9 CI/CD Interview Questions (With Sample Answers To Study)
Updated 29 September 2022
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Continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) is a combination of two practises that software engineers use to deliver applications. Hiring managers may ask technical questions about CI/CD during an interview to assess a candidate's qualifications and determine how suitable they are for the role. Understanding how to answer CI/CD questions can help you show your knowledge and improve your chances of securing an employment offer.
In this article, we provide nine CI/CD interview questions and sample answers to help you prepare your own responses.
9 CI/CD Interview Questions
Here are nine CI/CD interview questions and sample answers:
1. What is continuous integration?
Continuous integration is one element of CI/CD, so a hiring manager may ask this question to assess your understanding of CI on its own. In your response, you can state that CI is responsible for implementing the steps for a software project. You may also explain how it helps developers understand project status.
Example: 'CI, or continuous integration, is the process that allows for the execution of a project's steps. The execution follows a specific order for accuracy and organisation. Under CI, any code changes that developers submit undergo automatic integration into a shared repository. This element of CI allows developers to receive efficient feedback regarding project status.'
Related: 7 Continuous Integration Interview Questions And Answers
2. What is continuous delivery?
Continuous delivery is the other element of CI/CD, so a hiring manager may ask this question to assess your understanding of this subject. In your answer, you can discuss what CD is and how relates to CI. You may also briefly explain its purpose and the output it produces.
Example: 'Continuous delivery is an extension of continuous integration. The main goal of this process is to automate every stage that is necessary to publish a software product. A CD pipeline can produce an output of various forms. Some of these forms include a deployable binary, container or package.'
Related: How To Become A DevOps Engineer (With Salary Info And FAQs)
3. What is version control?
Version control is an essential element of building a CI/CD pipeline, so a hiring manager may ask you to define what it is. In your response, you can mention and explain its primary purpose. You may also elaborate on the two types of version control systems to show your advanced knowledge of this topic.
Example: 'Version control is a collection of practices that help developers manage codebases. Developers rely on version control to monitor each line of code in a software project. They can also use version control to review and share changes with their team members. It may rely on two systems, which are either centralised or distributed systems. In a centralised system, a single central server stores all files. Users may retrieve a local copy of the current files from here and synchronise them with the central source. In a distributed system, there are multiple file copies and multiple central sources.'
Related: 39 Important Senior Software Engineer Interview Questions
4. What is trunk-based development?
A hiring manager may ask you this question because trunk-based development is a way to simplify version control. In your response, you can clarify what a trunk is and how it relates to version control. You may also offer a brief explanation of how it works.
Example: 'Trunk-based development is a popular branching model in version control. When developers employ this model, all the coding work occurs within a single trunk. This trunk is the main branch of the system, and developers may refer to it as main, master or simply trunk. Software developers consolidate minor updates that occur frequently within the trunk. This process reduces instances of conflict and improves the efficiency of software performance.'
Related: 9 Test Case Management Tools To Consider (With Benefits)
5. What is continuous deployment?
Continuous deployment is an optional process that occurs after the CD stage in CI/CD. A hiring manager may ask you this question to ensure that you know the differences between continuous deployment and continuous delivery. In your response, you can explain when a continuous deployment occurs and how it always represents an option for the developers.
Example: 'Continuous deployment is a process that occurs after the continuous delivery stage in the CI/CD pipeline. It allows for any changes that occur at each stage of a production pipeline to become part of the final product. Continuous deployment does not require any human intervention. Instead, it allows for automation and facilitates the feedback loop from customers. Note that continuous deployment is usually optional, as some software developers choose not to incorporate it after the CI/CD pipeline.'
Related: Essential Automation Testing Tools To Enhance Efficiency
6. What are some essential traits in a CI/CD platform?
This question allows the hiring manager to learn if you know what traits to be aware of when working within a CI/CD platform. In your response, you can list reliability as one of the main components you consider. You can also describe speed, ease of use and reproducibility.
Example: 'Reliability is one of the essential traits in a CI/CD platform, as an unreliable platform can result in prolonged delays in development work. Another essential trait is the ease of use, as it is ideal if the platform is simple to troubleshoot, operate and configure. In addition, when I am working with a CI/CD platform, I usually look for it to be reproducible so that the same strings of code always produce the same results. Finally, I also look for speed so that the platform is efficient to scale and can yield results within a reasonable period.'
Related: Automation Of Processes (With Definition And Examples)
7. What are some key benefits of CI/CD?
By showcasing your knowledge of the benefits of CI/CD, you can demonstrate to the hiring manager that you understand the importance of this practise in software development. In your answer, provide at least two benefits of CI/CD. If you list benefits like less risk or more frequent releases, be sure to expand on these benefits.
Example: 'One of the major benefits of CI/CD is that it allows for less risk. The automated tests that CI/CD incorporate decrease the chances of exposing the project to software bugs, which can make a developer feel more confident in the code they write. Another benefit of CI/CD is that it allows for more frequent releases. Combined, the two processes of continuous integration and continuous deployment make it possible for developers to publish and utilise software products hundreds of times per day.'
Related: What Is Risk Management? (Crucial Steps And Strategies)
8. What is the key difference between a cloud-based CI/CD platform and a hosted CI/CD platform?
A hiring manager may ask this question to evaluate your familiarity with different types of platforms. In your answer, state that the main difference is the maintenance they require. If you have experience working with one type and you know that the hiring organisation uses this type, you can emphasise this information in your response.
Example: 'A cloud-based platform does not require any sort of upkeep or maintenance from developers, and there is nothing to configure or instal. Alternatively, a hosted server requires human management. Developers are responsible for maintenance, configuration and installation procedures. They are also responsible for applying patches and upgrades to keep the system secure. In my previous position, I was responsible for maintaining a hosted CI/CD platform, so I understand how to work with the hosted platform.'
Related: 15 Software Developer Skills And How To Develop Them
9. How important is security in CI/CD?
A hiring manager may ask this question to test your understanding of CI/CD security protocols. Here, it's important to emphasise how you can prioritise security if you get the job. In your response, state some of the sensitive data that requires protection in CI/CD and how security measures can prevent security breaches.
Example: 'Security is very important in CI/CD because the platforms that developers use involve access to sensitive data like server passwords, databases, private repositories and API keys. It is essential for a CI/CD platform to implement security measures so that it can prevent unauthorised access and the distribution of compromised software.'
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