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Must-Know DevOps Principles to Answer Interview Questions

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DevOps interview questions are primarily based on key DevOps principles that drive the DevOps methodology. DevOps is a working culture or method adopted to develop and deliver quality-oriented software products quickly but effectively and efficiently.

DevOps interview questions may assess your knowledge of DevOps principles themselves or centered around the tools, techniques, technologies, processes, and functions utilized to put them into practice.

This article covers essential DevOps principles to help you prepare for a DevOps interview. Also included are sample DevOps interview questions you can expect about these principles. 

If you’re interested in building or advancing in your DevOps career, check out our DevOps interview prep program to find out how to nail DevOps interview questions and land the job you desire.

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In this article, we cover:

  • What Is DevOps? What Are the Advantages of DevOps?
  • Key DevOps Principles and Related Interview Questions
  • Other Must-Know DevOps Principles
  • FAQs on DevOps Principles

What Is DevOps? What Are the Advantages of DevOps?

DevOps is a methodology, approach, or work culture for developing software through collaboration between the software development and IT operations teams. Some of the critical benefits DevOps offers are:

  • Shorter software development life cycles; faster deployment
  • Reduced errors, enhanced quality
  • Transparency
  • Cost reduction
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased automation; facilitates innovation

You can expect DevOps interview questions based on the top DevOps Principles that underlie the DevOps methodology at a technical interview. 

Key DevOps Principles and Related Interview Questions

The following principles must be followed for DevOps to be fully implemented in an organization. We’ve also listed some common sample DevOps interview questions based on key DevOps principles.

DevOps Principles #1: Collaboration is Key

DevOps and Agile are methodologies for developing software quickly and efficiently through collaboration between teams without cross-functionalities.

  • DevOps focuses on collaboration between large software development teams and operations teams that otherwise work independently with limited or no cross-functionality. DevOps focuses on continuous testing and delivery. DevOps focuses on quality and automation using key practices like Continuous Integration and Continuous Development.
  • Agile as an iterative approach focuses on product development teams collaborating with stakeholders to integrate changing customer and market requirements for rapid releases continuously. Agile focuses on timelines and agility using key practices like Scrum and Kanban.

DevOps Interview Question on Collaboration

  • How is DevOps different from the Agile methodology of software development?

DevOps Principles #2: Automation of SDLC Workflows and Processes

Automation is a fundamental part of the DevOps essential practices of Continuous Integration and Continuous Development. Automation results in minimizing human errors to enhance quality and productivity. It frees up developers to work on additional and advanced features. It also allows for continuous improvement by enabling efficient feedback between developers and operations teams for quick iterations. This increases reliable deliveries over multiple platforms.

DevOps Interview Questions on Automation

  • What is test automation in DevOps?
  • How can testing be automated in DevOps?
  • Explain the benefits of automated testing?  

DevOps Principles #3: Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD)

  • Continuous Integration: Following the practice of Continuous Integration, developers integrate changes made to code during the build stage of the release cycle into a central code repository. Git or similar version control systems are used to facilitate continuous integration. Automated build and tests verify code changes to be integrated. CI facilitates increased productivity reduces errors by quickly identifying and fixing bugs and faster customer updates.
  • Continuous Delivery: This involves automation of release processes which enables automatic, quick deployment of new code changes to production. This includes changes in configuration, features, fixing bugs, etc. 

A CI / CD pipeline is a process comprising four stages — Source, Build, Test, Deploy, and using CI /CD tools — Jenkins, Circle CI, Bamboo.

DevOps Interview Questions on Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery(CD)

  • Differentiate between service-oriented and microservice architecture?
  • What is Docker?
  • What is Containerization?
  • What is virtualization?
  • What is needed for Continuous Integration (CI)
  • How does Jenkins achieve continuous integration?

DevOps Principles #4: Continuous Monitoring

In DevOps, continuous monitoring refers to the automated process of identifying compliance and security risks of software deployed into production. Continuous monitoring enhances security and transparency, maintains and improves software performance, resolves errors, monitors user behaviors. Continuous monitoring applies to network activity, infrastructure processes, and application performance.

DevOps' continuous monitoring tools include Nagios, Akamai mPulse, Splunk, Dynatrace, Kibana, Sensu, etc.

DevOps Interview Questions on Continuous Monitoring

  • Explain how system architecture is maintained through continuous monitoring.

DevOps Principles #5: Version Control for Improved Collaboration

Version control is a central repository in which developers store and track changes to code for -software development workflows. Version control systems allow developers to maintain a project’s source code in its original form. Teams can then develop branches or work on copies of the source code, which multiple developers can track and collaborate on. Code updates are tested for errors and compatibility with existing code before deployment to production.

GitHub is a popular version control system that allows all developers to view revisions and track issue resolution.

DevOps Interview Questions on Version Control

  • How would you handle version control?
  • What are some benefits of version control?

Other Must-Know DevOps Principles

DevOps is based on several concepts centered around bringing together software development and operations teams, which otherwise perform as separate functions. Besides the key principles mentioned above, some other important DevOps principles that underlie the successful adoption of the DevOps culture, based on which various DevOps tools and technologies are developed and used, are:

  • Customer-Centric Action: Software development should prioritize meeting customer requirements by automating processes to enable customer feedback to be received and incorporated quickly for faster deployment of revised versions.
  • Create With the End in Mind: Encourages developers to consider the final product to be delivered instead of deliverables for their individual workflow or process.
  • End-to-End Responsibility: Building on the principle of collaboration, this principle requires all teams involved in the DevOps process to be responsible and accountable for the entire SDLC from conception to completion. 
  • Cross-Functional Autonomous Teams: DevOps encourages independent, product-oriented teams comprising members with cross-functional skills and expertise in varying knowledge areas, as opposed to members specializing in only one skill or knowledge area, collaborating for faster resolution of problems and continuous improvement of products through every stage of development.
  • Learn from Failure: Adoption of the cloud for faster deployments of updated versions and complex infrastructure technologies are some factors that increase the chances of failure. DevOps underlines the need for short feedback processes to enable quick fixes and updates for continuous improvement.

To successfully answer DevOps interview questions, including real-time interview questions on DevOps, you should be well prepared on the following:

  • Concepts underlying DevOps principles and their application in the SDLC.
  • The benefits of the various DevOps principles.
  • The tools and technologies used to implement DevOps principles focusing on their features, use-cases, and benefits.
  • How DevOps principles compare to those of other software development methodologies such as Agile, Waterfall, etc.

FAQs on DevOps Principles

Q1. Why does DevOps recommend shift-left testing principles?

Shift-left testing questions are usually DevOps interview questions for experienced engineers. Shift-left testing enables quick, effective development of high-quality solutions by identifying errors at the initial stages of the SDLC.

Q2. What does a DevOps engineer do?

DevOps interview questions can focus on the main responsibilities of a DevOps engineer. DevOps engineers work with the product development and operations teams to ensure customer satisfaction by quickly delivering and monitoring quality products by following key DevOps principles for software development.

Q3. How do I prepare for a DevOps interview?

To answer DevOps interview questions effectively, you should be familiar with DevOps principles, practices, benefits, and tools and possess DevOps technical and soft skills — CI / CD, Linux, Scripting, Coding, Testing, Cloud, Configuration, Collaboration, Communication, etc.

Q4. What DevOps tools should I know to answer DevOps interview questions?

To prepare for your DevOps interview, you should be familiar with key DevOps tools — Git, Jenkins, Docker, Ansible, Selenium, etc.

Q5. What are some top DevOps interview questions for experienced engineers?

DevOps interview questions for experienced professionals cover pair programming, Dogpile effect, Jenkins, Linux OS, IAC, etc. 

Upskill to Crack Your Next Tech Interview

If you’re a software engineer or a software developer preparing for a role in DevOps, here’s how you can develop the skills you’ll need to answer DevOps interview questions to crack your tech interview at top tech companies.

At Interview Kickstart, we have helped thousands of engineers level up their careers with our domain-specific tech and coding interview prep programs. Our alums have landed lucrative offers from FAANG and other leading tech companies through focused upskilling using our proprietary techniques.

Our team of instructors and coaches comprises 150+ tech leads and hiring managers from FAANG and other leading tech companies. Get expert-led training on top DevOps interview knowledge areas including DSA, Linux, Docker, Kubernetes, IaC, CI/CD, Cloud, Jenkins, Ansible, SRE Design, and more.

Join our free webinar to learn how you can nail the toughest Devops interview questions to land the role you desire.

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