How to learn system design as a TPM?

Market Track pmnote
Jan 11 20 Comments

I'm a TPM /PM. I did interviews with Amazon and Google over the past 2 months for TPM. Got rejected by both. I think I'm not strong enough in technical/system design, but even though i have a CS degree and love learning about tech, it's not good enough for the interview. In my current job there's no opportunity to develop deep knowledge about systems, and even though i studied hard i don't know how i can improve more short of learning to code and making an app in my spare time.

How /what do you learn to pass system design as TPM or PM?
Does anybody know if the Product Manager roles have a lower technical bar?
Any advice at all? I'm super bummed out after flying across the country twice and all the effort I've put in and no result.

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TOP 20 Comments
  • Amazon BezosBitch
    What is the application that you're currently working on? Analyse that. Ask the engineers why they built them that way. Ask the how to scale the applicaiin for million customers, 10000 TPS second, plans fail over, disaster recovery, how to make the existing application accessible by geographically distributed clients with low latency, how to reduce the opearting cost, how to release features incrementally, how to reduce defects when releases, how to integrate with some other company's product both in real-time and in batch processing. Those answers will give you good idea about system designing.
    Jan 11 2
    • Market Track pmnote
      OP
      That's good advice I'll do that
      Jan 11
    • Oracle / Product
      dTCL34

      Oracle Product

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      Oracle
      dTCL34more
      This is really good
      Jan 12
    • Market Track pmnote
      OP
      I am familiar with Grokking and studied it. It helped a ton but not enough
      Jan 11
    • Apple JobsAtApp
      Grokking is bad.
      Jan 11
    • Zalando JMP2
      why do you think that apple?
      Jan 11
    • Market Track pmnote
      OP
      Grokkinng helped me at least get familiar with the types of questions to expect and how to structure my answers. But it's too prescriptive and doesn't teach you to handle a real technical discussion
      Jan 11
    • Cognizant albocgdi
      https://www.amazon.com/Designing-Data-Intensive-Applications-Reliable-Maintainable/dp/1449373321/ref=nodl_ Read this book and also The Art Of Scalability along with Grokking.. Grokking gives structure and these books the knowledge to answer any follow up questions..
      Mar 3
  • Medallia dealNoDeal
    Can you share some of the questions that were asked? I interviewed with Google and was asked really difficult questions
    Jan 11 3
    • GrubHub 456734
      What questions did they ask you?
      Jan 11
    • Medallia dealNoDeal
      Write an algorithm for Roomba robot
      Jan 11
    • Market Track pmnote
      OP
      Usually they'd just come up with some random setting and ask you to design a system based on that. In my case it was to a system for doctors to view patients' CAT scans in a hospital. Then they ask which spwcific tech you would use.
      Another eng asked me how do you deploy production code?
      Another asked me to design a service that would analyze the quality of videos coming into a video sharing platform.
      Jan 11
  • Microsoft Microsofti
    read Designing Data-intensive Applications
    The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems
    Kleppmann, Martin

    Helped me a lot
    Jan 11 0
  • Oracle / Product
    dTCL34

    Oracle Product

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    Oracle
    dTCL34more
    Hey Market, how many years of working experience u have?
    I would say system design is totally by luck. My developer friends were asked how to design a short url system and how to design a chat system...they are supet typical system...Me myself as a product manager, were asked a ridiculous system question...BTW the robotic programming is a very popular google question recently if u prepared the coding question
    Jan 12 4
    • Market Track pmnote
      OP
      I have 10+ yoe..
      Jan 12
    • Market Track pmnote
      OP
      I've never had coding questions only sys design ones
      Jan 12
    • Market Track pmnote
      OP
      What's the robotic programming question?
      Jan 12
    • Oracle / Product
      dTCL34

      Oracle Product

      PRE
      Oracle
      dTCL34more
      The person previously comment on ur post mentioned a coding question...wow 10years....im 3.5 years and my system question is also very harsh...i think it really depends on luck..
      Jan 12
  • Amazon sk2
    There are courses out there that aim to help with system design. Interview Kickstart has a system design portion for 3 weeks. It’s 6k for the 8 week course. I hear good things but I just started the course myself. First 5 weeks are coding.
    Jan 11 0

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