Azure DevOps Cheat Sheet
Microsoft Azure DevOps is the combination of operations and development to help teams work together efficiently in order to create value to the customer. Some of the practices involved in this application lifecycle include continuous delivery, continuous integration, agile planning and monitoring of applications. By lifecycle, we mean the creation of applications, tracing it from beginning to end. It’s a difficult endeavor, but DevOps achieves it through its extensive and proven strategies to help your team move along smoothly. Azure DevOps also comprises of many extensions found on Visual Studio.
This guide will focus on Azure DevOps to help answer questions that you might be asked during an interview or test. An Azure DevOps Certifications, like the ones found here at CloudInstitute.io, could also help you gain the right skills in Azure DevOps or other areas
Let’s go over the basics and then delve deeper with common questions asked relating to Azure DevOps.
Differences Between Azure DevOps Server vs. Service
Azure DevOps Service or Azure DevOps Server can be used to create and deploy applications. Service is cloud-oriented and the Server is on-site. For scope and scale, Azure DevOps Services offer projects and organization while Server offers deployment, projects, and project collections. Services are dealt with over the public network and Server over the intranet. For services, the access level is assigned to each person but in Server, it depends on the license.
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Azure DevOps Services is comprised of the following:
- Azure Boards
- Azure Pipelines
- Azure Repos
- Azure Artifacts
- Azure Test Plans
Azure Pipeline combines continuous integration with continuous delivery to create mobile, web, and desktop applications. It can be deployed on the cloud or on-premises.
- It automates everything so you don’t have to worry about all these minor details here and there.
- It can use many languages, such as Java, Ruby, Python, PHP, .NET, C/C++, Node.js, and other things.
- Pipelines can also run on many platforms, such as macOS, Windows, and Linux.
- Another advantage is its open-source and free, which makes continuous delivery and continuous integration fast and simple.
- Kubernetes and containers and the ability to use Docker Hub and Azure Container Registry are helpful resources. Kubernetes helps store containers, and containers are what is used to create apps.
- The deployments of Azure Pipeline are flexible. Serverless, Kubernetes, or VMs can be used for your deployment strategy. You can also use Jenkins for deployment.
Azure Boards helps you track your work across all the teams. All ideas are kept track of from beginning to end of the lifecycle.
- Keeps track of code for team members to make changes and fix any mistakes that may arise during the process.
- Built-in Scrum boards make it easier to run sprints, plan meetings, and do stand-ups.
- Analytical tools show the results of the process so you understand how things are going.
- Over 1,000 extensions can be found on the marketplace, and other tools of your choice can be integrated into Azure Boards.
Azure Repos helps track changes during the lifecycle. It is part of version control tools, and it can take a picture of your code to save later if it’s needed. Repos also saves your code and helps show the team all the changes made.
- It helps you stay organized, fix bugs, and add new features.
- Version control keeps track of all changes so that you can go back if something is wrong.
- Git is the most popular choice for version control; it’s grown to be the standard when it comes to version control.
- Git is simple to use and makes use of a distributed version control system, so a copy of the code is stored in the repository.
Azure Artifacts helps share packages within your team. Package management can be implemented in your continuous delivery/integration pipeline.
- Share Python, Maven, npm, and NuGet package no matter if it’s a private or public source.
- Azure Artifacts can be used for small and large teams.
- Better organization and security help you know where everything is and that your data is safe.
Azure Test Plans enable you to test your apps. Test Plans focus on improving the quality of the code and making sure there are no defects before deployment. Quality is the main goal of Azure Test Plans, but it takes a lot of effort to achieve quality. Planned manual testing, exploratory testing, user acceptance testing and stakeholder feedback are all part of Azure Test Plans. In this way, even sales and marketing test out the software to make sure it’s working efficiently and accurately.
- Code quality improves from exploratory and planned to test.
- Azure Test Plans help you find defects in the code before everything is deployed.
- It also allows you to test if the code works across different desktops and web apps.
- Test plans, suites, and cases are the three main test management artifacts. They are listed as special work items in the repository.
Azure DevOps Interview Questions and Answers
The following includes questions and answers relating to Azure DevOps. It contains questions relating to Azure DevOps Server vs. Service, the services involved, tools, and other information that could be asked about during an interview or related test online, such as during a test. Although some of the questions are basic, going over them will help you know exactly what to say when asked, so you won’t have to think much before answering. It will be almost automatic, like a reflex.
Define Microsoft Azure DevOps.
DevOps is the mixture of development and ops, which are usually by themselves and having these two teams work together to create tools and practices to improve efficiency and productivity. Some of the practices include continuous delivery, continuous integration agile planning, and monitoring of applications.
DevOps is sometimes referred to as a loop or a cycle of loops. Each loop returns feedback to be used in the next loop. In this way, the team keeps learning about what works and what does not and what can be improved. This cycle is named integrated learning, as it is a constant learning process or a path of endless discovery. This creates a culture of high-performing teams, tools, and practices to help build better products for the customer. It also reduces the time to build a product, increases market adaptation, improves recovery time, and build a stable and reliable system.
Why do companies use DevOps? Name some companies that use DevOps.
Amazon, Netflix, Target, Etsy, and other major companies use DevOps to help gain a competitive advantage and remain consistently productive in each product lifecycle. The reason these companies use DevOps is that they want to foster a particular type of culture that entails high-performing teams without negatively affecting anything.
For example, they want to be fast to adapt, so they would not have unnecessary meetings. Instead, DevOps teams work on a common goal, and each team has a part in its eventual completion. It is also used by tech giants due to its easy delivery of software and for the benefits of reliability, security, and stability. DevOps also help deliver small results in frequent loops so that major projects can be completed in minor chunks, which makes the entire process easier and less overwhelming; this also increases productivity.
What are the advantages of DevOps?
It helps create a culture of high-performance that improves collaboration, shortens product lifecycles, increases adaptability in scope and accountability, and leads to a continuous learning cycle. All of these benefits form a high performing team without sacrificing anything. Collaboration doesn’t end within a team; it also involves working amongst many teams. That’s why develops and IT operations are combined as DevOps, as working together improves productivity and lets everyone stay on track so that the product is released quickly, or at least quicker than without DevOps. The scope is changed once teams take on new responsibility.
For example, a developer will focus on quality and innovation but later on, as teams combine, additionally focus on stability and performance. In this way, no part if left out or is overlooked. The focus changed from one aspect to another, rather than one at the cost of other parts, such as the appearance of the app being the main focus but the performance is lacking. DevOps makes sure each lifecycle phase is up to expectation. Also, the lifecycle is shortened thanks to this high productivity environment. These short releases help teams stay vigilant and the small cycles create easier progress since it’s small cycles instead of major cycles. Lastly, the continuous learning aspect helps the team learn from failure and incorporate what they learned in future projects. This continuous learning helps improve their processes, customer satisfaction innovation, and overall improvement.
What’s an example of DevOps being used in real life?
DevOps is not just used in the IT industry. Therefore, this answer is wide open in terms of scope. NASA, Hertz, Netflix, and Etsy all use DevOps. Let’s answer using Amazon as an example. In 2010, Amazon moved to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. By doing so, they became even more agile by scaling up and down in little increments. Amazon then used a continuous deployment system called Apollo, which helps deliver code at any time wherever they want. By 2011, they were deploying software to production servers every 12 seconds. During the busiest hour, over 1,000 new deployments are made. This increased the deployment process substantially, but only one out of every 100,000 deployments fail. And the amount of money saved is in the millions. You can also answer this question by talking about the NASA Mars Rover Curiosity.
Name some DevOps tools.
Tool integration is another useful advantage to using Azure DevOps. There are many open-source and third-party tools available. Jenkins, Ansible, Chef, Puppet, Terraform, GitHub, Kubernetes, Docker. Jenkins is involved in the deployment and continuous integration and delivery, and Ansible in configuration management. Docker and Kubernetes are containers. GitHub is a hosting service that’s used by almost everyone. Each tool has a specific task that should be gone over in minor detail, though understand the major tools can be of use during an interview. All of the tools help spur faster development, but it’s through the combination of all of them that really increases faster production times.
What are some popular tools for continuous integration and continuous delivery?
The interviewer might ask this question, which goes into further detail than the previous question. Some popular tools for continuous integration are Jenkins, GitLab, Bamboo, Codeship, TeamCity, and Travis CI. Also, some common tools for continuous delivery include Shippable, ElectricFlow, Jenkins, and Bamboo.
What is continuous integration? Describe tools related to it.
Continuous Integration (CI) is a gradual process of continually updating and testing code each time a team member adds on to it. This became common practice since developers built their code in isolation, which causes long delays that were sometimes weeks long. And this would cause bugs, merge conflicts, duplications, and other issues along the way which made the process longer and harder than it should be.
The development team’s code is combined in a version control branch in a constant manner in order to avoid all the above issues. Developers can use GitHub or something like that to isolate their work, then they submit a pull request and it’ll appear in the master branch. CI makes sure that bugs are caught early in the process, which saves money, and this process improves the quality and makes consistent updates easy. Some tools related to continuous integration are as follows: Jenkins, GitHub, Apache Gump, Bamboo, Draco.NET, Buildbot and Go CD.
Differentiate Azure DevOps Server vs. Services.
Azure DevOps Service or Azure DevOps Server can be used to create and deploy applications. Service is cloud-oriented and the Server is on-site. For scope and scale, Azure DevOps Services offer projects and organization while Server offers deployment, projects, and project collections. Services are dealt with over the public network and Server over the intranet. For services, the access level is assigned to each person but in Server, it depends on the license. Azure DevOps Services also has simplified server management, fast access to the best and latest features, and improved connectivity with remote positions.
What should you consider when deciding whether to use Azure DevOps Service or Server?
One way to answer this question is to talk about the main features. These features include scalability and scope, user access management, reporting, authentication requirements, security, and process customization. Services offer cloud and are reliable, scalable, and globally available; it’s monitored by Microsoft’s operations team 24/7 and can be accessed in local data centers worldwide. For Server, it’s offered on-premise and is made on a SQL Server backend.
People choose Server when they want their data stored locally or they wish to have access to SQL server reporting services. In other words, it depends on the features you want, and this is regarding the features such as scale and scope, users and group, authentication, user access management, and security and data protection. What features you require determines whether you choose Azure DevOps Server or Service.
Name some DevOps solutions architectures.
There are many tools you can leverage for continuous delivery (CD) and continuous integration (CI). There are three main architectures. These include Java CI/CD through Jenkins and Azure Web Apps. CI/CD can also be used for Azure Virtual Machines, and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) for DevOps. Azure Virtual Machines is used to create changes instantly, Jenkins and Azure Web Apps to create web apps and make changes to them in Azure App Service, and Azure Kubernetes Service to increase security and speed at the same time. Azure Pipelines are used for AKS to deliver fast while adhering to Azure Policy.
Describe Azure Boards. What are the advantages of using Azure Boards?
Azure Boards are a way to manage software projects. It includes many abilities and has the support of Kanban and Scrum, dashboard customization, and integrated reporting. It can track everything about a project, such as bugs, user stories, tasks, features, and backlog items. Basic and Agile are the most common work item types used in Azure Boards. The workflow varies based on the type you chose. Work is tracked on interactive work logs and boards, and collaboration is made by going to the Discussion section and starting a conversation.
Work can be progressed through sprints in Scrum as well. However, the main features include the following: work items, boards, sprints, backlogs, and queries. Each tool is significant enough to be discussed in an interview. Work items are simply where work is found. Inboards, work is made to be cards, such as sticky notes on a wall. Backlogs include all work in lists. Sprints help you find work assigned to a specific path. Finally, queries help filter out work to find what you need; this can be helpful in bulk edits or finding something that has a common trait.
Define Azure Repos.
Azure Repos helps track code changes during the lifecycle. It’s part of version control tools, and it can take a picture of your code to save later if it’s needed. Repos also saves your code and helps show the team all the changes made. It helps you stay organized, fix bugs and add new features. Version control keeps track of all changes so that you can go back if something is wrong. Git is the most popular choice for version control; it’s grown to be the standard when it comes to version control. Git is simple to use and makes use of a distributed version control system, so a copy of the code is stored in the repository.
What are the containers in DevOps?
Containers are one of the most basic aspects of DevOps, so anyone familiar with Azure DevOps will know the answer. But let’s review anyway, just in case. Containers are the foundation of DevOps. It stores code into packages so it can’t run smoothly and rapidly among various environments. Containers simplify the entire lifecycle. Here are the benefits of using containers:
- Higher quality software is delivered faster and with complete compliance
- Costs and resources are used more effectively
- Continuous improvements are adjusted earlier
- Transparency and collaboration are improved
Define Azure Pipelines
Azure Pipeline combines continuous integration with continuous delivery to create mobile, web, and desktop applications. It can be deployed on the cloud or on-premises. It automates everything so you don’t have to worry about all these minor details here and there. It can use many languages, such as Java, Ruby, Python, PHP, .NET, C/C++, Node.js, and other things. Azure Pipeline can also run on many platforms, such as macOS, Windows, and Linux.
Another advantage is it is open source and free, which makes continuous delivery and continuous integration fast and simple. Kubernetes and containers and the ability to use Docker Hub and Azure Container Registry are helpful resources. Kubernetes helps store containers, and containers, as stated previously, are what is used to create apps. The deployments of Azure Pipeline are flexible. Serverless, Kubernetes, or VMs can be used for your deployment strategy. You can also use Jenkins for deployment.
Azure DevOps Certification
Microsoft’s Azure DevOps is an enormously helpful tool that major organizations like Google, Amazon, NASA, Target, Netflix, Etsy, and others utilize to become and remain productive every day. It helps foster a collaborative environment that creates positive change in a business.
Getting Azure DevOps certified could increase your chances of career success by learning how the most successful companies in the world remain efficient. Since many businesses use DevOps, learning the process will teach you how to work on a team in a fast-moving, exciting environment that is constantly changing and adapting to the always-evolving business and IT world.
An Azure DevOps Certification, like the ones found here at CloudInstitute.io, could also help you gain the right skills in Azure DevOps or other areas.