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    Quick tip for system design interviews

    Hey,

    The other day Kyle complained about system design interviews on twitter and I shared a few words of advice. You might like them too :)

    Kyle Shevlin avatarKyle Shevlin@kyleshevlin
    I have no problem being like, "Here is my best understanding, and I'd certainly like to grow in this skillset, but here's where I've focused and can tell you the most about," but they always seem to press on the areas I have the least experience in.

    This is the point of system design interviews. To find where your strengths are and aren't. (important for team building)

    Ideally you have a rough high level sketchy understanding of all the pieces and enough humility to say "I don't know"

    I've done several dozen of these interviews over the past ~year and the easiest way to fail were people who pretended to know about something they didn't.

    Anyone who said "I've never done this but here's what I'd look into" got a 👍

    Details depend on position.

    I'd expect a fullstack engineer to know SQL and be able to explain what a CDN is for. But for a pure frontend, I'd dig more into domain modeling and state management.

    As for how to get better ... I think this is one of those things that work like the pottery class metaphor.

    You have to design a bunch of systems and get feedback.

    The pottery class metaphor
    The pottery class metaphor

    The best feedback comes from production.

    Cheers,
    ~Swizec

    Did you enjoy this article?

    Published on January 28th, 2022 in Interviews, Tips, Mindset,

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