What to Expect

Understand the breakdown of the different sections of this course.


This course will give you actionable tips and best practices for performing well in System Design Interviews.

After this course, you will know how to:

  • Demonstrate your knowledge to the interviewers.

  • Communicate to show you’re a great addition to a team.

  • Perform according to the expectations of the role you’re applying for.

  • Manage your time, and complete a design under a time crunch.

  • Tackle a problem you’ve never seen before.

  • Simulate real-world design processes in under 45 minutes.

Together with a strong fluency in distributed systems and System Design fundamentals, this course will prepare you for success in your System Design Interviews.

A note on technical scope

This course is unique because it focuses almost exclusively on the soft skills (or people skills) you need in order to perform well in the System Design Interview. While we will provide a high-level overview of distributed systems and System Design, we won’t explain these topics in-depth, as that level of detail is outside the scope of this course’s core learning objectives.

This course will be most beneficial for those who have a basic understanding of the following:

  • Distributed systems—The principal techniques used to develop highly functional, scalable, and available systems hosted on separate, networked devices.

  • Programming fundamentals—An algorithmic approach toward problem-solving and the basic concepts concerning computer programming languages.

  • Modern web architecture—The fundamentals for designing and developing a web application by introducing different web components and architectural styles.

This course is an excellent precursor or supplementary resource to other System Design or System Design Interview courses.

That said, everyone is different. If at any point you feel a gap in technical knowledge is making it difficult to absorb this course’s material, consider pausing to learn some fundamentals of distributed systems and System Design and revisiting this course material afterward.

Note: To master System Design fundamentals and get practice designing 13 real-world problems, check out our comprehensive course, Grokking the Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers.

Course structure

This course consists of four chapters. These chapters can be segmented into different sections, as shown below:

  • System Design 101—This chapter is a brief introduction to System Design and System Design Interviews, with a lesson focusing on each. It offers a succinct primer to the System Design process and will acquaint you with some of the most interesting and challenging aspects of the System Design Interview.

  • Sending Hireable Signals—This chapter consists of four lessons outlining the best practices that will help you demonstrate crucial soft skills to your interviewers. You’ll find a brief section summarizing key takeaways at the end of each lesson. The advice in this chapter comes from my years of experience conducting hundreds of System Design Interviews.

  • Getting to the Finish Line—This chapter addresses some technical tools that will help you complete your design within the short interview window. You will learn how to start a solution by referencing the common 8 elements of a system, and how to complete your design process with the 8-step RESHADED method. I will then share tips to help you if you encounter a problem you’ve never seen before in your interview.

  • Mastering the System Design Interview—This chapter discusses how this course’s takeaways can help you master the System Design interview, along with a working understanding of the fundamentals of System Design. For those with knowledge gaps, I’ll recommend the best strategy for learning the fundamentals and getting hands-on experience with System Design.