Interviewing for Systems Design Skills

Friday, June 08, 2018 - 9:00 am9:55 am

Sebastian Kirsch, Google Switzerland GmbH


Google SRE has developed a special interview format called "Non-Abstract Large Systems Design" or NALSD. The focus of this interview is developing a credible approach for solving a specific problem at large scale. Going beyond coding and algorithm skills, candidates demonstrate their skills in designing for scalability, reliability and robustness, estimating provisioning needs, and managing change. All candidates for SRE positions at Google participate in one NALSD interview as part of their recruiting process.

Attendees will learn why Google has developed this interview format and which aspects of a candidate's skill set are covered in the format. They will see an example of this interview type, and learn how to come up with their own interview questions. Tips and tricks derived from practical experience in conducting this interview type will help attendees avoid common pitfalls when interviewing candidates.

Sebastian Kirsch, Google Switzerland GmbH

Sebastian Kirsch is a Site Reliability Engineer for Google in Zürich, Switzerland. Sebastian joined Google in 2006 in Dublin, Ireland, and has worked both on internal systems like Google's web crawler or Google's payment processing systems, as well as on external products like Google Maps and Google Calendar. He specializes in the reliability aspects of new Google products and new features of existing products, ensuring that they meet the same high reliability bar as every other Google service.

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@conference {214991,
author = {Sebastian Kirsch},
title = {Interviewing for Systems Design Skills},
year = {2018},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jun

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