The book is pretty good. It’s easy to read. There are lots of design diagrams. If you are a visual person, you will love the book. It helped me pass the system design round at FANG.
I read the book twice and take notes. I read all the reference materials mentioned in the book. Reading those extra materials help me a lot with topics I’m not familiar with.
+ The book has a good set of questions.
+ Lots of diagrams and clear explanation.
+ You will learn something new by reading the book regardless of your experience.
- I wish the reference links are footnotes instead of being at the end of chapters. That way, it’s more accessible.
- Some topics are not talked about too much like security and stream processing.
- It’s tailored towards junior and semi-senior engineers. Some chapters are not deep enough. For example, I wish the author would talk more about feed ranking and caching in the designing news feed chapter.
Overall, it’s a masterpiece in system design books. However, no book can cover everything in system design. No one knows every system. Here are some of my other recommendations:
-- designing data-intensive applications. Highly recommended.
-- system design primer github repo. Highly recommended free resource.
-- Leetcode discussion forum about system designs.
-- Grokking the system interview course. This is an ok resource but not very deep.
-- Various youtube channels. I like channels like Tushar Roy, System Design Interview, Success in Tech, etc. There are a lot more but I found them most useful for senior engineer positions.
-- Various tech blogs: Facebook, Netflix, Uber, AirBnb, etc. Those tech blogs are extremely valuable to help us understand real-life systems.
-- highscalability website. The website contains lots of real world systems.
-- InfoQ youtube channel. Many tech companies talk about how they scale their systems at infoQ. I find sometimes it’s quite hard to find useful videos on google but when I narrow down it to a specific channel, it’s much easier to find. For example, I found a lot of useful tech talks about uber there. It’s invaluable when I interviewed there.
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