About This Course

Get an introduction to System Design and what to expect from this course.

The System Design Interview

Two decades ago, System Design—the discipline of designing distributed systems—was a very niche topic. Systems engineers and academics were experimenting, making mistakes, and learning. Their experiences and collaborations laid the groundwork for what is now the formalized discipline of System Design.

Today, we live in a world where nearly every application interacts with a distributed system. As such, almost every technical role in the software industry will also be exposed to these complex systems—and many of these roles need to understand how these systems work. The System Design Interview is how hiring teams assess a candidate’s System Design skills.

The System Design Interview is inherently different from other technical interviews. For one, it’s highly discussion-based. There’s also no single right answer to a System Design problem. This opens up the System Design Interview to technical ambiguity and human error. Therefore, how you navigate the interview from a behavioral standpoint is just as important as your technical knowledge—and sometimes, it’s more important.

Why you need this course

It’s not enough to just drill practice problems for a System Design Interview. After all, a candidate can present a decent design solution in their System Design Interview and still not be selected for hire.

I’ve seen experienced candidates lose job opportunities to various performance downfalls, including:

  • An inability to demonstrate the depth and nuance of their knowledge.

  • Not responding well to feedback.

  • Failing to address a flaw in their design.

  • Making assumptions instead of taking action to ensure they weren’t missing unknowns.

  • Not communicating their thought process effectively.

It’s possible you’re good at System Design, but struggle with interviewing. While there’s a lot out of our control in today’s competitive job market, the one thing we can control is how you perform in your interview. In this course, I'll share the best practices to help you avoid common mistakes and stand out from the competition.

Meet your instructor: Fahim ul Haq

My name is Fahim ul Haq. I know System Design better than most. I was fortunate enough to be among the first generation of engineers to get hands-on with System Design.

I learned System Design in my free time and on the job. In 2008, I was a part of Project Red Dog, the pre-launch team for Microsoft Azure. Since then, I’ve designed many large-scale distributed systems at Microsoft and Facebook and conducted hundreds of System Design Interviews.

In this course, I’ll share best practices and tools I’ve developed from my 15+ years of experience designing distributed systems and conducting System Design Interviews.

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for anyone who is preparing for a System Design Interview.

Because the people in these roles will likely have to demonstrate System Design knowledge in a System Design Interview, this course will benefit current or aspiring:

  • Software developers

  • Principal engineers

  • Engineering leaders

  • Solutions architects

  • Support engineers

  • Technical product managers

  • Project managers