How to prepare system design questions for an IT company
System design is a very broad topic. Even a software engineer with many years of working experience at a top IT company may not be an expert on system design. If you want to become an expert, you need to read many books, articles, and solve real large scale system design problems.
This repository only teaches you how to handle the system design interview with a systematic approach in a short time. You can dive into each topic if you have time. Of course, welcome to add your thoughts!
Clarify the constraints and identify the user cases
Spend a few minutes questioning the interviewer and agreeing on the scope of the system. Remember to make sure you know all the requirements the interviewer didn't tell you about in the beginning.
User cases indicate the main functions of the system, and constraints list the scale of the system such as requests per second, requests types, data written per second, data read per second.
High-level architecture design
Sketch the important components and the connections between them, but don't go into some details. Usually, a scalable system includes webserver (load balancer), service (service partition), database (primary/secondary database cluster plug cache).
For each component, you need to write the specific APIs for each component. You may need to finish the detailed OOD design for a particular function. You may also need to design the database schema for the database.
Here are some articles about system design related topics.
If you are going to have an onsite with a company, you should read their engineering blog.
The following papers/articles/slides can help you to understand the general design idea of different real products and systems.
There are some good references for each question. The references here are slides and articles.
Design a CDN network
Design a Google document system
Design a random ID generation system
Design a key-value database
Design the Facebook news feed function
Design the Facebook timeline function
Design a function to return the top k requests during past time interval
Design an online multiplayer card game
Design a graph search function
Design a picture sharing system
Design a search engine
Design a recommendation system
Design a tinyurl system
Design a garbage collection system
Design a scalable web crawling system
Design the Facebook chat function
Design a trending topic system
Design a cache system
Clarify the scenario, write out user cases
Use case is a description of sequences of events that, taken together, lead to a system doing something useful. Who is going to use it and how they are going to use it. The system may be very simple or very complicated.
Special system requirements such as multi-threading, read or write oriented.
Map identity to class: one scenario for one class, each core object in this scenario for one class.
Consider the relationships among classes: certain class must have unique instance, one object has many other objects (composition), one object is another object (inheritance).
Identify attributes for each class: change noun to variable and action to methods.
Use design patterns such that it can be reused in multiple applications.