Oddly Specific Tech Interview Advice: Leave Kubernetes off your CV

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I see that on your last project, you listed Kubernetes as a skill. Can you walk me through the architecture and how Kubernetes plays a part?

Passable Answers:

  • <Insert very complex legacy and new architecture involving a lot of sidecars>
  • <Insert multi-cloud architecture>
  • <Insert services architecture but in a heavily regulated domain>
  • <Insert any of the bajillion reasons why you might want to use Kubernetes>
  • “mumble mumble… microservices… orchestration.”
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Okay, that makes sense, but why Kubernetes? Isn’t there a lot of overhead in managing your K8s environment?

Passable Answers:

  • Yes, but… <Insert [politics*|costs (sunk or otherwise)|culture of self-managed vs. managed services|really any reason]> (I’m not a grinch. I know that sometimes things are just decided. This is less of an excuse if you write: “designed architecture” also as a point.)
  • Sorry, actually…<Insert [managed K8s service|we’re actually K8s experts | vendor lock-in and TCO>
  • “err… I actually don’t know anything about K8s… I just wrote some services, brah.”
  • “errr…uhmm… multiple-cloud maybe?”

Ahh. You needed to orchestrate across multiple cloud vendors. Which cloud vendors did you use?

Acceptable Answers:

  • <Insert multi-cloud architecture and justification again>
  • “Errr…we used [Azure|AWS|Google|some off-brand collocation facility I’ve never heard of who wants to get into the Cloud game]… *silence*….”

So, you listed Kubernetes, but you’ve never set up or managed it. Why did you list it on your CV?

Acceptable Answer:

  • “mumble mumble… recruiter’s filters…” *(I’m not a grinch. This is less than ideal, but I can empathize.)
  • “mumble mumble… orchestration…”
  • *silence*
  • “Well, I don’t think I want to work for you anyways…”

Take Away

Unless you have a passable-to-good reason for Kubernetes (hint: generalize this to ANY technology), don’t list it; because if you do, I’m going to ask.

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Daniel Kim

Daniel Kim

CTO for FLOWFACT — Customer Journey Automation for Real Estate professionals who want to be awesome.