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20 Dev Leaders and Hiring Managers Reveal Their Favorite DevOps Interview Questions

“20 Dev Leaders and Hiring Managers Reveal Their Favorite DevOps Interview Questions” on Threat Stack, May 10, 2018.

Alan Zucker is the Founding Principal of Project Management Essentials LLC.

“Some of my favorite interview questions for a DevOps candidate are…”

1. What have your first priorities been when transitioning a team to DevOps?

DevOps is primarily a cultural transformation. I am looking for an answer that focuses on people and process over technology. I want to hear how she would break down the silos between development and operations. What steps did she suggest to increase collaboration between the different groups? What challenges did she encounter? How did she overcome them?

2. If you are assigned to work in an organization with a mix of new and legacy applications and technologies, what is the first thing you would do as the new DevOps engineer?

DevOps is focused on delivering value to the business more quickly. I am looking for an answer where the first steps will be to assess the environment. Conducting a value stream analysis is a great first step. Developing a strategy that stratifies the applications based on their need for speed and agility (Paced-Layered Strategy) is also a good answer.

For both of the questions, I want to see that the DevOps engineer is being thoughtful about what should be done rather than talking first about tools and technologies.

3. If the organization had fully adopted a continuous integration tool and a competitor came out with a slightly better product, what would you recommend that the organization do? Stay with the current tool or switch to the competitor?

Many technologists will immediately jump to the new, shiny technology. I want to see the candidate ask questions about the cost of the two tools and the cost of transitioning to the new tool. Transition cost should include training and effort expended moving the existing applications and components into the new tool.