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20 Top Azure DevOps Interview Questions For All Levels

Applying for Azure DevOps roles? Prepare yourself with these top 20 Azure DevOps interview questions for all levels.
Feb 2024  · 15 min read

Provided by Microsoft, Azure DevOps is an end-to-end software development platform that helps teams automate, orchestrate, and manage applications. The platform aims to ease the entire application lifecycle, from optimizing source control, build, test, and release processes to enable continuous delivery.

The suite of development tools provided in Azure DevOps plays a big role in cloud computing and software development. Its integrated set of tools provides software developers with a unified development environment to assist with project management, and continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD). The platform is also highly scalable and flexible for cloud-based infrastructure, which allows the development teams to adjust the resources required for specific projects and their demands.

Companies are looking for different methods and processes to enhance their business and software delivery process. As more and more organizations adopt cloud services, the demand for skilled DevOps professionals also increases.

This article aims to prepare readers for Azure DevOps interview questions at all different levels.

Azure DevOps Interview Questions for Beginners

1. What is DevOps?

DevOps stands for Development Operations and focuses on processes, people, and products. These three P’s are brought together to improve the operations of software development through automation, collaboration, iterative improvement, and feedback.

DevOps stemmed from the Agile approach to software development, which catered to cross-functional teams to build and provide applications faster by making decisions that improve the workflow, and encourage collaboration and value delivery.

2. Why do we use DevOps?

The reason we use DevOps is that traditional software development was less effective when it came to the development of applications and the deployment side. Due to the challenges of this traditional development process, teams within an organization would struggle to complete the software development cycle without any conflicts and prolonged issues. This is where DevOps comes in as a solution to facilitate and resolve these challenges by offering a seamless software development lifecycle.

3. Can you name 5 DevOps tools?

  • Jenkins
  • Ansible
  • GitHub
  • Kubernetes
  • Docker

4. Can you define continuous integration and continuous deployment?

Continuous Integration (CI) is a DevOps practice in which developers integrate their code changes into a shared repository. Through these regular integrations, these changes are automatically verified by running tests and building the project to detect and solve errors in an effective and timely manner.

Continuous deployment (CD) incorporates CI but goes further by automatically deploying all the code changes to a test environment after the build stage. This ensures that the codebase is deployable at any time, leading to a more agile workflow and faster release cycles.

5. What are Azure boards?

Azure Boards is part of the Azure DevOps suite and is used for managing the project or software. Essential features of an Azure board consist of reporting, dashboards, project planning, tracking, and collaboration for software development projects. These various features allow cross-functional teams to work more effectively.

If you would like to brush up or test your Azure skills, check out our Introduction to Azure or Understanding Cloud Computing course.

Azure DevOps Interview Questions for Experienced Professionals

6. Can you name three best practices in Azure DevOps?

Adopting the following three best practices can enhance the efficiency of workload, software development, quality, and overall delivery.

  • Implement CI/CD Pipelines: CI/CD pipelines improve the software development workflow by automating the process of integrating code changes, testing them and then deploying them to production. This leads to improving the quality of the software, reducing errors, and achieving faster release cycles.
  • Infrastructure as Code (IaC): This is the automated management and provisioning of infrastructure through code instead of through manual processes. This allows teams to ensure that the environments are provisioned consistently, facilitates version control, and optimizes resource usage.
  • Agile Processes: To run a smooth-sailing software development workflow, integrating agile methodologies such as Azure Boards will aid iterative development, team/customer collaboration, and flexibility.

7. What is VNet?

VNet stands for Virtual Network and is a fundamental building block to the private network in the cloud. It is a network or an environment that can be used to run virtual machines and applications in the cloud. When virtual machines and applications are created, they can communicate with one another securely. VNet is an important feature to ensure secure, isolated, and customized networks in the cloud, with enhanced control and security.

8. What are fault domains?

A fault domain is a group of virtual machines that share a common power source and also network. Virtual machines in fault domains allow cloud providers to minimize hardware failures, power outages and also network disruptions. These fault domains are automatically distributed by the Azure platform.

9. What is the update domains feature and its benefits?

Update domains are part of the Azure infrastructure and are responsible for managing and isolating hardware and software updates. When multiple virtual machines are designed, these update domains get automatically distributed using available sets. They can be rebooted or taken down for maintenance at the same time.

Organizing and distributing virtual machines into separate update domains ensures that only a subset of the virtual machine is affected during rebooting or maintenance scenarios. This allows for high availability to ensure that the application remains accessible even during system updates. During maintenance events, Azure will update the hosts in one update domain at a time to ensure that the service can continue to run with only a portion of the service affected.

10. What is the Dogpile effect and how can it be prevented?

The Dogpile effect is the period after the cache expires and requests have been made on the website from the client. These subsequent requests lead to heavy or slow operations, such as database queries, which can lead to an excessive load on the database or overall service. The Dogpile effect typically happens in high-traffic websites and applications, in which a high increase in workload leads to a decrease in performance or downtime.

To prevent the Dogpile effect from happening, you can implement a lock mechanism on the cache so that when the cache expires, and a first request for data comes in, a lock is automatically placed on the cache key. In this case, other requests will have to wait for the lock to be released with the updated cache.

Key Azure DevOps Services Interview Questions

11. Can you state the difference between Azure DevOps services and Azure DevOps servers?

Azure DevOps services is a cloud-based service allowing organizations to make use of the Azure DevOps capabilities and features without the extra workload of setting up and maintaining their server infrastructure. The service is accessible from anywhere, goes through continuous updates, and is highly scalable.

Azure DevOps server is on-premise and is on an SQL server backend, where organizations can host on their own servers. It has been specifically designed for organizations that prefer their data within their network due to compliance or other regulatory reasons.

12. Why use CI, CD, and Azure Pipelines?

Continuous Integration (CI) allows developers to detect early bugs and errors by merging their changes into a main branch frequently. Automated tests are run based on every commit to ensure that the changes being made meet the standard. This alleviates developers from manual tasks as the build and testing process is automated.

Continuous Deployment (CD) automates the deployment process by allowing developers to release new changes being made to customers quickly and safely. The automation of this process reduces human errors in the deployment phase, leading to more reliable releases and better resource management.

Azure Pipelines is flexible as it supports Windows, Linux, and macOS as well as being able to be deployed to the cloud, on-premise and hybrid environments. Its seamless integrations and rich set of features allow organizations to work within a comprehensive environment across different platforms.

13. What are pull requests in Azure DevOps Repos?

Pull requests are one of Azure DevOps's main features to ensure team collaboration, code review, maintenance of code, and quality throughout the software development lifecycle. Developers will propose changes to the codebase by creating a pull request to submit changes to a branch in a Git repository. Other members of the team will review these changes, provide feedback and make improvements before it is merged into the main branch.

This collaborative and disciplined approach to software development maintains a high standard of code quality and software delivery with a robust CI/CD pipeline.

14. What are the different types of backlogs and board options available in Azure boards?

In Azure Boards, Backlogs are a list of work times that need to be completed and are organized by priority. These are the several backlogs available:

  • Product backlog: A list of work items that need to be completed for a specific project.
  • Sprint backlog: A subset of the product backlog that contains a list of work items for a specific sprint.
  • Portfolio backlog: Similar to the product backlog, however, this backlog contains multiple products and projects that are yet to begin.

Azure Boards provide a visual representation of the list of work items, allowing teams to track their progress, discuss items and responsibilities during stand-ups, and prepare for sprint reviews.

  • Kanban boards: These boards provide a visual flow of the work items using columns to represent where the tasks sit in different stages, from “To Do,” “In Progress,” and “Done.”
  • Taskboards: These boards are used during sprints in which the taskboards will display the status of specific tasks that are related to a specific sprint.
  • Dashboards: These boards are used to visualize, track and also share key metrics and information between team members about different projects.

15. What is the role of the Scrum master in Azure Boards?

Azure boards provide team members with the tools and features to implement and follow the Scrum framework. However, the Scrum master facilitates the Scrum process by supporting the team members to effectively adhere to the Scrum processes and ensuring projects are successful.

For example, this can include sprint planning, daily/weekly stand-ups, sprint review, backlog organization, monitoring, reporting, and overall promoting agile processes and principles.

If you need to brush up on your Azure DevOps services skills and knowledge, start learning with our Azure Architecture and Services course.

Scenario-Based Azure DevOps Interview Questions

16. As an Azure DevOps Engineer, you have been asked to choose a DevOps solution from the Azure platform for a new company in the financial domain that has been tagged as ‘highly confidential.’ What solutions from the Azure platform are you choosing and why?

As the new company is from the financial sector and has particularly been tagged as ‘highly confidential, ' I will choose the Azure DevOps server solution instead of the Azure DevOps service solution. The server solution provides an on-premise solution so that the organization's data remains within its network to enhance its security and confidentiality needs.

17. You have been instructed to migrate a medium-large-sized project from the Azure DevOps server to the Azure DevOps service. What migration process will you use?

In this scenario, I will use the Azure DevOps Migration tool, which is an automated migration process that supports migrating source code, test cases, work items, and other elements. This migration tool can also help identify any potential issues as well as provide recommendations for the migration process.

18. Why would you use the Azure DevOps Migration tool over the manual migration process?

As stated in the scenario, the project that needs to be migrated is a medium-large-sized project. The manual migration process is more suitable for smaller projects as it consists of manually copying the source code, work items, and other artifacts. Although the manual migration process can be used for larger projects, it is more time-consuming and error-prone.

19. There are eight commits in the ‘develop’ branch, and one of those commits needs to be pushed into the ‘release’ branch. How would you approach this?

The best way to approach this is by using git cherry-pick. This is the act of picking a commit from a branch and applying it to another.

You can do this on the Azure DevOps platform by clicking on the specific commit, and when directed to the commit, in the top right corner, there will be 3 dots in which you can click, and there will be an option called ‘Cherry-picking’. It will then ask you to select the ‘target branch’, which in this case is the ‘release’ branch. It will then create a pull request in the ‘release’ branch for that commit.

20. Your team is deciding whether to go ahead with Microsoft-hosted agents or self-hosted agents in Azure pipelines, with specific software requirements and performance being at the top of their list. Which would you recommend and why?

Self-hosted agents would be my recommendation because they provide flexibility when it comes to installing required software, tools, and versions that cater to the project, which caters to the specific software requirements factor. You also have complete control over the environment, allowing you to configure it to your project's requirements.

The other factor was performance, which self-hosted agents have a higher performance advantage with projects that have complex builds. This leads to faster build times and a more effective utilization of resources. These two factors are limited when it comes to Microsoft-hosted agents.

Enhancing Your Azure DevOps Skills for an Interview

In this article, we have divided into four different levels that can test your Azure DevOps skills:

  • Interview questions for beginners
  • Interview questions for experienced professionals
  • Key Azure DevOps services interview questions
  • Scenario-based interview questions

These 20 interview questions will help prep you for different aspects of Azure DevOps, as well as diving into the specifics and test your knowledge in different scenarios.

If you would like to take it to the next level and continue to enhance your Azure DevOps skills, have a read of Azure Certification Guide 2024: Empower Your Data Science Career, or join the Azure Management and Governance course to be fully prepared for the big day.


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Author
Nisha Arya Ahmed

A keen learner, seeking to implement my technical data science and strong interpersonal skills, to improve and broaden my tech knowledge and writing skills.

I transitioned into the world of Data Science from Pharmacology, taking a 9-month bootcamp with Lambda school. 

I am interested in implementing and improving my technical coding and writing skills in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. ​

Currently, I am a Data Scientist and a Freelance Technical Writer.

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