issues. Moreover, faster reaction times can be achieved with self-monitoring rather than customer feedback.
Question 4: What’s Version control?
People consider this to be one of the easier DevOps interview questions - it is a way to track all of the previous versions of specific files.
Question 5: What are the 4 key components of DevOps?
Integration, testing, delivery, and monitoring. All of these mentioned methods have the tag continuous attached to them - they don’t simply happen once or twice, rather, they are all ongoing processes.
Question 6: What are the programming languages that are used in DevOps?
Primarily - Ruby, but Python can be used too.
Question 7: How does AWS fit into DevOps?
This is one of the AWS DevOps interview questions - you are quite likely to get a few of these, for AWS is quite significant when it comes to DevOps.
AWS stands for Amazon Web Services. It ensures business scalability by utilizing immense (scratch that - unlimited) resources and power.
AWS is used within many companies to power their products and the product delivery - DevOps is simply the method through which it is used.
Question 8: What is ‘Extreme Programming’?
Extreme Programming (more commonly known simply as XP) is a method of software development. XP’s main objective is customer satisfaction - all goals, resolutions and working methods are aimed towards this one goal.
A lot of companies that use DevOps usually utilize XP, too.
Question 9: What is a ‘design pattern’?
This is one of the many common terms that people who work with the DevOps model have to be familiar with. Because of this, you'll likely get such DevOps engineer interview questions.
To put it very simply, a design pattern is a solution to some sort of a problem that the developer comes across.
These patterns help new developers to avoid possible problems and issues by, well… Showing possible patterns and solutions.
There are three main types of design patterns that developers commonly reference - behavioral, creational and structural.
Question 10: What is CBD’s?
CBD, or Component-Based Development, is somewhat of a unique way to approach product development.
With CBD, developers look for already existing, well-crafted and tested components to form a brand new and original product. This is done instead of the usual procedure, which is to craft a product from scratch.
More In-depth DevOps Interview Questions
Now that you somewhat have the feel for the types of questions that you’ll be receiving during your job interview, we can start moving to more advanced DevOps interview questions. The “advanced” part here is that these questions usually require more of an in-depth answer, or there’s a follow-up.
Question 1: Explain ‘branching’.
One of the more common DevOps coding interview questions - your explanation will show both your knowledge and experience from previous work that you have done.
There are three main types of branching - task, feature and release branching.
Task branching includes each task in different branches, with the task keys included in the branch names. Feature branching stores changes and modifications of a feature within a branch. When the work with the feature is said and done, the branch containing the feature is then combined (merged) with the master file. Finally, release branching lets you clone a branch so that when it’s released, you can still make changes to the clone.
Question 2: How to copy Jenkins to another server?
This can be a tricky one because there are a few ways to do it. Potential employers may ask separate DevOps coding interview questions revolving around the same topic and expect a different variety of answers. However, I’ll tell you about one of the easiest methods to copy a Jenkins job from one server to the other.
Probably the simplest way to go about it is to copy the job directory and simply rename it. After that, just transfer the new job to the other server.
Question 3: Name three methods that you’d use to secure Jenkins.
Out of all of the DevOps interview questions and answers that you could think of, this is one of those which offer you some leniency with your choice of responses. I can offer you some suggestions about the possible ways you could answer this question:
- Run periodic security audits.
- Configure a limit of access to the data stored at Jenkins.
- Make sure that the global security option is turned on.
Question 4: Describe ‘automation testing’.
By default, manual systems are used to test the systems. This means that both a lot of human resources are required, and there’s more room for possible error. However, automation testing allows the implementation of automated processes that test systems for you.
Question 5: What are the main benefits of using ‘automation testing’?
There are quite a few benefits for using automation testing in the workplace, so I’m just going to give you some examples of the most notable ones.
- As mentioned earlier, errors are less likely to occur.
- It saves both money and time.
- It allows performing huge tests that would otherwise take too much time.
Question 6: What’s Memcached?
Memcached is an open-source memory object caching system. Memcached is mostly used to avoid repetitive SQL data fetching tasks that would take up a lot of time performing concurrently.
Question 7: If some data changes, how can you update Memcached?
This is one of the hundreds likely DevOps engineer interview questions. Concrete topics like Memcached usually do have follow-up questions, so it’s a good idea to prepare for as many of them as you possibly can.
There are two ways to update Memcache in such a scenario - either clear the cache after every update or reset the keys after an update has happened.
Question 8: Why is the component of Continuous Testing so important for DevOps?
I’ve mentioned the 4 key components of DevOps in the first part of this tutorial, but it’s really important to dig deeper with every one of them - they are the four pillars that DevOps is based upon. And what’s a better way to revise than studying random DevOps interview questions and answers, right?
Continuous testing allows developers to perform constant testing after each new update is implemented into the system. By doing so, the process becomes a lot smoother - in other cases, all of the tests would be reserved for the end of sprint periods, which could result in huge crashes and thus waste a lot of time.
Question 9: Is Selenium a good testing tool?
Yes, it is considered to be one of the better testing tools for DevOps-based operations. Selenium is open-source, can be used on different browsers, has awesome communities, supports the option of distributed testing and, last but not least, is completely free.
Question 10: How can you maximize the efficiency of Continous Integration?
As you’ve probably noticed, this is a popular format for DevOps interview questions - the execution of the continuous processes is often a very important point for employers.
There are a lot of things you could do to maximize efficiency when it comes to continuous integration. But just to name a few of the more well-known ones:
- Automate both the build and the deployment.
- Testing should be done in an exactly copied (cloned) environment in which the production processes are going to happen.
- Allow everyone to see the results of a build - this will enhance productivity and smoothen out the processes of communication.
General Interview Tips
Now that we went over some of the most popular DevOps interview questions and answers, let’s have a brief chat about some more general things that you could keep in mind when it comes to the job interview itself.
Probably the most important tip that I can give you is to not overthink it. We’ve all been there - you want that job, and as the date for the scheduled interview grows nearer, you start to feel more and more restless. What if the employers don’t like you or your bow tie? Should you wear a bow tie? What are bow ties?
Try to relax - you’re probably making it much more of a bigger deal than it is. Your potential employers will sense whether you’re nervous out of your mind or calm and collected - this can seriously impact the outcome of the interview.
So don't forget to relieve the stress before an interview - try to do some breathing exercises, avoid screens and think about better sleep by preparing your bed. It sounds strange but even a simple thing like a good-quality mattress can influence your morning job interview results.
Also, don’t overdo it with the studying of DevOps coding interview questions - if you go to the interview and look like a zombie who hasn’t slept for a week, it isn’t going to help your case. Studying and preparing is important, but so is sleeping and resting.
What you can do is tryhard a week before the interview, and when the last day before it comes - just do nothing.
Yes, I’m completely serious.
This is a popular method of studying in general. By doing so, you allow your brain to rest and recover - both from the huge amounts of information and from the stress. Watch a movie, go for a walk - try not to think about the upcoming job interview.
During the actual interview, there’s just one thing that you need to do - present yourself as you are. Don’t try to act fancy, it will do you no good in the long run. Just be yourself - your interviewers will appreciate it.
The DevOps philosophy is taking the world by storm - with so many famous companies adopting it, the growth of the methodology’s popularity is undeniable.
You might see terms like “DevOps coding” or “DevOps engineer interview questions” being thrown around the internet - heck, even I used them in this tutorial! Truth be told, they aren’t correct - there’s no such thing as a “DevOps coder” or a “DevOps engineer” - DevOps isn’t some sort of profession or work title. However, people got so used to using this terminology, that it becomes much easier referencing it than actually going on a tangent to explain the whole thing.
In this tutorial, we’ve talked about some general DevOps interview questions, I’ve referenced Memcache, Jenkins, Selenium and AWS DevOps interview questions and gave you some general tips that you could apply both before and during the job interview. I wish you the best of luck in acing that interview!