Tag Archives: cloud computing

Preparing for a System Design Interview: Focus on Trade-offs, Not Mechanics

Are you getting ready for a system design interview? It is critical to approach it with the proper mindset and preparation. System design deals with components at a higher level, so staying out of the trenches is vital. Instead, interviewers are looking for a high-level understanding of the system, the ability to identify key components and their interactions, and the ability to weigh trade-offs between various design options.

During the interview, pay attention to the trade-offs rather than the mechanics. You must make decisions about the system’s scalability, dependability, security, and cost-effectiveness. Understanding the trade-offs between these various aspects is critical to make informed decisions.

Here are a few examples to prove my point:

  • If you’re creating a social media platform, you must choose between scalability and cost-effectiveness. Should you, for example, use a scalable but expensive cloud platform or a less expensive but less scalable hosting service?
  • When creating an e-commerce website, you must make trade-offs between security and usability. Should you, for example, require customers to create an account with a complex password or let them checkout as a guest with a simpler password?
  • When designing a transportation management system, you must balance dependability and cost-effectiveness. Should you, for example, use real-time data to optimise routes and minimise delays, or should you rely on historical data to save money?