DEV Community


Posted on • Updated on

My Favorite System Design and Software Architecture Books for Experienced Developers

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links; I may receive compensation if you purchase products or services from the different links provided in this article.

8 System Design and Software Architecture Books
Hello guys, System design and Software architecture are two important topics for coding interviews and also two important skill for Software developers.

Without knowing how to design System you cannot create new software and it will also be difficult to learn and understand existing software and system.

That's why big technical companies like FAANG pays special attention to System design skill and test candidates thoroughly.

If you want to learn System design and looking for best resources like best System design books and courses then you have come to the right place.

Earlier, I have shared best System design online courses, as well as Software architecture courses,  and common System design questions and in this article, I am going to share with you best System design books to learn Software design.

Whether you are a beginner or experienced developer, you can read these books as you will definitely find valuable stuff. I have read them and even though I have been doing Software development for more than 15 years I have learned a lot.

But, before we get to the 7 best books that you can read to learn System Design and Software Design in depth, let me tell you what it exactly is.

System design is basically used to refer to the process of defining elements of a system. These elements can be architecture, modules, components, interfaces, or data. This is especially useful for a system that is based on some specific requirements.

What you need to essentially understand is that system design includes the process of defining, developing, and designing systems that satisfy the specific demands and requirements of an organization.

The first thing you need to have when designing a well-running and coherent system is a systematic approach. For this, you can make use of either a top-down or a bottom-up approach.

A good system designer is able to use modeling languages for expressing information and knowledge. This has to be structured into a system that is defined by a consistent set of rules. You can use either graphical or textual modeling languages.

8 Best System Design Interview and Software architecture Books for Software Engineers

There are a lot of good graphical modeling languages out there. The Unified Modeling Language or UML is used for describing software both structurally and behaviorally along with graphical notation.  The Business Process Modeling Notation is very useful as a Process Modeling language. 

There are also a lot of design methods that you, as a system designer, can make use of. Architectural Design is perfect for describing the views, model, behavior, and structure of a system. 

Logical Design is useful for representing data flows, inputs, and outputs of the system, as well as entity-relationship diagrams. 

Physical Design looks at how the data is modeled and stored inside the system. It is also useful for learning how users add information to the system and how the system details information back to the user. 

Here we have compiled a list of the 7 best books on system design. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Designing Data-Intensive Applications By Martin Kleppmann

In this fantastic book on system design, Martin Kleppmann will help you understand the pros and cons of all the different technologies that are used for storing and processing data. It is a book that is written in a lucid style and presents a very broad overview of data storage systems.

You will get a very good grasp of fundamental concepts, algorithms, as well as practical applications of various technologies. 

This is also one of the most popular book when it comes to learn Software deign and System Design and I highly recommend this book to all kind of software developers .

The book is also good for beginners and experienced, developers and software architects and anyone who wants to be better at software design in depth. 

If you want, you can also combine this book with the Mastering the System Design Interview by Frank Kane (Ex Amazon Hiring Manager) on Udemy for better preparation.

Top 7 Book to Learn System Design and Software Design

2. System Design Interview Part 1 and 2 By Alex Xu

Review of System Design Interview Part 1 and 2 By Alex Xu

As the title suggests, this is the perfect book for everyone who is preparing for a system interview. Trust me, this book is the finest on the internet right now.  This book is created by Alex Xu who has gone through the same process.

You will get access to a number of drawings and diagrams that will assist you in gaining an understanding of the real system. You will be able to understand what the recruiters are looking for in your answers to questions.

Alex also have a companion System design course on ByteByteGo, where you will not only find all the content of this book and the second part of System Design Interview Book by Alex Wu but also new content, deep dive into popular system questions like how to design YouTube and WhatsApp as well as  proven System design framework to solve Software design problem.

Here are my favorite free System design tutorial from ByteByteGo:

  1. YouTube Design Tutorial
  2. How to design a Chat system like WhatsApp, Discord, or Facebook Messenger
  3. Scalability
  4. System Design Interview Framework

In short, if you read this book, you will be able to breeze through your next system design interview. This is also one of the most recommend System design books on Reddit, Quora, Hacker News, Twitter, and other online platforms and its obvious from the number of reviews this book have on Amazon.

best book for System design interviews

3. System Analysis And Design By Dennis, Wixom, and Wroth

This is a great book that will give you a very good understanding of system analysis and design, as the title suggests. You will get access to extensive descriptions, as well as practical projects that reflect real-life situations.

The 6th Edition of this book is also made up of a number of case studies and many examples along with deep explanations for all the case studies and examples.

This book will definitely help you in achieving your goals as a design student. You will get a solid grasp of all the principles related to system analysis and design.  If you want, you can also combine this book with the Grokking the System Design Interview course on Educative, one of the best interactive course for System Design.

best book to learn System analysis and design

4. Modern Systems Analysis And Design By Joseph Valacich and Joey George

This is another fantastic book that will teach you all about the skills, ideas, and techniques that are connected with system analysis and design. Trust me when I say that this is the perfect and most comprehensive system design book for you.

This System Design and Analysis book is authored by Joshep Valacich and Joey George and also made up of a section on agile methods, which will ensure that this is a perfect student learning system for system designers.

The writing style is very simple but informative, which means that it will be accessible to everyone, including those whose mother tongue is not English. 

There are multiple edition of these book to make sure you choose the latest edition, the 9th Edition and if you need a Udemy course to go with this book I recommend Pragmatic System Design course on Udemy.  I have found that by reading books and watching course is the best way to learn System design.

best System analysis and design book for programmers

5. System Analysis And Design By Scott Tilley

According to industry experts, this is one of the most important systems design textbooks that is available on the market today. That is because this book will make you realize what has changed in the industry as well as why a change was necessary in the first place.

Also, this book has sections that are dedicated to object-oriented coding and agile methodology, which are two of the most used methodologies these days.

You will also learn how systems function, as well as about cloud computing and mobile applications.

The 12th edition of System Analysis and Design by Scott Tilley is the latest book in this series and you should read that to get the update knowledge.

If you are preparing for System design interview then you can also checkout System Design Interview Guide by Sandeep Kaul (Tech Lead @ Facebook) for better preparation.

best System analysis and design book for beginners

6. Clean Architecture By Robert C. Martin

System design, Software Design, and Software architecture are closely related. When you read this book, you will learn everything there is to know about Software structure and Design.  You will also be able to make your code smoother and integrate agile methodology into your solutions.

This book is created by Rober C. Martin, fondly known as Uncle Bob which is also author of famous Clean Code and Clean Coder book. This is the third in the series and many people read all three to become a better software developer.

This book focuses on the different principles related to system analysis and design as well as the different challenges that system designers face while developing a solution in the real world.

In addition, you will learn how to run unit tests and use a test-driven strategy for improving the efficiency of your systems.  And, if you want, you can also combine this book with Coursera's Software Design and Architecture Specialization to learn better.

best book to learn Software architecture

7. Head First Design Patterns By Eric Freeman And Elisabeth Robson

This is a wonderful book that explains what patterns are important as well as how to apply these patterns to your designs. It focuses on object-oriented principles that are the basis of these patterns.

Using this book, you will be able to vastly improve your knowledge of software development. You will get to know about important design principles that can be useful for solving software design principles.

The 2nd edition of this book is now available and you should read that to learn design pattern with Java 8 and beyond. Most importantly how to use Lambdas and Stream to implement classic design pattern sin Java.

And, if you need an online course to go along this book, The Java Design Pattern course by Dmitri Nestruk on Udemy is best as it shows the modern implementation of classic design patterns in Java.

best book to learn Design Pattern

8. Building Microservices 2nd Edition by Sam Newman

Ever since Cloud Computing become popular Microservice architecture has taken world with storm. Many tech companies uses Microservice architecture to deploy their services as it not only help them with development but also deployment and taking full advantage of cloud computing capabilities.

But doing anything anything just because everyone is doing is a bad motivation, instead you should learn if your company or application can benefit from Microservice architecture or not as going from monolith to Microservice also bring host of problems from debugging to monitoring to increased latency and that's where this book helps.

In this book author Sam Newman explains pros and cons of Microservices by clear examples and practical explanations which can benefit everyone from architects and developers to testers. If you want to learn Microservices architecture, I highly recommend this book, particularly second edition.

You can also combine this book with the An Introduction to Microservice Principles and Concepts course on for interactive learning. This will help you learn better.

best book to learn Microservices architecture

That's all about the best books to learn System Design and Software Architecture in depth. You can read these books to learn essential System design concepts and how to architect a system.

The System Design book by Alex Xu also cover common Software design problems and shows you how to solve them which can be really beneficial for interviews.

If you liked this list of the 7 best system design books, feel free to share it with your friends and family. You can also drop a comment if you have any doubts regarding the system design and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Other Programming and Books and Articles you may like

Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like these best System design books then please share with your friends and colleagues. If you have any feedback or you think a good software design book is missing from this list then feel free to suggest in comments. I will include them as well.

P.S. - If you are preparing for System Design interview and just want to do one thing then I also recommend you to join ByteByteGo, its best of both worlds, you will not only learn essential System Design concepts for interview but also become a better developer.

Top comments (7)

devshirt_club profile image

I love this list

javinpaul profile image

Thank you

cubiclesocial profile image

I think you should include a couple of good books on hardware architecture and OS design. Most programmers have a "lightbulb moment" when they realize that their approach to software development is all wrong because we do things like violate basic OS design or hardware design principles during most attempts to simplify our own lives.

I don't have any recommendations per se for either of those two categories. However, I grew up around 4MHz-33MHz computer systems (4MHz is not a typo) and know that today's software only runs reasonably well because of the hardware pushing the limits of physics rather than optimizing every last clock cycle and being efficient within the software we write.

manju_twitt profile image

Tittle is misspelled. Instead of Data- Intensive it written as Data- Insensitive :)

Good collection of books..thank you for the post.

javinpaul profile image

Thanks, yes, its Designing Data-Intensive Applications

aceofspades5757 profile image
Kyle L. Davis

Was this written in a different language and then translated? The grammar is terrible. It's so bad I can't even read this article.