6 Puppet Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 15 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Software developers and system designers frequently use a variety of tools to help them manage and integrate their code. Puppet is a software configuration and management tool that enables an organisation to coordinate the different stages of an IT life cycle among its IT professionals. Being familiar with common Puppet interview questions and knowing how to answer them effectively can increase your chances of getting a job as a software developer or system designer in an organisation that uses Puppet. In this article, we examine six of the most common interview questions about Puppet and sample answers to these questions.

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What are Puppet interview questions?

To better understand what Puppet interview questions are, it can be helpful to know what Puppet is and how it works. Puppet is a tool that software developers and designers use to build new software and help maintain existing IT infrastructure. The software doesn't require users to have in-depth programming knowledge and anyone with a basic knowledge of logic flows and computational models can easily use it. Puppet uses a declarative coding structure and writes code in a Domain-Specific-Language.

If you're applying for a job as a Puppet software developer or some other IT role in an organisation that uses Puppet software, it's likely that your interviewer will ask you some Puppet interview-related questions. They may ask to test your knowledge and estimate your ability to use the software effectively. An interviewer may also ask you Puppet interview-related questions even if the organisation you're applying to doesn't use Puppet but is considering using it. They may do so to find out whether you think the software would be suitable for their needs.

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Puppet interview tips

Here are some tips that can help you excel in an interview for a Puppet system administrator or software developer role:

  • Be prepared. Prepare for your interview by learning more about the functions and purposes of the various components and tools within the Puppet software. You can also review common interview questions to prepare responses to them.

  • Research the company. Find out more about the company and see if you can learn about the type of infrastructure they use or possible ways that they may use the Puppet software. This enables you to customise the answers you give to interview questions in a way that best addresses the needs of the company.

  • Practise. Before your interview, work with a friend or mentor to practise answering some common interview questions about Puppet. This can help you reduce your nervousness and appear more composed during the interview.

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6 Puppet interview questions

Being familiar with common Puppet interview questions can enable you to prepare for them in advance. This can give you an advantage during your interview, as you can avoid a situation where a question that you haven't considered before stumps you. Examining some sample answers to common interview questions can also help you develop your answers and present them more convincing to a potential employer. Here are six of the most common interview questions about Puppet, along with sample answers to them:

1. What is Puppet?

This is a general question that interviewers ask to find out more about your familiarity with Puppet. When answering this question, you can be more general and avoid talking about the technical details of the software. This is because interviews often follow up this question with other technical ones.

Example: 'Puppet is an open-source software that enables software developers and system administrators to manage different aspects of IT infrastructure. The software is primarily designed to cater to systems that run on Unix or Windows. It's a great software for people with limited programming knowledge because it uses its own declarative programming language. This means that, unlike traditional coding interfaces, the software describes the structure of a system's resources and the state of these resources using a visual model. This enables administrators to manage a system without having to write coded instructions for the system to perform individual tasks.'

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2. How does Puppet's architecture work?

Interviewers commonly ask this question to gauge how well you understand the software. It's a more general question, although you can bring in some technical details in your response. When approaching this question, start by providing a general description of the software infrastructure before talking about how it works.

Example: 'Puppet primarily functions on a client-server architecture. The Puppet software is typically installed on a single server that acts as a master. Different machines can then be connected to the server and these machines are known as agents. A system administrator can manage the overall processes by configuring the master, which will then provide instructions to each of the agents on the specific tasks for them to perform. After completing each task, the agent can then update the master on the progress of the task. An administrator can conveniently monitor the progress of different tasks via the Puppet interface.'

3. What are modules in Puppet?

This is a technical question about one of the functions of Puppet. Interviewers may ask this to test how well you know the software. When answering this question, be specific and provide a concise explanation of what Puppet modules are.

Example: 'A module is one of the fundamental elements that a Puppet-controlled system needs in order for it to function as intended. Modules are sets of data and manifests that contain tasks, functions, resources and other core components of a Puppet-controlled system. You can program each module to have a unique function or to perform a particular task. A system administrator can modify the configuration of different modules to adjust how the system operates.'

4. What is Facter and how does it work?

Interviewers may ask this question if they want to find out how well you know the different tools that an organisation can use together with Puppet. You can answer this question by explaining the specific functions of Facter and how an organisation can use it together with Puppet. This highlights to a potential employer that you're familiar even with the different softwares that integrate with Puppet.

Example: 'Facter is a tool that system administrators commonly use together with Puppet. Facter enables you to discover and store information about different nodes in a system. It classifies this information into small snippets known as facts. As a system administrator, you can use Facter to view all the available facts about a system, such as its IP addresses and MAC addresses. Due to the independent, standalone nature of these facts, you can use them in your code without having to reference them at any point.'

5. When should an organisation use Puppet?

Potential employers may ask you this question if they're planning to implement Puppet but have not yet done so. This question can help them find out whether you're a suitable candidate for helping them implement the software. You can answer this question by providing a general overview of the different use cases for Puppet. If you're familiar with what the organisation does, you can also talk about how the organisation might use the software.

Example: 'Puppet is one of the best software development and configuration software available. Any organisation that manages multiple servers and scripts that have complex structures can use Puppet to simplify their job scope. This is because the software simplifies the server management process and enables a single system administrator to oversee the operations of multiple servers. It can help save time and resources as it removes the need for administrators to manually monitor and update each individual server's processes.'

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6. What are some ways to configure systems using Puppet?

This is a common interview question that interviewers may ask to test your knowledge about using Puppet. You can answer this question by explaining the different ways to configure systems using the software. In addition, it can also be a good idea for you to include examples of different configuration options in your answer.

Example: 'There are countless ways to configure systems using Puppet, depending on your goal for the system. One of the simple ways that you can use Puppet is to configure a system's Network Time Protocol. Configuring this element of a Puppet system enables you to ensure that the timing is synchronised across all the different agents in the system. Another possible configuration that you can execute might be to manage the firewall rules for your system. At the end of the day, there's a wide range of options for you to configure systems based on your needs.'

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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