What books are useful for a system design interview?

System design is an essential course for students who wish to get into the technical field rather than programming. This significant subject holds significant value for both non-technical and technical students.

Many big companies hire system designers or software developers for their organizations. However, getting into those firms is not that easy.

In case you have managed to get an interview related to system designs, you must prepare well to outrank your competition. To prepare well, begin with getting the best system design books for you.

Go through all the concepts of system design properly to gain the confidence to get through the interview. When you will be well-versed with all the concepts of system design, go through commonly asked system design interview questions to analyse where you stand. 

But with so many books available, how will you decide which is the best one for you? 

To help you with it, we have come up with a list of some useful system design books for you.

Which System Design Books Should You Pick?

Now that you are going to appear for an interview or an exam related to system design, choose a system design book that provides you with knowledge of the following factors:

  • If you can easily understand the given problem and can define the scope of your solution. You need to define the scope of the problem within which you are applying your solution.
  • You must be able to develop a design and illustrations and must be able to communicate with your interviewer to find the optimal solution to the given problem.
  • You are well-versed in all the terms and concepts used in system design and communicate in the same way with your interviewer.
  • Lastly, you must be able to modify the design for efficiency.

You must choose system design books which have multiple illustrations and case studies to visualize and analyse practical problems. This will help you resolve the problem with more efficiency during your original interview.

Now that you are aware of what you should look for in system design books, we have come up with some of the recommended books that you can give a try.

Useful Books For System Design Interviews

If you are confused about which system design books you should choose, here is a list of books that you must try:

Designing Data: Insensitive Applications

In today’s world, efficiency, scalability, reliability and consistency of data are some of the challenges that a developer encounters with system designs. Moreover, it has become difficult to choose the right tool and application for designing the system.

All such questions have been answered in this book by Martin Kleppman. Throughout his book, he has talked about multiple technologies and processes used to store and process data. 

He has talked about various data storage systems from the basics to the advanced concepts along with the specifics of all the technologies used. 

The contents of this book are designed in a way to accelerate the learning process for all students and newcomers to the industry. He has perfectly blended both practical and theoretical applications of the concepts which have made the subject more exciting and interesting for students.

Head First Design Patterns

Best bools for both studies and fun!

This book is a perfect example to learn from the experience of others. Authors Elisabeth Robson and Eric Freeman have perfectly explained in this book which patterns are required and how you can incorporate them into your designs. 

Other than this, they have discussed in detail the object-oriented approach in which patterns are made. In the beginning, you may not find this book serious. However, after reading, when you will start remembering things, you will enjoy the learning patterns of this book. 

With this book, you will surely be able to solve all the system design interview questions related to patterns. It will give you a detailed understanding to help you resolve issues and communicate with your team in the language of the pattern only.

System Design Interview By Alex Xu

If you are looking for a way to crack your system design interview, this is the book that you need to read. For now, this is the finest book to practice system design interview questions. In this book, you will find numerous diagrams and drawings represented in the same way as real questionnaires. This book will help you understand how the questions are asked in real-life interviews.

Not only this, the book will give you a detailed understanding of how your interviewer expects you to answer so that you know exactly what you have to say in your next interview.

Modern System Analysis And Design By Joey George And Joseph Valacich

If you wish to focus more on practical aspects of system design rather than theoretical aspects, this is the book you need. The book also offers lessons regarding agile methods which makes it an ideal book for students who wish to learn about creating overall system designs.

System Analysis And Design By Scott Tilley

You may find this system design book used as a textbook in many curriculums. The book clearly defines how developers are comparing conventional design methods and novel techniques to make better and more efficient systems. 

This book will give you a glimpse of all the changes made in the techniques and why those changes were essential for the system. 

The book also provides you with lessons on agile methods and object-oriented programming. These methodologies are mostly used in businesses today because of their robust and flexible nature.

In this book, you may also get a glimpse of mobile devices and cloud computing concepts.


System design is an important part of the curriculum for many computer sciences and IT students. Many students prefer to make their careers in the field of system design only.

Therefore, brushing up on your concepts of system design now and then is a good option.

All the system design books that we have mentioned above are worth reading and will give you detailed knowledge about the concepts of system design.

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