System design is the process of defining the architecture, product design, modules, interfaces, and data for a system to satisfy specified requirements.
Are you a beginner or someone who already has some idea about system design and wants to get strong to show the hiring manager and potential team that you are a valuable asset and display your skills and expertise in a concrete way?
Here we see the preparation planning, system design questions, a few mock interviews, and some of the most commonly asked questions. Plus, some of the best books that are available on the market, etc.
What is a System Design?
System design is the process of defining the architecture, product design, modules, interfaces, and data for a system to satisfy the specified requirements.
Most of the top tech companies want to build scalable, reliable, cost-optimal, and performant systems and System Design is a very key aspect of it. For example, At amazon, they build distributed systems and platforms that are used by millions of users.
One of the most common questions developers ask is, “How should I approach the system design interview?” There are plenty of free tutorials and data available on the internet to read on, but one of the most effective ways to learn or master a skill is by doing the groundwork or the general term is Learn Basics. There are many directions and tons of concepts available online for you to master system design skills.
The system design interview is considered the most complex and most difficult technical job interview by many software aspirants and software professionals and surprisingly, people who already built such systems aren’t comfortable with these interviews.
System design questions have become a standard part of the software engineering interview process. Unfortunately, most engineers struggle with SDI, partly because of their lack of experience in large-scale systems and because of the unstructured nature of SDIs.
Let us talk about the following topics below.
No matter how much busy you are you get at least a couple of hours a day. Make the most of this by learning basics and practicing mock assessments and prep material. And if you have the whole day, ah you’re blessed as most of the candidates get little time for the preparation and they fail the interviews with lack of expertise.
How to Ace a ~45min System Design Interview?
In your interview, they will ask you to design a system and the three important key things you should know about.
First, don’t jump into solving the problem. Try to understand what the question is. Ask more questions, ask questions about the scale, about performance, about whether it needs an API. Try to make this a conversation between you and your interviewer, so you would want to solve it as you would do with the team. And tell the interviewer that this is your idea, and this is what you have been thinking of and these are the APIs, etc.
Enough said talking! Let us walk through the prepartion plans and schedules to master one of the most intimidating topics to experienced engineers working at the top tech companies.
- How to prepare for system design interviews.
- When companies ask design questions, they want to evaluate your design skills.
- Some of the most commonly asked system design questions.
- Mock Interviews.
1. How to prepare for System Design interviews?
System design interviews are tough to crack if you aren't well prepared. First things first, what is required to master a skill? Fundamentals? Yes, we need to learn the fundamentals first in order to ace any skill. Following are minimal fundamentals you need to learn before working on system design problems.
- Availability, Reliability Scalability, and Maintainability
- Relational Database, NoSQL Database, and Graph Database – (Indexing, Key-Value Stores on these databases).
- Client-Server model, Network Protocols, Storage, Proxies Latency, and Throughput.
- Load Balancing, Caching, Hashing, Replication, and Sharding.
- Configuration, Security and HTTPS, Loggin and Monitoring.
- API Design (Very Important).
- Grokking the System Design Interview [Educative]
- Grokking the Advanced System Design Interview [Educative]
- Machine Learning System Design [Educative]
- System Design Interview: DoorDash [Educative]
- Grokking the Machine Learning Interview [Educative]
- High Scalability [High Scalability]
- SystemExpert [AlgoExpert]
- System Design Interview Course [Try Exponent]
- System Design [Coding Ninjas]
- System Design Course [ Coursera]
- System Design [Interview bit]
2. When companies ask design questions, they want to evaluate your design skills.
Most companies ask a design question to evaluate your design skills and to test the knowledge you have in designing a system. They don’t want you to come up with a complex, massive design. The interviewer wants to understand your approach to solving a design problem.
When you were given with a design question, there is over one way to approach or solve a question.
- Breakdown the Design problem: At first, most of the questions are short and one can get easily confused about the steps to solve them. Break the problem into smaller components and you will easily get an understanding of how to solve each smaller component.
- Make a Conversation: Try to make this a conversation between you and your interviewer, so you would want to solve it as you would do with the team. And tell the interviewer that this is your idea, and this is what you have been thinking of and these are the APIs, etc.
- High-Level Design Architecture: You need to draw a high-level design for the problem. For example, your sketch should have a client, load balancer, web server, and then APIs and then connected to databases or cache systems, etc.
- API Design: You have to design APIs for the POST, GET, PUT and DELETE.
- Schema Design: Schema designing is an integral part of the system design, as this might affect the database and the entire application performance.
3. Some of the most commonly asked system design questions
While SDI questions change over time, some have remained popular in interviews across various top countries.
- Design a URL Shortening Service.
- Design API Rate Limiter.
- Design a File Storage System.
- Design a Chat Service.
- Design a Code Deployment System.
- Design Tinder.
- Design the Twitch API.
- Design Google drive.
- Design a Video Streaming Service.
- Design Netflix.
4. Mock Interviews
Mock interviews help you learn how to answer difficult questions, develop interview strategies, improve communication skills, and reduce stress before an actual job interview. The best of doing mock interviews is
- They help candidates reduce their stress and anxiety.
- They help boost confidence.
- They provide constructive feedback.
- They can help prep behavior-based interview questions.
- Help re-create the interview setting.
- Interview with multiple people.
- Record the mock interview and review your recording later.
- Mock System design interview [Coding Ninjas]
- System design mock interviews with peers [igotanoffer]
- Practice system design interviews [Pramp]
Listed are top-rated system design books that will help understand system design concepts in-depth and help you ace system design interviews.
- System Analysis and Design [by Dennis, Wixom and Roth]
- Clean Architecture [by Robert C. Martin]
- Designing Data-Intensive Applications [by Martin Kleppmann]
- System Design Interview [Alex Xu]
- System Analysis and Design [Scott Tiley]
- System Analysis and Design [by Kendall & Kendall]
- System Analysis and Design in a Changing World [by Satzinger, Jackson, and Burd]
- Modern Systems Analysis & Design [by Joseph Valacich and Joey George]