6 Questions You’re Asked in an AWS Support Engineer Interview 

Whether you’re applying to an entry-level job as an AWS Support Engineer or are looking to make your current role more senior, you can expect to be asked plenty of technical questions in the interview process. The following list contains some of the most common and popular questions asked of support engineers in the industry today. These examples will give you some practice, so if you have any of your own, feel free to list them in the comments section. 

1) What Is An AWS Availability Zone? 

An availability zone is a discrete, physical location in which we’ve placed cloud Computing. Each of these locations, known as Availability Zones (AZs), has independent power, cooling, and networking equipment. For example, if you have an application running on a single instance an Amazon EC2 instance in one AZ, and there is a hardware or network failure at that location to that specific AZ; then that EC2 instance is still available via a standby Amazon S3 located in another AZ. In fact, it’s likely that your workload is actually across multiple Availability Zones for greater fault tolerance. 

2) The Generic Definition Of A Microservice 

In software engineering, a microservice is a software application that is developed as a separate, independent module. A microservice can be independently developed, deployed, and scaled. It’s fine for them to communicate through well-defined APIs. In theory and often in practice, each microservice does one thing well but such services can still talk to each other or share data stores if necessary. When you break down complex applications into separate services, you can build/release/test/deploy them individually; you also benefit from improved manageability and performance. How cool is that? 

3) Run a Load Test Before Deploying 

Running a load test on your new app, or before you make any changes to it, can help ensure that it will stand up to heavy traffic without crashing. To run a basic load test, create a script that sends hundreds of HTTP requests per second to your site; if you’re using Python, for example, there are many modules that can help automate this process. Run your script for at least 10 minutes the amount of time it would take a real user to complete an action and monitor CPU and memory usage. If these don’t spike dramatically during peak hours, your app should be able to handle more users.  

4) Do A Security Review 

Performing a security review is one of those things that, once you learn how to do it, seems like a no-brainer. But let’s say you’re new to security and have never had to analyze code for vulnerabilities before. How would you go about doing it? Some developers feel uncomfortable auditing code for defects and vulnerabilities because they don’t know where to start or what specifically they should be looking for. And others are fearful of making mistakes or breaking things if their fix introduces a vulnerability, will they be held responsible? 

5) Have Good Communication With The Client And Product Owner 

Another important lesson I learned as a consultant is that good communication with your client and product owner can make or break a project. As soon as you start putting together a proposal, speak to your client directly about what they want. When it comes time to build something, have frequent meetings with them to keep them up-to-date on what you’re working on. Don’t go into the weeds (too much detail) unless they ask for it; keep things simple and brief so they don’t get overwhelmed by information. Make sure you document everything so that if/when you need to refer back to something from a previous meeting or email, it will be easy for you. 

6) Run Your Own Tests Before Production Launch 

Before you launch any new service into production, make sure to run your own tests first. Too many services are launched prematurely, only to break down. Don’t fall victim to that. Instead, test your products or services before letting them loose on your customers and users. Even if it’s just for a few hours, see how your service performs under various circumstances if something goes wrong with a third-party API provider and you have no idea how to fix it (yet), try running through different scenarios where problems might occur. By seeing what happens when things go wrong and what issues arise during peak traffic periods, you’ll be able to identify and solve problems more quickly before they become a big deal. And who knows? 

By Cary Grant

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