SonarQube is a tool for analysis of static code that is now pretty much an industry standard. As a developer, it is important that you maintain the quality of your code, and SonarQube helps ensure code quality. This blog provides the top SonarQube Interview Questions.

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Scope and Benefits of SonarQube

SonarQube is an open-source platform that has been developed by SonarSource for constant inspection of code quality. Sonar performs static code analysis, which offers a detailed report of code smells, bugs, code duplications, vulnerabilities, and so on. This tool supports 25+ main programming languages through built-in rulesets and can also be utilized with multiple plugins.

Developers work with tough deadlines to deliver the functionality required to the customers. With these tough deadlines, there is a scope for compromise of the code quality, code duplications, potential bugs, and bad distribution of complexity. Also, unused variables, methods, and so on may be left. To achieve continuous code deployment and integration, developers require a tool that ensures code quality, and this is where SonarQube comes into the picture.

Top SonarQube Interview Questions for 2022

It is important that candidates are well prepared with the SonarQube interview questions to be able to ace their interview. Following are the most commonly asked questions with respect to SonarQube:

1. Explain what SonarQube is.

SonarQube, developed by SonarSource is an open-source framework for constant review of code quality to perform automated reviews of 20 + programming languages with static code analysis to identify bugs, security vulnerabilities, and code bad smells. 

2. Why do you think that we should use SonarQube?

SonarQube improves productivity by enabling development teams to identify and muzzle redundancy and duplication of code. SonarQube makes it easier for team members to decrease application size, code complexity, time and cost of maintenance, and make code easier to read and understand.

3. Explain why does SonarQube need a database

SonarQube needs to communicate with the database to save the results of the analysis. The SonarQube Runner needs to interact with both the web server and the database and is suggested as the default launcher to analyze a project with SonarQube. This means all the passwords should be stored in the database.

4. Explain the advantages of using SonarQube.

Following are the advantages of SonarQube:

  • SonarQube is open source
  • SonarQube supports various languages such as C# and Java.
  • SonarQube reports duplicate code, code coverage, unit testing, code complexity historical, and so on.
  • We can integrate SonarQube with build tools, such as Gradle and ant.
  • SonarQube has an Eclipse plugin such as Sonarlint.
  • SonarQube supports external plugins such as plugin for ldap.

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5. How can you create reports in SonarQube?

Use the following command to create reports in SonarQube:

mvn clean install

mvn sonar:sonar -Dsonar.issuesreport.html.enable=true

6. Why do you think that we should use SonarQube over other Code Quality Tools?

There are various reasons to use SonarQube and not other code quality solutions. This includes but is not restricted to:

  • No need for an IDE – any language supported.
  • Supports dynamic languages such as Python, JavaScript, and Ruby.

7. Explain the difference between SonarLint and SonarQube?

SonarQube:

  • SonarQube is the main server that performs complete analysis (activated by the different SonarQube scanners).
  • The analysis is to provide your code base a 360 ° view of the quality. To this end, it periodically analyzes each source line of your project.

SonarLint:

  • SonarLint is available only in the IDE (IntelliJ, Visual Studio and Eclipse).
  • Its objective is to offer immediate feedback as you enter your code.
  • It concentrates on what code you specify or modify for this function.
  • SonarLint is an agent that enables us to connect with SonarQube and executes the analysis remotely.

Both SonarQube and SonarLint are dependent on the same analyzers for static source code, most of which is written using SonarSource technology.

8. Is SonarQube Replacement for Checkstyle, PMD, FindBugs?

By default, for Java projects, Sonar executes FindBugs, CheckStyle, and PMD, as well as a few other "plugins", such as Cobertura. The main advantage is that it stores the history in a database. Sonar uses these three tools as plugins and the data from all three of these tools is applied with a value that displays graphs.

9. What is the difference between Sonar Runner and Sonar Scanner?

“Runner” is the old name for "Scanner". All you need to know about the different SonarQube Scanners is present in the Scanners section of the official documentation. You can use the following option, if you are stuck on Java 7:

  • SonarQube Runner (sonar-runner) up to version 5.5 of SonarQube.
  • SonarQube Scanner (sonar-scanner) 2.6.1.

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10. Explain SonarQube quality profile

Quality Profiles are the primary component of SonarQube, as they are where the set of rules that, when violated, raise issues on the codebase (example: methods should not have a Cognitive Complexity higher than 15). Quality Profiles are described for each language. Ideally, all projects are measured with the same profile for any given language, but that is not always practical. For example, you may find that the technological implementation varies from one application to another (for example, different coding rules may be applicable when building threaded or non-threaded Java applications). You should ensure stronger requirements on some of the applications (for example internal frameworks).

11. Explain, what are the prerequisite for SonarQube Installation

Following are the prerequisites for SonarQube Installation

  • DOTNET
  • Php
  • Java
  • JavaScript

12. Which of the following statements is correct?

  • Sonar executes FindIssue by default for Java projects.
  • Sonar executes CheckStyle, FindBugs, and PMD by default for Java projects.
  • Sonar executes Checkmate by default for Java projects.
  • Sonar executes PMDtest by default for Java projects.

Correct Answer: The correct statement is Sonar executes CheckStyle, FindBugs and PMD by default for Java projects.

13. Explain the term RULES with respect to SonarQube?

SonarQube runs rules on source code to create issues. There are four types of rules:

  • For Bugs and code smells, zero false-positives are anticipated. This is the target so that developers do not have to wonder if a fix is required.
  • For Vulnerabilities, the aim is to have more than 80% of issues be true-positives.
  • Security Hotspot rules focus on attention to code that is security-sensitive. It is predicted that more than 80% of the issues will be easily resolved as “Reviewed” after review by a developer.

14. How do I get started with SonarQube?

One can use SonarQube from their local machine. All you need to do is install Java JDK 8u40 or later, Apache Maven 3.0.4 or later, and Maven 3.0 or later.

15. Can you execute SonarQube on your own server?

Yes, one can host SonarQube on their own server. However, it is suggested to use a hosted version of SonarQube.

16. How would you know if the SonarQube instance is running correctly?

If the SonarQube instance executes correctly, then one should have absolutely no problems at all. However, if one has issues with the instance, it is recommended that you check the following: 

  • Can you login to the SonarQube web interface?
  • If not, then what error message is being displayed?
  • Is the database accessible from other machines? (Check that you can access it via MySQL Workbench)
  • Can you establish a link to your SonarQubes using the SonarQube CLI client?

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17. List the components in SonarQube architecture

The components of the SonarQube architecture are:

  • Sonar Analyzer
  • SonarQube Database
  • Source Code
  • Sonar Scanner

18. What are sonarqube quality gates?

Quality Gates are the perfect way to guarantee standards are met and governed across all the organization's projects. Quality Gates are a group of threshold measures set on your project such as Technical Debt Measure, Code Coverage, Number of Blocker / Critical Issues, Security Rating / Unit Test Pass Rate and so on. Quality Gates are described and managed in the Quality Gates page found in the top menu.

19. Explain the use of the SonarQube database.

SonarQube is a tool that checks the quality of code. Thus, the database of SonarQube could be any relational database such as MySQL, Oracle and so on. This database is used to store the results of the analysis that can be viewed with the tool's User Interface.

20. How is the architecture of the SonarQube?

The main engine of the SonarQube platform is known as Squid. This engine is supported by extra code analyzers that SonarQube organizes together to measure the quality of the code. SonarQube architecture, comprises mainly four components:

  • Source Code
  • Sonar Scanner
  • Sonar Analyzer
  • SonarQube Database

21. Explain how I can delete a project from SonarQube?

Following are the steps to delete a project from SonarQube:

  1. Login to the system as an administrator.
  2. Select to Administration -> Projects -> Projects Management.
  3. Select the Project(s) you would like to Delete.
  4. Select the Delete option available at the top right corner.

22. Another one of the popular SonarQube interview questions is “What languages does SonarQube support?”

SonarQube includes support for the programming languages such as Java (including Android), C/C++, C#, TypeScript, JavaScript, Go, Swift, Python, COBOL, Apex, PHP, Ruby, Kotlin, HTML, CSS, ABAP, Scala, Objective-C, PL/I, PL/SQL, Flex, RPG, T-SQL, VB.NET, VB6, and XML. 

23. Explain if SonarQube is a replacement for Checkstyle, PMD, and FindBugs ?

Sonar executes CheckStyle, FindBugs, and PMD, as well as a few other "plugins", such as Cobertura on default for Java projects. The main advantage is that it stores the history in a database. Sonar uses these three tools as plugins and collates the data from all three by giving additional value by displaying graphs and such from these tools. Thus, they are complementary to sonar.

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24. Explain the steps to trigger a full ElasticSearch reindex in SonarQube?

Following are the steps to force a reindex:

  1. Stop the server
  2. Delete the contents of the $SQ_HOME/data/es7 directory
  3. Start the server

However, ensure that you are aware of the processes in place on the SonarQube and also that a full re-index can be quite lengthy depending on the size of your instance?

25. When a resolved issue does not get corrected, what is the status it gets into automatically?

When a resolved issue does not get corrected, the status automatically gets set to “reopened”.

26. Explain what security covers for SonarQube

Security in SonarQube manages the access rights to components, pieces of information and enables customization for users.

27. Explain what does the header section comprise in SonarQube:

The header section comprises lines, issues, coverage and duplications.

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28. Which property should be declared for SonarQube Project base dir?

The property to be declared for SonarQube Project base dir is sonar.projectBaseDir.

29. Which property should be declared to tell SonarQube which SCM plugin should be used to grab SCM data on the project.

The property to be declared to tell SonarQube which SCM plugin should be used to grab SCM data on the project is sonar.scm.provider.

30. Explain the term code smell with respect to SonarQube

Code smell is a maintainability-related issue in the code. Leaving it as-is means that at best maintainers are bound to have a tougher time than they should while making changes to the code. At worst, they can get so confused by the state of the code that they may end up introducing additional errors as they make modifications.

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Conclusion

This blog has provided you with the most commonly asked SonarQube Interview Questions. Make sure you go through all the questions and answers provided in this article. 

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