My System Design Interview Checklist in 8 Simple Steps

My System Design Interview Checklist in 8 Simple Steps

That dreaded system design interview. I remember the first system design question I was asked. “Design WhatsApp”, he said. I didn’t know where to start! I was a fresher. Data structures and algorithms were the only things I knew. I am sure you can guess how that interview went. Then after enough research, I made myself a checklist of components, of sorts, to navigate me through my next system design interviews. And I sh*t you not, it works!

That dreaded system design interview. I remember the first system design question I was asked. “Design WhatsApp”, he said. I didn’t know where to start! I was a fresher. Data structures and algorithms were the only things I knew. I am sure you can guess how that interview went. Then after enough research, I made myself a checklist of components, of sorts, to navigate me through my next system design interviews. And I sh*t you not, it works!

So I’ll stop with the chit-chat and get right into it!

1. User Interface

First things first, how are the users interacting with your system? Is it via a mobile app or on a laptop or a smart TV? This gives us an indication of what kinds of limitations and hidden requirements we are dealing with. For example, in the case of a mobile user, we might have to handle fluctuating networks, for a smart TV and laptop users kind of a scenario we might have to support different file formats and different resolutions and aspect ratios.

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