Memory management in Linux: Deep dive into physical and virtual memory. How kernel interacts with memory? What happens in case of page fault? How to deal with dirty pages?
Handling memory issues:
Getting alerted on DIMM chip failures
Keeping track of used memory
Preparing for OOM events
Getting alerted on memory issues
Discussion on critical interview questions:
What is thrashing?
What kind of memory pages will thrash depending on whether you have swap enabled or not?
How do you tell if a host is computationally-bound or I/O bound?
Deep dive into CPU and processes: Metrics to track CPU performance. Why disk I/O is important?
Crack bash scripting questions: Learn pro tips and trick questions
Get efficient with command line: Pro tips on pipes, Tmux, nc, and file redirection
Containers and Orchestration
Comprehensive coverage of Docker and Kubernetes architecture: Learn how to perform a live upgrade of an application with zero downtime
Deep dive into k8s: Horizontal Scaling, Load Balancing, Crash Protection, Tiered Networking, Resource Control, and Optimization and Security
How to approach common interview questions such as:
Usage of Docker volume for persisting data
How to evaluate systems’ tolerance for failures/outages?
What are the different techniques to scale a relational database?
Application deployment: Local vs. Managed k8s
Kubernetes patterns for designing web applications: Sidecar pattern, Ambassador pattern, etc.
Important questions and pro tips on troubleshooting Kubernetes
How to set customer expectations? Deep dive into Service-Level Objectives and Service-Level Indicators
Deployment & Configuration Management
A top-down view of modern software release: In-depth understanding of how CI/CD works (Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment). How automation helps achieve CI/CD?
Deep dive into Jenkins: Installation and configuration, Jenkins Plugins, Blue Ocean & Jenkinsfile, and managing and scaling Jenkins
Comprehensive coverage of critical interview questions:
Jenkins user authentication and security measures?
What happens when the underlying node of a particular job is offline?
Best practices and pro tips in Jenkins node allocation
How to design a system responsible for continuous integration and deployment?
Comprehensive coverage of configuration management: Compare different tools available in the market, their advantages and features
Infrastructure as code: Why, when, how?
Non-Abstract Large System Design
How to design large-scale distributed systems like Google Adwords. Deep dive into the architecture, building blocks of scalable systems, scalability, and reliability
Interesting follow-up questions on the fundamentals of modern software systems: Servers, agents, load balancer, Storage, indexer, consensus, pipeline, queues, sharding, replication, caching, batching, and scatter-gather
Deep-dive discussion of SRE-specific interview questions:
How do SLOs (service-level objectives) impact designs?
How to do capacity estimates?
How to design for fault tolerance?
Monitoring & Troubleshooting
Monitoring and alerting: Key metrics and four golden signals (errors, saturation, latency, and traffic)
Derive SLO of a system from SLI and learn how to implement a proactive SLO for an application for alerting purposes
Deep dive into Prometheus, an open-source monitoring tool
Questions on logging and log management:
How to manage logs for various use cases? How to budget for long-term log storage?
Design a logging framework for an organization: Depth of logging, retention, access and audit controls, and encryption
Incident management: Lifecycle of an incident, KPIs like MTTD, MTTI and MTTR, and pro tips for incident management process
Testing for failure: Understand the importance of Smoke tests, Stress tests, Perf tests, etc.
Various troubleshooting scenarios and strategies: Leverage utilities like top, vmstat, iostat, mpstat, netstat, ping, sar, tcpdump, traceroute, dig, nslookup, etc.
Cloud Computing & AWS Services
AWS Compute Services (EC2, EKS, Lambda)
AWS Storage and Database Services (S3, RDS, Aurora, Dynamo and ElastiCache)
AWS Management and Governance services (CloudWatch, CloudFormation)
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Senior Software Engineer
I joined iK after stumbling across it while reviewing some other interview prep materials after doing poorly in an interview at Linkedin. I knew that doing well in these interviews would require dedication and investment of my time - but with so many resources online I didn't have structure. This is what the IK platform provided me.
Software development Engineer ll
The Interview Kickstart course is very structured and informative. They teach you about DS and algo fundamentals very thoroughly and also prepare you for the software engineering interview. I really like the live classes by FAANG engineers, and the homework and tests definitely help you toprepare for a real interview. If you have been looking for a bootcamp that prepares you for software engineering interviews, I would say this is definitely the right place to do it.
Senior Software Engineer
My experience at IK was extremely positive. I was preparing for FAANG companies using the standard techniques that you find on the internet. When I started preparing, there was no structure to the madness. For example, a simple quicksort can be implemented in multiple ways. So solving a medium problem would take me about 30 minutes. The biggest benefit that I got from IK was a clear, structured way of solving problems. After IK, I could solve medium problems in 10 minutes!
Interview Kickstart is a great platform to perfect your basics and get a deep understanding of algorithms. These sessions helped me crack Google and several other companies.
Having struggled for a while to understand what I was doing wrong in interviews and how to behave during an interview, I took the help of 1-1 interview sessions with the mentors and the guidance provided by them helped me understand the problem with my approach.
Senior Software Engineer
IK’s back-end engineering program helped me learn helpful nuances in programming and understandthe fundamentals of system design. The instructors from FAANG companies were inspiring. The mock interviews are also very helpful to get exposed to interviewing experience.
How to enroll for the SRE Interview Course?
Learn more about Interview Kickstart and the SRE Interview course by joining the free webinar hosted by Ryan Valles, co-founder of Interview Kickstart.
Site Reliability Engineering Interview Process Outline
The interview process at FAANG+ and other Tier-1 companies for Site Reliability Engineering interviews vary a bit for each company. However, the general structure is as follows:
Initial screening: This usually involves a DSA coding question (easy/medium Leetcode questions) and some questions from the system’s domain like Linux, networking, etc.
On-site: 4-6 on-site rounds, which include 1-2 coding rounds, 2 SRE fundamentals rounds, a system design round, usually for senior engineers, and a behavioral round.
IK’s Site Reliability Engineering course will cover all you need to know to nail these rounds.
What to Expect at Site Reliability Engineering Interviews
Initial technical Screening: This usually involves a DSA coding question (only easy/medium LC Questions) and some questions from the systems domain like Linux, Networking, etc.
On-site: The on-site interview includes 4-6 rounds. They are:
1-2 rounds of coding
Depending on the total years of experience, candidates go through 1-2 coding (DSA-based) rounds. Usually, the difficulty level of these questions is Leet code easy/medium.
2 rounds of SRE Fundamentals: They test the knowledge of:
Unix/Linux Systems (System Calls, File-Systems, Kernel, etc.)
Networking (HTTP, DNS, TCP/IP, the OSI Model, Subnetting, and Load Balancing strategies)
Container-Orchestration Systems, Configuration Management (Infrastructure as code), CI/CD
Monitoring, Analyzing, and Troubleshooting Systems. Some companies conduct separate troubleshooting rounds wherein candidates are given a broken system and expected to rectify it.
System design round (usually for senior folks)
In this round, they test the knowledge of designing Scalable Systems focused on the SRE domain - designing and deploying Microservices with health checks/monitoring. Scalable system design requires:
A good understanding of DNS, Load balancing, Micro-service architecture, CAP theorem, Consistency patterns, Availability patterns, Databases, Caching, A synchronism patterns, etc.
Ability to identify the architecture bottlenecks and to dimension the architecture with an appropriate number of machines, with some "back-of-the-envelope" calculations, whilst being robust and failure tolerant.
In this round, you can expect questions related to:
Let us check some interview questions for Site Reliability Engineers to gauge your interview preparation. We’ll look at Site Reliability Engineer interview questions on coding, system design, domain knowledge, and behavioral skills.
Site Reliability Engineer Interview Questions on Coding and System Design
Find the single element that does not appear thrice in a given array of integers
For a given number, find the number of ones in its binary representation. Given nums=[0, 1, 3] return 2
How would you test for a loop in a linked list?
Write code to perform a level order search in a binary tree
Can you use Union in Structure?
Differentiate between bubble sort and quicksort
Reverse a string without using any built-in functions.
Create a technical design of an automated parking solution.
Build a service to handle hundreds of transactions to be executed at specific times of the day.
Design Google Drive.
Design a code deployment software.
Domain-specific Site Reliability Engineer Interview Questions
What are the typical architectures that organizations follow for distributed systems/applications?
What strategy would you use to implement Capacity management?
How does latency affect the throughput of TCP sessions?
Explain readiness and liveness probe. Also, explain three different ways of implementing the health probes.
How do we scale Jenkins for large organizations with a large number of builds & deployments happening every minute?
What is Kernel, and can we modify it?
Your manager approaches you, explaining that the logging solution your company pays a monthly subscription for is getting too expensive, and you need to reduce the storage footprint. How can you approach this problem from the bottom up to ensure you are minimizing the cost of storage while maximizing the effectiveness of your logs?
Site Reliability Engineer Interview Questions on Behavioral Skills
Why our company and why this role? Which of our company’s principles is your greatest strength?
Describe your most complex project.
How would you prioritize work and tasks in a program? Tell me about a time when you had to deal with competing priorities.
Describe a conflict you had with your manager or team member. How did you solve it?
If stakeholders want one thing done one way, but you don't think that is the right way to do it, how do you move forward?
How would you handle dependencies in cross-functional teams? How do you communicate with other teams?
Talk about your greatest professional accomplishment.
How would you approach a situation where a team member works less than their full potential?
Describe a stressful or challenging work experience you had and how you handled it.
What experience do you have related to this SRE position?
What are your career goals?
What do you think is the most important responsibility of a Site Reliability Engineer?
Site Reliability Engineering Career
Site reliability is crucial in these competitive times. For companies like Amazon, the IT downtime per minute costs thousands of dollars, if not millions. It's no surprise that SREs are paid so well. Let's take a look at the SRE job description to get a better idea of what the role entails.
Site Reliability Engineering Job Roles and Responsibilities
Site reliability engineer job qualifications include:
Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering or relevant experience
Experience in coding/automating processes in at least one of these languages - Shell, Go, Python, Scala, Ruby
Ability to produce tools to assist the product development teams. Experience with at least one large-scale web application and at least one Cloud provider
Working knowledge of modern software deployment processes, including CI/CD
Working experience with either Terraform, Ansible, or CloudFormation templating
Database experience (SQL, NoSQL, etc.) and experience in networking and security.
Hands-on experience in Linux administration and troubleshooting. Experience managing, deploying, and troubleshooting large-scale environments
Strong interpersonal skills - interacts well within the team and across other teams and with users, fast learner, ability to think on your feet
Day-to-day Site Reliability Engineer job description includes:
Deliver tools/software to improve the reliability and scalability of services.
Engage in and improve the whole lifecycle of services from inception and design through deployment, operation, and refinement.
Support services before they go live through activities such as system design consulting, developing software platforms and frameworks, capacity planning, and launch reviews.
Maintain services once they are live/running by measuring and monitoring availability, latency, and overall system health.
Scale systems sustainably through mechanisms like automation and evolve systems by pushing for changes that improve reliability and velocity.
Practice sustainable incident response and blameless postmortems.
Career Roadmap for a Site Reliability Engineer
In a FAANG+ company, the career progression for the SRE role is:
Site Reliability Engineer
Site Reliability Engineer
Senior Site Reliability Engineer
Staff SRE or Tech Lead/EM
Senior Staff SRE or EM/Director
Site Reliability Engineering Salary and Levels at FAANG+ Companies
We’ve curated FAANG+ Site Reliability Engineer salary data by level for your convenience:
Facebook Site Reliability Engineer Salary
The typical Meta Site Reliability Engineer’s salary is $1,67,452 per year. Site Reliability Engineer salaries at Meta can range from $90,354 to $1,88,395 per year.
When factoring in bonuses and additional compensation, a Site Reliability Engineer at Meta can expect to make an average total pay of $1,67,452 per year.
Site Reliability Engineer salary at Facebook
Average compensation by level
Apple Site Reliability Engineer Salary
The average base salary for an Apple SRE is $145,145.
Site Reliability Engineer salary at Apple
Average compensation by level
Netflix Site Reliability Engineer Salary
The average salary for Product Reliability Engineer IV at companies like NETFLIX in the US is $164,390, but the range typically falls between $151,180 and $178,280.
Site Reliability Engineer salary at Netflix
Average compensation by level
Sr. SW. Engineer
Google Site Reliability Engineer Salary
The average base salary for an Amazon SRE is $155,377.
Site Reliability Engineer salary at Google
Average compensation by level
According to payscale.com, a Site Reliability Engineer’s salary is anywhere between $76,000 to $158,000 a year in the US, with the average salary being $117,768 per year. Let us look at Site Reliability Engineering salary associated with different locations, years of experience, etc.
The average annual Site Reliability Engineer salary based on location:
Boston, MA — $142,458;
New York, NY — $156,971;
San Francisco, CA — $163,479
The average annual Site Reliability Engineer salary based on experience:
Entry-level Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) with less than 1 year experience - $82,637 (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay)
Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) with 1-4 years of experience - $104,679
Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) with 5-9 years of experience - $121,310
Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) with 10-19 years of experience - $134,942
Senior Site Reliability Engineers with 20+ years of experience - $138,451