“How to answer 7 top DevOps interview questions” on The Enterprise Project, October 9, 2019.
What would you do if…?
If you are looking for a DevOps professional who can hit the ground running, ask how they might approach specific situations or challenges on the job. The answers to these situational questions can illuminate how candidates would fit into your culture as well, says Alan Zucker, founder of Project Management Essentials. Here are three questions he asks potential DevOps candidates:
What have been your first priorities when transitioning a team to DevOps?
“DevOps is primarily a cultural transformation,” says Zucker. “I am looking for an answer that focuses on people and process over technology. I want to hear how he or she would break down silos between the development and operations teams. What steps did they suggest to increase collaboration between the different groups? What challenges did they encounter? How did they overcome them?”
If you are assigned to work in an organization with a mix of new and legacy applications and technologies, what would be 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 step is 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,” says Zucker. “I want to see that the DevOps engineer is being thoughtful about what should be done rather than talking first about tools and technologies.”
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,” says Zucker. “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 for moving the existing applications and components into the new tool.”
What else should you highlight? Let’s talk about four personal qualities: