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A Better SRE Interview

04 Sep 2021

SRE/DevOps engineers have specialised skill-sets that differ from other engineers and should be evaluated accordingly.

Typical coding assignments test the candidate’s ability to write readable, organised and well tested code and their familiarity with various web application frameworks. SRE and DevOps engineers spend more of their days reading documentation, configuring services, writing small scripts, and repairing failing services.

There’s more to learn by asking these candidates to debug and fix a misbehaving misbehaving host, e.g., not serving HTTP requests when it should. This scenario provides much better indication of how a candidate will solve day-to-day problems.

It tests for the candidates ability problem solve, it helps demonstrate how a candidate documentation; their comfort level with the command line, common technologies, and fundamentals such as ports, sockets and processes.

The details of the test, and the corresponding playbooks to set up misbehaving hosts are available online. Take a look and try it for yourself.