How much time did you spend preparing for system design during your interview prep?

Microsoft Coachella
May 7 12 Comments

I have around 2 yoe and targeting Sde2 level positions at various companies.

What is the expectation on system design questions at my level?

TC : 175k

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TOP 12 Comments
  • Uber / Eng L4 Eng
    0 days. System design is the only thing I'm good at.
    May 7 2
    • Facebook YBcl04
      Any tips or strategy you can share?
      May 7
    • Uber / Eng L4 Eng
      It's just kind of something you pick you through experience but studying architecture designs for large distributed systems online would be good practice. Unsure of any companies that publish theirs but I assume some are linked on hacker news.
      May 8
  • Amazon / Eng bCxp50
    System design is hard to fake. You either have the experience, or you don't. I like to ask candidates why they made trade-off X or chose approach Y; the good ones will have relevant anecdotes from their own projects.

    The only "prep" you need to do is to get accustomed to structuring the discussion in way that makes sense in an interview timeframe/context; the goal is to give your interviewer as much signal as possible.

    With 2 YoE, though, you're still borderline entry-level in the context of a FANG engineering hierarchy, so you may want to start by ensuring that they're looping you up a level to begin with.
    May 8 2
    • Microsoft Coachella
      OP
      Is SDE 2 too hard to get into with 2 yoe?
      May 8
    • Amazon / Eng bCxp50
      It's technically possible, but remember that the average time to promotion for a new college hire in most of these companies is 2 to 2.5 years, and those people know the company's internal processes, systems, and tools. You'll have to really crush the interview.

      That said, they probably will loop you for SDE2 simply because industry SDE1s aren't very valuable or attractive to most teams (they can get that headcount filled though university programs).
      May 8
  • Clearstream.TV / Eng JobSearch
    I suck at system design. How did u get good?
    May 7 0
  • New / IT
    erm19

    New IT

    BIO
    Experienced software engineer and ml engineer
    erm19more
    2 weeks with grokking the system design course and past experience
    May 7 2
    • Clearstream.TV / Eng JobSearch
      Did u finish the whole course?
      May 7
    • New / IT
      erm19

      New IT

      BIO
      Experienced software engineer and ml engineer
      erm19more
      Yep, just exploring the patterns.
      May 7
  • Facebook hawk77
    1 day.... was easy mostly coz of experience.
    May 7 0
  • Amazon pYci18
    15 days
    May 7 0

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