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Top 30+ DevOps Interview Questions

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Top 30+ DevOps Interview Questions

This blog encompasses 30 most common DevOps interview questions and answers that can improve your chances of impressing interviewers.

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Total DevOps Interview Questions and Answers

DevOps is the offspring of agile software development that has been increasingly attracting attention from large enterprises such as Google, Facebook, or Amazon. Advancements in agile software development also exposed the need for more promising DevOps-related jobs.

Whether you are applying for a DevOps engineer, analyst, or specialist, besides professional skill sets required, a well-prepared DevOps job interview plays a fundamental role in successfully breaking into the industry. 

This blog encompasses 30 most common DevOps interview questions and answers that can improve your chances of impressing interviewers.

DevOps Terms and Definitions

1. What Is DevOps?

Simply put, DevOps implies the collaboration between development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams in an organization. DevOps is a union in which processes, products, and people are integrated to provide Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery of value to end-users. Thus, it ensures risk minimization between software development and operations teams, allowing them to increase the speed of processes and deliver software applications and services at higher velocity.

2. What Is Continuous Integration?

Continuous Integration (CI) is a development process in which codes are integrated multiple times a day into a shared repository. Developers verify each automated test in case any test fails, the CI tools allow teams to identify errors early, locate them easily, and generate additional codes without conflicts with the existing codebase. This enhances the software quality and shortens the delivery time. 

3. What Is continuous Delivery?

Continuous Delivery (CD) integrates with Continuous Integration to deliver code packages smoothly to end-users. It aims to ensure codes can be safely deployed into production and quickly compiled into the hands of users. In a CD environment, no matter a large-scale system or a complex application, new releases can be performed on demand immediately with fully functional features and the slightest human intervention.

4. What Is Continuous Deployment?

Continuous deployment advances continuous delivery further at which codes are integrated, deployed to production, automatically tested, and reverted when errors happen. To be specific, every change that passes all production pipelines is deployed directly to production without additional intervention. Therefore, the software release process is faster and more robust through rigorous automated testing without explicit approval from developers.

5. What Is Continuous Testing and Its Benefits?

Continuous testing is the process of executing automated tests early, gradually, and adequately as part of the software delivery pipeline. In a CI/CD workflow, builds are released in small batches. Hence, it is time-consuming to manually run test cases for each delivery. Automated continuous testing evolves and extends test automation to eliminate manual steps, thus taking away the burden of manual effort. This gradually became vital for the DevOps culture.

6. What Is Version Control and Its Uses?

Version control (or source control) is a system of software tools that is capable of recording and checking all changes in the source code over time. The version control tracks every code development in a special database that allows developers to turn back in case there are any mistakes, compare with previous versions and finalize with the best version. All code versions are managed in the version control that is applicable for all environments while minimizing disruption to all team members.

7. What Is Git?

Git is a version control system that serves as the foundation tracking source code changes in the development process for many services like GitHub and GitLab. On a typical GitHub flow, Git revolves around a branch-based workflow that ensures smooth team collaboration as their projects grow over time.

Reasons for Implementing DevOps

8. Why Does DevOps Matter? How Does DevOps Benefit Teams in Software Delivery?

Nowadays, organizations are trying to transport small features to the hands of end-users via their robust product deployment systems to keep pace with various competitors. 

This is where DevOps came into the picture. DevOps plays a fundamental role in providing agility and flexibility to the entire software development pipeline, from idea creation to product delivery to the users. DevOps builds an effective process of continuously enhancing quality and updating products based on quick customer feedback.

9. Explain How DevOps Is Helpful for Developers

Without DevOps, the development team would set up new codes from scratch, integrate them and wait for the operation team to bundle and deploy the codes. After that, they will have to wait for feedback. In case there are either bugs or errors, they’ll have to go back and fix it all over again. Manual communication required among teams is immeasurable.

DevOps scales down the developer‘s tasks to writing codes only, meanwhile the CI/CD pipeline takes over the remaining tasks including consolidation and automation. DevOps also makes processes accessible to all team members, which leads to more transparent communication in team collaboration.

10. Why Has DevOps Gained Popularity in Software Delivery Recently?

The main reason behind DevOps’s popularity during recent years is that it allows organizations to simplify all software processes and convert them into business values. 

Along with the rapid technological innovation, the DevOps and Agile approach is widely adopted to foster dynamic operations and not be left behind the others. Facebook, Google, and Netflix’s achievements proved the application of DevOps in the continuous deployment approach without any disruptions. (Learn more Why DevOps Is Important)

11. What Are the Benefits of CI/CD?

The CI and CD practices consolidate all code changes into a shared repository and automate them, hence advance the product completely from beginning to end and prepare for deployment at all times. 

CI/CD is the backbone of the modern development environment, where products are updated quickly, efficiently, and automatically in line with customer expectations. 

In a nutshell, a deliberately designed CI/CD pipeline will derive great customer satisfaction from faster release and reliability while mitigating code changes and defects.

12. What Are Some Benefits of Continuous Delivery?

Teams used to manually release code changes to completely control the product. However, sometimes a new release means a promotion strategy with certain business objectives.

CD enables IT professionals to automate repetitive and tedious tasks, thus having more room for developing the product while ensuring compliance and security practices. (Learn more Benefits of CD)

13. What Are Some Benefits of Continuous Deployment?

Continuous deployment offers developers incredible focus on the product at the end of the pipeline by assessing pull requests and combining them to the master branch. It allows businesses to rapidly deploy, validate new features, and immediately respond once test automation is finished. 

With a continuous deployment pipeline in place, once customers submit the quality evaluation of each release, teams can handle bug fixes for new releases easily since each release is delivered in small batches.

How to Effectively Implement DevOps

14. Define a Typical DevOps Workflow

The DevOps process workflow can be divided into 4 stages:

  • Version control: The first step stores and manages the source code in different versions.
  • Continuous Integration: The stage enables developers to build components, assemble and validate them before reviewing codes through unit testing and integration testing.
  • Continuous Delivery: The next logical level from continuous integration fully automates the release and testing processes. The goal is to release updates to end-users quickly and sustainably.
  • Continuous Deployment: After every application meets all testing requirements, it is automatically deployed on the production for smaller and more frequent releases without any human intervention needed.

15. What Are the Core Operations of DevOps?

The core operations of DevOps include:

  • Software development:

    • Build codes
    • Code coverage
    • Unit testing
    • Packaging
    • Deployment
  • Infrastructure:
    • Provisioning
    • Configuration
    • Orchestration
    • Deployment

16. What Are Some Precautions that Teams Need to Consider Before Implementing DevOps?

There are some precautions about DevOps process teams should take before applying, otherwise, they might hinder the development productivity: 

  • DevOps is not just about applying new tools, building a new “department” and expecting it to work. In reality, DevOps is an evolving culture where the development and operation teams conjointly handle the entire application lifecycle based on a mutual framework. 
  • It’s necessary for businesses to conjure up a strategic vision for their DevOps practices. DevOps initiatives significantly change the collaboration between development and operation teams. Therefore, miscommunication can be eliminated when a clear roadmap of integrating DevOps in the organization is set following clear guidelines since the first days.
  • After DevOps is successfully applied, a continuous learning and improvement culture should be promoted across the organization. There might be failures and problems in the system that should be stored as lessons learned for teams to prevent those mistakes from occurring repetitively.

17. What Role Does the SCM Team Play in DevOps?

Software Configuration Management (SCM) is a process of systematically organizing and managing both changes and adjustments in the software development lifecycle. 

In DevOps, SCM is formed under the umbrella of Infrastructure as Code practice. SCM plays a key role in streamlining tasks for developers as they can automatically keep records of each configuration process, which is now automatically duplicated and systemized in a machine-readable form.

18. What Role Does the Quality Assurance (QA) Team Play in DevOps?

As DevOps culture is readily embraced in innovative organizations, QA teams seem to have less role in today’s automation world. 

However, this can be considered a myth. The embrace of DevOps doesn’t mean the end of QA responsibilities. It just means QA is moving to a different role in a different working environment with different expertise required. Hence, their current strategic role is to build robust software testing infrastructure while keeping pace with constantly changing trends.

In the DevOps approach, QA ties together responsibilities with development and operation teams for the stability of continuous delivery practices as well as exploratory testing that automated and repetitive tests cannot execute. Having a QA strategy in place, the tests are evaluated to detect the most valuable tests while fixing bugs in the last steps of releasing.

19. What Are Some Tools Used for DevOps? Describe Your Experience Working With Any of These Tools.

During the DevOps environment, different tools are able to support different stages of product development. The most common tools for DevOps can be classified into 6 key stages:

  • Continuous Development: Git, SVN, Mercurial, CVS, Jira
  • Continuous Integration: Jenkins, Bamboo, Hudson
  • Continuous Delivery: Nexus, Archiva, Tomcat
  • Continuous Deployment: Puppet, Chef, Docker
  • Continuous Monitoring: Splunk, ELK Stack, Nagios
  • Continuous Testing: Selenium, Katalon Studio

20. How Do You Change Management in DevOps Practices?

Change management plans need to be appropriately implemented with the application of DevOps. First, adjustments should be centralized into one platform to simplify the change, problem, and incident during management processes. 

In the next stage, through transparent standards, organizations ensure collaboration and accuracy in internal information exchange. 

Layering the next changes under robust policies will help minimize risks in less changing time. Last but not least, teams should continuously improve automation throughout processes with the DevOps software.

How to Effectively Implement CI/CD

21. What Are Some Core Components of CI/CD?

A repository management tool plays a key role as a version control system to ensure a stable CI/CD paradigm, the development teams can manage every change while building the software. 

In the version control system, developers working in a project compare different versions together and fix any errors they make without causing any disruptions to all team members.

Continuous testing and automated testing are two vital types of testing to successfully form a seamless CI/CD ecosystem. Automated testing can be applied into all product development stages (involving unit, integration, and system testing) to operate all processes including performance, usability, performance, load, stress, and security.

22. What Are Some Common Practices of CI/CD?

In short, the scope of test automation in CI/CD pipeline varies:

  • Develop a DevOps culture.
  • Deploy continuous integration.
  • Implement in every environment equally.
  • Carry on your pipeline again after failures.
  • Apply version control.
  • Database is handled in the pipeline.
  • Record your continuous delivery practices.
  • Get your CD pipeline flowing.

23. When Is the Best Time to Implement CI/CD?

The adoption of DevOps will lead to reshaping the software development culture, varying from the workflow, organizational structure to the infrastructure. Therefore, companies should prepare themselves to deal with such major changes in performing DevOps.

24. What Are Some Common CI/CD Servers?

  • Visual Studio
    Visual Studio integrates a fully-fledged DevOps system with Agile planning, controlling source code, managing package, testing and release automation, and consistent monitoring.
  • TeamCity
    TeamCity is a build management and continuous integration server that provides framework support and code coverage without either extra plugins or mods needed to write scripts.
  • Jenkins
    An open-source CI server that enables development and operation teams to reliably build, test, and deploy the software with shared pipeline and error tracking function. It can also be associated with a variety of dashboard plugins.
  • GitLab
    This web-based DevOps lifecycle tool provides users with efficient continuous integration and deployment for easily customizing the platform. GitLab helps CI/CD teams ease their development cycle by faster code shipping, error identifying, and recovering features.
  • Bamboo
    Bamboo is a continuous integration server that can be used for product release management automation. It records all deployment and communicates real-time errors throughout a continuous delivery pipeline.

25. Describe an Efficient Workflow for Continuous Integration

A notable workflow for continuous integration summarizes the following key steps: 

  • Merge the project’s source code into a single repository and maintain.
  • Automate the build and integration.
  • Have the build self-test.
  • Regularly update changes to the baseline 
  • Add all commits to the baseline
  • Accelerate the builds
  • Run tests in a clone of the production environment
  • Make it easy to get the latest deliverables
  • Build results can be monitored easily to public
  • Automate deployment

Differences between each terminology

26. What are some key differences between Agile and DevOps?

Simply put, DevOps is aggregated with Agile to deploy working functionality into production faster. Agile promotes collaboration in developing new software, and small rapid releases in a complex process efficiently. Simultaneously, DevOps is a practice of bringing development and operation teams together in both communication, integration, and collaboration. 

Both Agile and DevOps complement each other to form a seamless product development life cycle: Agile principles build and drive the innovations on the right path while DevOps applies the tools to manage agile product delivery.

27. What are some differences between continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment?

Continuous integration (CI) is a practice that is merging all code from all developers to a central repository multiple times a day. This means new codes are automatedly tested and errors are quickly detected and fixed.

Continuous delivery takes CI one step further by ensuring that the software is always ready to go to final production any time, within just a push of a button. Therefore, CI can be regarded essential for continuous delivery, the other vital part of the CI/CD pipeline. 

Companies use Continuous Deployment without manual effort required. Every time the codes have passed the tests, they are automatically released to the production environment.

Continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment are crucial stages of DevOps implementation. 

On one hand, business users tend to use continuous delivery with applications that already existed with many active users so that they can run processes slower. On the other hand, if you want to release a brand new software and fully automate the whole process, continuous deployment will more benefit users.

28. What are some fundamental differences between continuous delivery and continuous deployment?

Continuous delivery monitors code changes occurring in the central branch which will be ready for the manual deployment. This practice allows developers to decide when to deliver new changes or features to promote the organization most. 

Meanwhile, continuous deployment ensures all updates and bug fixes in qualified releases are automatically deployed from the testing phase to the production environment right away without human intervention. 

29. What are the differences between continuous integration and continuous delivery?

Continuous integration ensures the close association between software components. Integration should be done hourly or daily that code commits more frequently and connecting code from multiple developers becomes less complicated. Ultimately, this process lessens non-compatible codes and redundant efforts. 

Continuous delivery is the further step in the CI/CD pipeline. The code is combined into the shared repository constantly then tested continuously. As soon as the code is completed, testing takes place so that as many bugs are detected as possible to continuously release code to the production phase. 

30. What are the differences between DevOps and continuous delivery?

DevOps refers to an organizational paradigm that empowers efficient collaboration and communication between both the development and operation teams. 

Meanwhile, continuous delivery is considered as the best practice of implementing DevOps into the agile development workflow. Continuous delivery approach makes new releases more reliable, hence building a more seamless and shorter process. 

The main objective of DevOps is to efficiently incorporate the Dev and Ops roles, eliminate all silos, and achieve your own business goals that are independent in continuous delivery. 

Otherwise, continuous delivery is the most suitable when the DevOps process is already applied in place. Thus, it strengthens the collaboration and simplifies the unified product development cycle of the organization.

31. What are the differences between Agile, Lean IT, and DevOps?

Agile is a methodology that drives organizations to emphasize on the development of software. Agile is meant to optimize software development, build continuous delivery, minimize feedback loops, and boost team collaboration during the software development life cycle (SDLC). 

Lean IT is an extension of lean manufacturing principles to streamline the value stream of the product development cycle. Lean emphasizes on removing redundant processes and creating a workflow to maximize the entire value streams.

Meanwhile, DevOps breaks down walls between the Dev and Ops teams of the software development process. It aims to effectively cooperate between automation tools and IT professionals within a business for a more simple automated process. (Learn more Working Lean and Agile together)


Are you confident to conquer your next DevOps interview now?

There are still more DevOps interview questions that haven’t been examined in this article yet. Nevertheless, we hope these questions and proposed answers will prepare you with significant knowledge of DevOps and CI/CD that can get you fulfill your interview successfully.

Check out other articles about DevOps:

We will try to prolong this list in the future. Good luck with your testing career!

Topics:
ci/cd, ci/cd pipeline, devops, devops 2021, devops and agile, devops automation testing, github, software testing, test automation

Published at DZone with permission of Oliver Howard. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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