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Talend Interview
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25 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Published December 22nd, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 25
Tell me a few of the data migration best practices that you follow on a regular basis.
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How to Answer
A data migration strategy should always be planned out before a project start. Successful migrations are based on accuracy and organization. Some best practices include:

- Performing a complete audit of the data, you will be migrating
- Immediately resolving the issues, you find in your data
- Putting controls in place to maintain the quality of your information
- Using tools to track and report on data quality/data integrity properly

Share with the interviewer that you understand how data should best be handled and maintained.
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Top 25 Talend SA Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
Tell me a few of the data migration best practices that you follow on a regular basis.
A data migration strategy should always be planned out before a project start. Successful migrations are based on accuracy and organization. Some best practices include:

- Performing a complete audit of the data, you will be migrating
- Immediately resolving the issues, you find in your data
- Putting controls in place to maintain the quality of your information
- Using tools to track and report on data quality/data integrity properly

Share with the interviewer that you understand how data should best be handled and maintained.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have received a significant amount of training in data migration best practices. Before beginning any data migration, I ensure that a complete and comprehensive analysis has been performed, ensuring there are no unexpected issues. Other best practices include cleaning up any issue immediately, and also having the right tools for maintaining and tracking data quality."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"My current company has firm policies in place, which I follow to the letter when it comes to data migration best practices. I will always perform a complete data audit before the migration project begins. Also, I ensure that the correct tools are in place for real-time and future reporting. These are just a couple of the best practices that I follow on a regular basis."
2.
How do you prioritize multiple projects when they all seem equally important?
When working for Talend, you will need to take on multiple projects or clients at a time. They are a busy organization and need to know that you can keep up with their pace. Prioritizing is a skill that requires practice. There are many approaches you can take.

Here are some suggestions:

1) Make a list. By thinking through and writing down each item that needs completion, you can better visualize your approach.
2) Mark what is urgent or essential. Take into account deadlines and meetings. If a project management tool is available to you, like Trello or Asana, utilize its features to keep yourself organized.
3) Order each task based on effort and estimated value.
4) Consider due dates and how long it will take to do each item.

When answering this question, show the interviewer that you have a system in place that helps you to think through what needs to happen, and when. The better you can prioritize, the more productive you will be, making you an asset to Talend!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I aim to be as effective and efficient as possible and make sure I can use all minutes of a day for a project. I have a few things going at once most of the time. I am the lead on some, the delegator on others, and the reviewer on another, for instance. This way, by splitting up the work to the appropriate parties, both my team and I can be the most efficient with our time."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I love to keep running lists of everything that I need to do, big or small. Mostly because I love crossing things off of the to-do list, but also because it helps me keep track of everything. Lately, I've started utilizing a free project management software that I use to make those lists, categorize the tasks, and mark them by the level of urgency. I take care of the most time-sensitive issues first and then move along to the equally important, but perhaps less time-sensitive to-dos. I also estimate how long each task will take, so if I have a few minutes in between projects, I can tackle the quick to dos and use that time effectively, rather than use it to figure out 'what's next.'"
3.
What are the open-source cloud databases? Are these the best ones to use for our clients?
The interviewer is looking for your knowledge around cloud databases and your ability to understand and discuss the debates around how database model and service should be structured. There is never one right view in these debates so make sure you present more than one.

The goal here isn't to memorize all the databases in the market and compare. Focus on topics around the database that would be most relevant to Talend's clients. Research the latest trends in the cloud database and throw one or two in your answer to demonstrate that you are up to date on this important topic.

Rachelle's Answer
"Most of the top cloud providers offer databases leveraging both structured and unstructured data. But the open-sourced ones in the market are MongoDB, CouchDB, and Lucid DB, the relational, NoSQL databases that are cloud-friendly. But the truth is more and more developers are turning to native cloud databases such as Amazon DynamoDB, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud because they're offering easy software procurement/access similar to that of the open-source vendors without the headache of the assembly. These cloud databases have superior analytics that open-source databases such as MongoDB cannot achieve due to the level of data types and volume cloud providers have access to. This convenience makes the native cloud databases more appealing to many. With the rise of IoT and edge computing, a distributed database might be something to pay attention to as well."
4.
Explain to me the concept of hyper-converged infrastructure.
Hyper-converged infrastructure refers to the streamlining of data center resources, preparing information for the cloud, allowing businesses to more easily scale. The interviewer would like to see that you understand this concept. Give a brief overview of your HCI knowledge. If you are unsure, there are many resources online where you can gain a better understanding.

Some of the benefits of HCI are:

- Flexible structure, allowing companies to scale much easier
- Lower costs, due to being more efficient, amounting to less IT overhead
- Automation, simplification, and better support
- Increased data production

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Hyperconverged infrastructure, or HCI, differs greatly from traditional three-tier architecture. It allows a data center to move away from the conventional storage, server, networking silo to a more all-in-one option. The benefits include better automation, simplification, and a more flexible structure."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Hyper-converged infrastructure is best explained as a method of streamlining a traditional data center setup. When a data center moves to HCI, as opposed to a traditional three-tier structure, they can ensure the integrity of data while maintaining high performance. Essentially, it's servers and storage compacted into one."
5.
What are the benefits of leasing a private data center vs. building one from scratch?
There are many benefits to either leasing a data center as opposed to building one and vice versa. The interviewer would like to see that you understand the expenditure and risk that comes with either option.

When it comes to leasing a private data center the benefits include:

- Fewer upfront costs
- More predictable expenditure
- Ability to scale more easily
- Option to contract the experts as opposed to hiring them full time

If a company built their own data center the benefits could be:

- Ownership and complete control of all operations
- More control over your location
- Ability to lease out extra space to other businesses

Discuss with the interviewer the benefits of each, without swaying too far when it comes to your opinion.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I believe there are benefits to each, and the choice would depend greatly on budget and how much control a company would like to have. If leasing, you can reduce expenditure significantly. If building one from scratch, you would have full control. In my opinion, there are pros and cons to each side."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have worked for data centers that lease their space, and data centers who own their space. From the leasing side, it is more challenging to scale; however, the costs are much lower. From the ownership side, there are more headaches when it comes to IT staffing; however, there is more control over space, location, and operations."
6.
Have you migrated data to SAP or any other well-known enterprise software?
The interviewer would like to have a better idea of the projects that you have been involved in throughout your career. Go back no longer than ten years, to keep your response relevant. The way that you respond will determine for the interviewer the size of projects that you have handled. If Talend is looking for a candidate with robust experience in SAP or enterprise software migrations, you should very clearly display your expertise in this area.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am a subject matter expert in enterprise software data migrations. As an SME, I have worked with, and am comfortable, in a variety of applications including SAP, Salesforce, and Oracle. Each come with their unique challenges, and I look forward to lending my expertise to these complex projects."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In this past year, I have migrated data for one client, from a smaller software program, into Salesforce. The migration went smoothly, and I look forward to working on projects that include SAP, Oracle, and more."
7.
In your opinion, what does the future bring for data centers?
Some people speculate that the future of data centers is grim, while others expect the purpose of a data center to take a shift, and become even more significant. The interviewer would like to know your thoughts on data centers, and what you believe the future holds. Your response should be positive in nature and well researched.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"We depend on the internet a great deal to run our businesses. In my opinion, data centers are underestimated and undervalued when it comes to storing and distributing data. Data centers are not going anywhere, but I do see a trend to build green and eco-friendly operations. I read an article recently on how some data centers are working on lowering their energy consumption."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I read recently how data centers are shifting to better meet the needs of the finance and telecommunication industries, through the use of edge computing and microdata centers. I would like to research this further, but it sounds like a very good shift for the future of data centers."
8.
What are the platforms used for cloud computing? How do they compare?
The interviewer would like to test your basic knowledge around top cloud platforms and their capabilities. Many employees of Talend would likely hold certification from at least one of the platforms. First start with a quick overview of the top platforms and focus a little more on the advantage of a platform you believe clients of Talend might prefer.

It might help set you apart if you research some latest trends in the industry and see if there are any up-and-comers that may be of interest to Talend. Depending on the role, you may also want to be more specific about the development models/environment each platform supports.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The biggest market share goes to AWS (Amazon Web Services), which is the most powerful and flexible solution since it first introduced the concept of Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS) in 2004. It offers two main categories of service umbrellas - EC2, the virtual machine service, and S3, the storage system. EC2 comes with most of the attributes of an actual computer including hardware such as CPUs & GPUs, hard-disk/SSD for storage & memory RAM with many pre-loaded apps like web-servers. Then there are Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft's Azure and IBM's Bluemix. With AWS and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), you also can do cloud computing for certain mobile and web apps. Azure enables deployment of Windows apps with remote app service which is a fairly unique advantage. I believe that Google has been winning at the analytics with services like MapReduce and Genomics but AWS is catching up with QuickInsight that's very good at synthesizing big data and articulating the meanings in simple terms to businesses. IBM Bluemix supports a wider range of the languages preferred by the developers."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"There's Rackspace which partners up with some of these main players but offers a more personalized customer service to clients. They provide hands-on, long-term guidance for firms who want to implement a long-term migration strategy from on-prem to cloud. Similar to IBM, Rackspace also offers more customized 'hosted' or 'on-prem cloud' solutions for customers who are concerned about data security risks associated with virtual, public cloud environment."
9.
What are the responsibilities of a data migration sponsor?
Data migration sponsors are known to underestimate the depth of a data migration project often. The interviewer would like to see that you understand the responsibilities that a sponsor should have, giving you the ability to prepare and train if needed.

To help a data migration project move smoothly, a sponsor should:

- Assess the data, to see which approach is best
- Have an accurate idea of scheduling, costs, and risks
- Possess a full understanding of the contract, and their obligations
- Have a project management group involved through the process
- Make a communication plan for all stakeholders to follow

Rachelle's Answer #1
"A data migration sponsor should be responsible for their full understanding of the project, as well as ensuring that clear communication is kept for the sake of all stakeholders. I also believe it's important that the sponsor assess the data initially, allowing them to have an accurate assessment of scheduling, costs, and potential risks related to the migration."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"A data migration sponsor has many responsibilities, most of which include laying the proper groundwork before the project begins, and also making a communication plan for everyone to follow. From my experience, the most seamless migrations also occur when the sponsor has a project management group involved in the process, from top to bottom."
10.
According to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), how many tiers of data centers are there?
Not all data centers are created equal. The interviewer would like to see that you have a solid understanding of data centers and the differences between them.

- Tier 1 which is usually for small business, guaranteeing 99.671% availability.
- Tier 2 is best for medium-sized business, with 99.749% availability.
- Tier 3 offers 99.982% availability, making it an excellent option for large companies. These data centers can also sustain up to 72 hours of power outage.
- Tier 4 has sustainability up to 96 hours of a power outage, offers 99.995% availability, making it the best choice for enterprise businesses.

Explain to the interviewer how many data center tiers there are, and how they differ. Depending on the position for which you are interviewing, you may want to dig deeper into the technical differences between each.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"As a data center engineer, I understand there to be four tiers of data centers, all with a range of capacity and capabilities. The bulk of my experience is with Tier 4 data centers where there is 99.995% availability, two independent utility paths, and significant power outage sustainability."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"There are four tiers of data centers, all offering different levels of service depending on the size and needs of a company. A tier one center would be best for small business, while tier four is best for multi-million dollar companies."
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