DevOps is a super-hot topic right now. DevOps professionals bridge the gaps between development and operations teams, producing products that work better and saving time. It’s no surprise then that more and more DevOps job opportunities are popping up. And, with salaries averaging more than $119,000, the positions are both enticing and lucrative.
If you’re preparing for a DevOps interview, first of all, congrats! Now let’s get you ready to shine in front of your potential employer. Keep reading to learn what to expect during an interview, what DevOps interview questions you may be asked, and how you can answer them.
What should you expect during a DevOps job interview?
DevOps, unlike specific coding languages, is more about principles than programming. It’s a concept — an approach that involves deep collaboration, quick code production, and eliminating problems by connecting with a range of teams.
As a result, you should expect a lot of interview questions about communication, collaboration, and how DevOps can be applied in different circumstances. For example, your interviewer may be interested in:
- Situations in which you’ve had to incorporate input from someone outside the programming team
- How you use feedback from security experts, weaving their suggestions into the overall fabric of an app you’re coding
- How well you accept feedback from others
- How you voice your ideas to team members
- Why you like DevOps as a development concept
Depending on the position, you may get some questions designed to test your leadership abilities. As a programmer, you’re a likely candidate to be a Team Lead — if not right away, then soon — so as you answer questions, you should try to sprinkle in short anecdotes that show you can:
- Use other people’s ideas to make a decision that’s good for the team
- Genuinely listen to opinions that may be very different from your own
- Make difficult decisions when under time constraints
- Communicate complex concepts to people who may not have the same technical knowledge
What are some common DevOps interview questions?
Again, DevOps requires a slightly different mentality than waterfall, Agile, or other development methodologies. So, you should expect at least a few DevOps interview questions meant to get a glimpse into how you think and create within a DevOps context, as well as how familiar you are with the DevOps process. Here are some questions you should prepare for and their answers.
1. What’s the difference between DevOps and Agile?
While this could be a tricky one, the answer may be easier than you think. Simply put, the objective of DevOps is to create a product that reflects the expertise of many professionals. Agile’s objective is to make something that customers think is awesome. Here’s a little more detail:
- Agile. Agile essentially brings together two groups of people: developers and customers. Customers are those who will be using the app, which may be folks inside the company or people they serve.
- DevOps. DevOps involves the unification of several groups of people from different departments, such as Front-End Developers, Back-End Developers, cybersecurity professionals, automation architects, testers, user experience/interface professionals, and more.
So with Agile, you’re coding stuff, sending it over to people who are going to use it, gathering their feedback, and then incorporating it in the next iteration. This could happen, literally, several times a week. With DevOps, everyone gathers around a round table and works through problems together.
2. What are the advantages of DevOps?
This question is a bit easier to answer. Here’s what you should mention:
- DevOps makes it easier to support the needs of the operations team.
- It gives the business greater agility.
- You learn from the problem-solving methodologies of others due to a highly collaborative atmosphere.
- You can fix bugs faster.
- You can acquire new skills easier because you get to watch other, more-experienced professionals at work.
3. What is version control in DevOps?
Version control is a central element of DevOps. It involves teams working independently of each other and then coming together, merging their individual components. The package they create also includes all the previous versions, so it’s easy to revert to an earlier version.
4. Talk about continuous integration in DevOps
Continuous integration is another elemental feature of the DevOps process. It’s executed using automated processes that combine code produced by different developers to form the single product they’re creating. With continuous integration, you can focus on one element of a project at a time, if you want, and keep testing it within the context of the project as a whole.
5. What’s needed to make continuous integration effective?
Continuous integration can’t happen without some key elements, so this is your chance to show you know what they are. You should mention:
- An organized, well-maintained code library
- Self-testing automation
- Build automation
- Using cloned production environments
- Quickly making changes and producing different iterations
6. Why is automation an important part of testing within DevOps?
This is also a relatively easy question, but you should remember to mention at least a few of the following benefits of automation in the context of testing:
- It makes it easier to repeat similar yet slightly different test situations.
- It simplifies testing bigger test matrices.
- It reduces the possibility of human error.
- It saves time.
- It reduces your expenses because it’s handled by processes instead of humans.
- It supports parallel programming, which solves problems in less time because work gets divided and performed in parallel.
7. How have you used DevOps or its principles to solve a problem?
This is an open-ended question and a great chance to showcase your experience. If you’re new to DevOps, you may be able to answer this question by talking about how you’ve collaborated with people from different teams to solve a problem.
This can work well if you’re switching careers as well. It’s best to brainstorm some specific examples of collaboration and practice talking about them before your interview.
Getting starting in DevOps
Getting ready for a DevOps career often starts with getting familiar with some of the more common coding languages. A good place to start is with some of our courses, such as:
Connect with Codecademy today to gain the knowledge base you need to thrive within a DevOps setting.