The DevOps field has become increasingly competitive as dev leaders hone in on the specific skill sets they need to round out their teams. If you’re hiring for a DevOps position, it’s important to determine whether an applicant understands software development principles and methods and is the right fit for your organization.
Let’s take a look at the current demand and examples of questions you should ask (or be expected to answer) in an interview.
As more companies and infrastructures switch to cloud computing, the demand increases for professionals with cloud-related skills. Peter Danchak, system administrator for Data Recognition Corp, says the rapid growth of the cloud environment continually opens new opportunities for businesses and workers. IT engineers, software engineers, and cloud architects are among those who stand to benefit most.
Among the top skills for DevOps pros are:
Below are several examples of different DevOps interview questions, grouped by topic.
This query looks for the candidate’s understanding of the overall concept. It can include a discussion of DevOps as a mix of software development and IT operations functions. A correct answer here would highlight communication and collaboration between developers and IT operations.
This question aims to uncover whether the interviewee knows the features and benefits of DevOps. Angles here include technical and cultural aspects, how it relates to the business at large, and its role in transaction processing. The candidate should be able to discuss the ways it can help a business, such as by increasing deployment frequency and providing continual software development delivery.
Does the candidate know DevOps and Agile teams must work together to reach common goals? The applicant should know the relevance, similarity, and differences between DevOps and Agile Methodology. The job applicant should also be able to explain how a business can continue to meet customer needs while adapting to fast-changing technology.
This uncovers whether the candidate knows his or her key functions. These include continuous delivery, integration, and automated testing. The job seeker should be able to demonstrate a knowledge of the importance of clear communication and close working ties with Agile development team members. Candidates applying for the position of DevOps engineer should also know the importance of close contact with developers.
This question gets at whether the candidate can freely and comfortably discuss code deployment. It also helps to assess if he or she has experience with integration tools and DevOps tools.
Failures in software deployment are often inevitable. This question asks how the candidate typically identifies the source of a failure and how he or she reacts to real world breakdowns, particularly with respect to troubleshooting skills.
The biggest reason for this question is to learn the candidate’s approach to monitoring. Since monitoring is essential in DevOps work, planning it and implementing it are crucial.
This question tests the applicant’s experience with different Configuration Management (CM) tools. The candidate should understand the functions, advantages, and disadvantages of CM tools, as well as which ones stand out from the rest.
Asking the right questions is beneficial for obvious reasons, particularly when it comes to highly skilled roles in the field. It can also help you figure out exactly where a candidate might fit in the mix and complement the skills of your existing team. One candidate may be more proficient with the ops side, while another may have a more balanced set of skills – and the best candidate depends on your team’s needs. Asking the right questions enables you to:
Key best practices for hiring go beyond the interview itself and into the company culture. The short list below offers some insights.
For more sample questions and answers, tips on hiring and interviewing for development roles in today’s competitive landscape, visit the following resources:
Check out The Culture Issue of our BuildBetter magazine for tips on integrating DevOps, APM, and the developer.