Now Providing DevOps Tests for all Major Cloud Providers

Now Providing DevOps Tests for all Major Cloud Providers
IT Infrastructure Blended with November Vibes as Envisioned by DALL-E

As 2023 is coming to an end, we are excited to share that the team at Brokee has achieved an important milestone – Providing skill assessments for all major Cloud providers - Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). We also improved our method of notifying customers about the tests submitted by their candidates. 

Keep reading for a deeper dive into our new Azure assessments and other latest updates. Plus, jump to the bottom to read about what we have in store for next month (hint: free tests)!

Azure Skills Assessments

In November, we released two new tests for companies running their IT infrastructure on Azure cloud. These tests are to qualify Junior, Mid, and Senior-Level Cloud Engineers.

Considering how actively Azure is promoting their service and that they are offering free credits for startups, we expect many companies to take advantage of Azure’s cloud platform.

Introducing: Azure Tests

When creating cloud assessments – like our newest Azure tests –  we have to keep the following in mind:

  • Ensuring each candidate has an isolated unit for their test, so no one can mess with the environment;
  • Automating the creation and deletion of testing environments;
  • Providing candidates the ability to easily log in to their test.

When it comes to setting up infrastructure to allow for automated creation and deletion of testing environments, it is never a simple task. In terms of the ease of cloud resource management, we learned that Azure falls somewhere between GCP and AWS.

I’ll explain what this means – On AWS, we have a granular set of permissions for each test, specifying in detail what candidates can and cannot do within the testing environment. 

Similarly, for GCP, we provide a separate project for every test, with broad permission inside the project, but with a set of guardrails to ensure candidates will stay within the bounds of the environment.

However, Azure has an unusual structure for managing access to cloud resources. They have completely separate User Management and Resource Management (servers, networks, etc.).

For resource management, Azure has ‘Resource Groups’, which allow you to create and delete a set of resources in one go. To create our Azure skills assessments, we used ‘Resource Groups’ to automate resource management and to create isolated units for each test.

Candidate Login Process

Another challenge we faced when creating the Azure tests, was simplifying the login process for candidates. For other tests like our CGP Assessments, candidates could just log in to the testing environment with their Brokee credentials. 

Although Azure has many different options for authentication to the Azure portal, unfortunately for us, most of them are geared toward collaboration with other businesses or for typical end-user applications. In our case, we needed an integration with our user database, and this wasn’t within our means. 

So, to overcome this obstacle, we settled on a simple approach of creating a temporary user for each test. We made it easy for candidates by pre-populating the username, so the candidate only has to provide an automatically generated password from the test description to access the test.

We Simplified Candidate Login for Accessing the Azure Testing Environment

Improved Test Submission Notifications

At the beginning of Brokee's development, our product was geared toward engineers. Most engineers communicate via Slack, so that is exactly where we sent test submission notifications. 

As we’ve grown, we realize that not everyone uses Slack, and configuring private Slack channels with test notifications is not the most scalable option. So, we decided it was due time to move to email notifications.

In November, we configured email notifications as a default notification method to inform clients when their candidates submit tests. Now when candidates finish a test, our clients will receive an email notification looking similar to the one below:

While we still may provide Slack notifications as an option, rather than creating private channels, we'll allow companies to provide a Webhook to send notifications to. We believe this automated approach will be a win-win for our clients and our team.

Other Updates at Brokee

This month, we worked on updating our backend services, improving our monitoring setup to resolve issues quicker, and most importantly - integrating payment infrastructure.

Brokee was given Congressional and State recognition this month for our economic impact in Nevada. We're happy to say that ever since we moved some operations to Reno, we've had an absolutely welcoming reception.

Finally, we've published new articles on the blog, that we believe will be insightful and interesting to any professionals or teams that hire DevOps (or plan to hire DevOps in 2024):

Coming Up in 2024

Want to reduce DevOps hiring costs? In 2024, will release a free trial plan allowing users to sign up with just their business email (no credit cards required!).

This way, you can enjoy Brokee without having to talk to a single human (or pay a dime!). What could be better, right? ;) Stay tuned for the details next month, and have a great holiday season!