Using CheatSheets To Apply Best Practices

CheatSheet: System Design For Job Interview

CheatSheet: System Design For Job Interview

1.1 Reference

Name Summary
YouTube YouTube: Intro to Architecture and Systems Design Interviews, YouTube: System Design Interview
YouTube YouTube Channel: Success in Tech, YouTube: Scalability Harvard Web Development
YouTube YouTube: Prepare for Your Google Interview: Systems Design
Papers CheatSheet: Well-Known Papers For IT Industry, Github: papers-we-love
Github Github: donnemartin/system-design-primer, Github: checkcheckzz/system-design-interview
Github Github: puncsky/system-design-and-architecture, Github: yangshun/tech-interview-handbook
Website Website: hiredintech – System Design, Website:
Website Website:, Website:
Cheatsheet CheatSheet: Leetcode For Code Interview, CheatSheet: Common Code Problems & Follow-ups
Cheatsheet CheatSheet: System Design For Job Interview, CheatSheet: SRE/DevOps/Sysadmin
Cheatsheet CheatSheet: Behavior Questions For Coder Interview, Programming Language Implemenetations CheatSheet
Cheatsheet CheatSheet: Concurrency & Parallel Programming
Coding Code problems for #oodesign
Individual Tech Blog Blog: highscalability, Blog: All Things Distributed – Amazon CTO
Company Tech Blog Website: Facebook Engineering, Website: Google Developers
Company Tech Blog Medium: Netflix Blog, Medium: Airbnb Engineering & Data Science
Company Tech Blog Medium: Instagram Engineering, Medium: Mixpanel
Company Tech Blog Shopify Engineering, Github Engineering
Company Tech Blog Doordash Engineering, Uber Engineering
Reference Link: Facebook Engineering Interview, Link: The System Design Process

1.2 Design Problems Per Category

Num Name Summary
1 K/V DB store Design K/V DB; Design memcache/redis
2 Data synchronization Design dropbox client sync
3 Resource/Task scheduling Design web crawler; Delayed task queue; Design a distributed message queue
4 Design a distributed component Design a distributed hit counter, Design a distributed UUID generator
5 Design a SNS system Design Twitter News Feed
6 Design API Gateway Design An API Rate Limiter
7 Design a logging & metrics system Pull vs Push model
8 Design a gaming system Design: Leaderboard Ranking
10 Design a small scale MIS system Design: Flight booking service, Design a payment processor
11 Recommendation system Design amazon book recommendation system
12 Design a communication system Design a message chat room
13 Design an ads system  

1.3 Top 50 Component Design

Num Name Summary
1 Top K Frequent Elements in Recent X mins Github: link
2 Design An API Rate Limiter  
3 Design: Leaderboard Ranking  
4 Delayed task queue  
5 Spam Filter: design a system to block malicious IPs Github: link
6 Find duplicates files across 1000 servers with 10 million files Github: link
7 Design a monitoring system to check 10,000 nodes Github: link
8 Design a scalable and reliable notification service Github: link
9 Web crawler for 1 billion URL from 1 seed URL Github: link
10 Design twitter timeline feature Github: link
11 How to upload large videos at scale Github: link
12 Real-time Deduping At Scale Github: link
13 How quoram based DB works when nodes join or leave  
14 How to implement redis clustering Github: link
15 How to deployment 1GB binary to 10,000 servers Github: link
16 How to distribute TB data from a server to 10,000 nodes  
17 Merge big datasets across different servers Github: link
18 Unique url hits  
19 Design a distributed counter  
20 Design a distributed message queue  
21 Design a distributed cache service  
22 Design a distributed Hashmap  
23 Design a distributed UUID generator  
24 Design a git service  
25 Design: A Parking Lot Service  
26 Design a distributed transaction  
27 Design: A URL Redirecting Feature  
28 Give three 1TB disks, how to store 2TB data with redundancy Github: link. XOR bit manipulation
29 How to support feature of “diff big1.bin big2.bin” #lcs – Longest Common Subsequence
30 How to support “rsync big1.bin ssh:/big2.bin” in a doggy network delta-transfer algorithm. Weak Hashing + Strong Hashing
31 Avoid double payment in a distributed payment system Link: Avoiding Double Payments in a Distributed Payments System

1.5 Top 30 Product Design

Num Name  
1 Design: TinyURL – A URL Shorterner Service  
2 Design Twitter News Feed  
3 Design K/V DB  
4 Design autocomplete/typeahead  
5 Design a online contest system like  
6 Design Google Calendar  
7 Design a load balancer  
8 Design: Flight booking service  
9 Design: Uber Backend  
10 Design: An Elevator Service  
11 Design amazon shopping cart  
12 Design: Google Suggestion Service  
13 Design a payment processor  
14 Design google doc  
15 Design gmail  
16 Design RSS news reader  
17 Design a client-server API to build a rich document editor  
18 Design instagram, a photo sharing app  
19 Design Yelp, a location-based system  
20 Design  
21 Design amazon book recommendation system  
22 Design Google PageRank  
23 Design messaging/notification system  
24 Design memcache/redis  
25 Design a voice conference system  
26 Design an API gateway  
27 Design slack  
28 Design a service auto-discovery feature  
29 Design a secrets management system  
30 Design Google Adsense fraud detection  
31 Design The Great Firewall  

1.6 Process Of System Design

Num Name Summary
1 Outline use cases: List major and focus on some Show good sense. The questions you asked define your level
2 Estimate scale: Data + Traffic Back-of-the-envelope estimation
3 Defining data model It helps to clarify how data will flow among different components
4 Abstract design Sketch main components, explain workflow, avoid too deep for details
5 Detailed design + discussion with interviewers Explain trade-off of your proposal + on-demand deep dive
6 Identify and resolve Bottlenecks Key challenges + Trade-Offs. Usuaully no optimal solution(s)
7 Scale your design Availability, Resiliency, Scalability, Security, Serviceability, etc
8 Show your relevant experience and learning Industry best practice; You experience of scaling/trade-off/resiliency

1.7 Common Mistakes Of System Design

Num Name Summary
1 Run into an opinioned solutions before clarification Inexperienced; Hard to communicate
2 Not driving the conversation Inexperienced
3 General answers without your personal experience/thinking  
4 Makes interviewers feeling you’re stubborn  

1.8 Top 30 Concepts For Feature/System Design

Num Name Summary
1 Caching Stores data so that future requests of data retrieval can be faster
2 Message Queue Provides an asynchronous communications protocol,
3 Data Partition & Sharding Break up a big data volume into many smaller parts
4 DB Indexing Create indexes on multiple columns to speed up table look up
5 DB replication Duplicate data to increase service availability
6 CAP: Consistency/Availability/Partition A distributed database system can only have 2 of the 3
7 DB: SQL & NoSQL Relational databases and non-relational databases
8 Concurrency & Communication  
9 Pessimistic And Optimistic Locking  
10 Consistency Module weak consistency, eventual consistency, strong consistency
11 Conflict resolution Quorum, vector lock, reconcile on read/write, CRDTs
12 B+ Tree  
13 Networking: HTTP  
14 Networking: TCP/UDP  
15 Pull vs Push model  
16 Garbage Collection  
17 Memory Management  
18 Heartbeats  
19 Self Protection API Rate limit, Circuit breaker, bulkhead, throttling
20 Filesystem  
21 API: RPC vs gRPC vs REST  
22 Load balancer  
23 Scale up vs Scale out Vertical scaling and Horizontal scaling
24 API Design  
25 Session management  
26 Networking: TCP vs UDP  
27 Consistency patterns Weak consistency, Eventual consistency, Strong consistency
28 Availability patterns Fail-over vs Replication
29 CDN – Content Delivery Network Edge caching
30 Monitoring  
31 Security  
32 Networking: DNS  
33 Linux signals  

1.9 Top 20 Advanced Data Structure & Algorithms

Num Name Summary
1 Consistent Hash  
2 Bloom filter A space-effcient query returns either “possibly in set” or “definitely not”
3 hyerloglog for count-distinct problem Estimation: the count of unique values with relatively high accuracy(98%)
4 Reservoir Sampling  
5 Merkle Tree  
6 LPM(Longest Prefix Match)  
7 Frugal Streaming  
8 Gossip Propagate cluster status
9 Vector Clocks/Version Vectors  
10 Lossy Counting  
11 Skip list  
12 CRDTs (Conflict-Free Replicated Data Types)  
13 choice-of-2 in load balancer  
14 Range-based query  
15 SSTable (Sorted Strings Table)  
16 MemTable  
17 LSM (Log Structured Merge Trees)  
18 Two-phase commit/Three-phase commit Github: link
19 Paxos and raft protocol  
20 Ring buffer  
21 cuckoo hashing Resolve hash collisions with worst-case constant lookup time
22 snappy/lzss Fast data compression and decompression
23 S2 Geometry Build geographic database in a better way
24 geohash  
25 Quadtree  
26 DHT – distributed hash table  

CheatSheet: Feature Design For Job Interview

1.10 Explain tools: how XXX supports XXX?

Num Name Summary
1 How JDK implement hashmap?  
2 Explain java garbage collection model  
3 Explain raft/etcd  
4 How OS supports XXX?  

1.11 Cloud Design Principles

Num Name Summary
1 Fail fast  
2 Design for failure  
3 Immutable infrastructure  
4 Cats vs Cattle Avoid snowflake servers
5 Auto healing  
6 Async programming  
7 GitOps operational model  
8 Event-Driven Architectures  

1.12 Cloud Design Patterns

Num Name Summary
1 Ambassador pattern Create helper service to send network requests, besides the main sevice
2 Cache-Aside pattern Load data on demand into a cache from a data store
3 Circuit Breaker pattern If a request takes too many reousrce, abort it
4 Bulkhead pattern Isolate elements into pools, so that one fire won’t burn all
5 Gateway Aggregation pattern Aggregate multiple individual requests into a single request
6 Priority Queue pattern Support different SLAs for different individual clients
7 Strangler pattern Incrementally migrate a legacy system piece by piece

1.14 Grow Design Expertise In Daily Work

Num Name Summary
1 Keep the curiosity Thinking about interesting/weird questions helps
2 Deep dive into your daily work Unify and normalize problems from daily work
3 Learn the work of your coleagues Indirect working experience also help
4 Popular products under the hood Once you notice an interesting feature, think about how it’s supported?
5 Read engineering blogs Especially for big companies
6 Tools under the hood Common tools/frameworks
7 Try tools Use cases; Alternatives; Pros and Cons
8 Read papers Best practices in papers
9 Try new things Gain hands-on experience; evaluate alternatives
10 Datastore & OS Learn how databases and operating systems work
11 Language implementation Deep dive into one programming language. Java, Python, Golang, etc

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