30 Interview Questions on System Design Techniques

Here are some system design interview questions that you may encounter if you are applying for roles related to software engineering, system architecture, or infrastructure:

  1. Design a URL shortening service like bit.ly: Develop a user-friendly interface, an algorithm for generating unique shortcodes, and robust infrastructure for efficient redirection; incorporate features like custom short URLs, link expiration, and analytics.
  2. Design a caching system to improve website performance: Develop a caching system with algorithms for efficient cache management, support for both full-page and object caching, and distributed architecture for scalability; implement monitoring tools and logging for optimization and error handling.
  3. Create a scalable and fault-tolerant distributed file system: Design a system with distributed file allocation, robust data replication strategies, and fault recovery mechanisms; incorporate features like automatic sharding, load balancing, and distributed namespace for scalability and fault tolerance.
  4. Design a scalable and efficient recommendation system: Architect a system with data collection, personalized recommendation algorithms, and feedback mechanisms; consider factors like diversity, serendipity, and privacy while implementing A/B testing for continuous improvement.
  5. Architect a real-time messaging system: Develop a system with message brokers, real-time data synchronization, and user presence management; prioritize low-latency communication, encryption, and scalability through techniques like sharding and replication.
  6. Design a social media news feed system: Create a system with content aggregation, ranking algorithms, and real-time updates; ensure scalability through caching mechanisms, optimized database queries, and personalization features.
  7. Create a load balancer that distributes incoming traffic: Design a load balancer with algorithms, health checks, and traffic distribution mechanisms; focus on scalability through dynamic server addition/removal and fault tolerance with automatic traffic rerouting.
  8. Design a database schema for a multi-tenant SaaS application: Develop a schema with data isolation, tenant identification, and resource sharing; implement security measures, flexible structures, and scalability techniques like sharding.
  9. Architect a high-throughput, low-latency system for processing streaming data: Design a system with stream processing engines, event-driven architectures, and optimized data storage; prioritize low-latency responses and real-time reactions to streaming events.
  10. Design an elevator control system for a skyscraper: Develop a system with efficient elevator scheduling algorithms, real-time monitoring, and fault tolerance; consider factors like traffic patterns, energy efficiency, and emergency protocols for safe and reliable operation.
  11. Create a content delivery network (CDN) for efficiently serving static assets globally: Design a distributed network with edge servers, efficient caching, and global load balancing; prioritize low-latency content delivery, scalability, and secure data transfer.
  12. Design a system for handling user authentication and authorization: Develop a system with secure authentication protocols, access controls, and token-based authorization; implement features like multi-factor authentication, password hashing, and session management for user security.
  13. Architect a distributed task scheduling system: Design a system with task allocation algorithms, fault tolerance, and load balancing; consider distributed storage for task information, real-time monitoring, and efficient resource utilization across multiple nodes.
  14. Design a logging and monitoring system for a large-scale application: Develop a system with centralized logging, real-time monitoring dashboards, and alerting mechanisms; implement features like log aggregation, anomaly detection, and scalability for effective application oversight.
  15. Create a scalable and fault-tolerant payment processing system: Design a system with secure transaction processing, redundancy, and error recovery mechanisms; prioritize scalability, data integrity, and compliance with payment industry standards.
  16. Design a distributed database with ACID properties: Develop a distributed database with transaction consistency, atomicity, isolation, and durability; consider partitioning, replication, and distributed consensus algorithms for fault tolerance and scalability.
  17. Architect a system for handling concurrent requests in a web server: Design a system with efficient concurrency control, thread pooling, and request queuing; implement features like connection pooling, load balancing, and optimization for high throughput and low latency.
  18. Design a system for version control, similar to Git: Develop a version control system with efficient branching, merging, and distributed repositories; implement features like commit tracking, conflict resolution, and user authentication for collaborative software development.
  19. Create a scalable and fault-tolerant search engine: Design a search engine with distributed indexing, efficient querying, and fault-tolerant architecture; implement features like sharding, replication, and relevance ranking for optimal search performance.
  20. Design an in-memory key-value store: Develop a key-value store with efficient in-memory data storage, caching, and retrieval mechanisms; implement features like data partitioning, replication, and consistency for high-speed access.
  21. Architect a content management system (CMS) for a blogging platform: Design a CMS with user-friendly content creation, versioning, and publication workflows; implement features like role-based access control, content categorization, and search functionality for an effective blogging experience.
  22. Design a system for online multiplayer gaming: Develop a system with real-time game synchronization, low-latency communication, and fair matchmaking algorithms; implement features like game state replication, cheat detection, and scalability for a seamless multiplayer gaming experience.
  23. Create a job scheduling system for a cluster of servers: Design a system with efficient job scheduling algorithms, resource allocation, and fault tolerance; implement features like priority queues, load balancing, and distributed task execution for optimal cluster utilization.
  24. Design an event-driven microservices architecture: Develop a microservices architecture with event-driven communication, scalable components, and fault isolation; implement features like event sourcing, message brokers, and service orchestration for flexibility and responsiveness.
  25. Architect a secure and scalable user authentication system: Design a system with secure authentication protocols, identity verification, and access controls; implement features like encryption, multi-factor authentication, and secure token exchange for user data protection.
  26. Design a recommendation system for an e-commerce platform: Architect a system with user profiling, collaborative filtering, and personalized recommendation algorithms; implement features like product catalog integration, feedback loops, and A/B testing for effective product recommendations.
  27. Create a system for handling and processing large-scale analytics data: Design a system with distributed data processing, efficient querying, and analytics tool integration; implement features like data partitioning, real-time data ingestion, and scalable storage for handling large volumes of analytics data.
  28. Design a file synchronization system for distributed teams: Develop a system with efficient file versioning, synchronization, and conflict resolution; implement features like distributed storage, access controls, and real-time updates for seamless collaboration among distributed teams.
  29. Architect a system for real-time analytics on a social media platform: Design a system with real-time data processing, analytics engines, and visualization tools; implement features like event streaming, data aggregation, and scalable storage for timely insights on social media activities.
  30. Design a scalable and fault-tolerant chat application: Develop a chat application with real-time messaging, user presence management, and secure communication protocols; implement features like message persistence, encryption, and load balancing for scalability and fault tolerance.

When preparing for system design interviews, focus on scalability, reliability, performance, and trade-offs in your solutions. It is essential to discuss various aspects of your design, such as data storage, communication protocols, algorithms, and potential challenges. Practice designing systems on a whiteboard or using online collaborative tools, and be ready to explain and defend your design choices. Good luck!