Example architecture interview

A common interview question is to ask interviewees to design a scalable piece of infrastructure on a whiteboard. This usually has an interviewer describing a business or piece of software, and then the interviewee needs to ask questions to clarify, and then draw out an architecture diagram.

To approach an interview like this, I suggest starting as general as you can and then refining on parts that the interviewer is curious about and wants more clarification on. Three very common questions are as follows:

  • Design a distributed cron system
  • Design a scalable URL shortener
  • Design a large-scale CMS

For building distributed cron, I suggest you take a look at Chapter 24, Distributed Periodic Scheduling with Cron, of Google's ...

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