Hints for System Design

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Recommended Reading Distributed Systems System Design Butler W. Lampson

In 1983, Butler Lampson published a landmark paper about Hints of Computer System Design. As a practitioner and a student of distributed systems design, I find it immensely insightful and I habitually go back and re-read this paper every few months. In this post I'll try and summarize some of the learnings from this paper that I've gained over the years.

Prerequisite

Before jumping into system design, think hard about what is it that you are trying to accomplish? Have a clear idea about what your goals are?

Hints / Principles

Butler organizes his suggestions along two axis.

  1. Why - Why it helps in making a good system?
  2. Where - Where in the system design it helps?

Key Takeaways

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