The 11 Best Computer Systems Design Books

6 min read

In the ever-changing world of computer systems design, it can be difficult to stay up to date with the latest advances and technologies. For those looking for a good introduction or an in-depth exploration into this field, reading some of the best books on computer system design is essential. This article reviews five excellent works providing insight into managing aging computer systems, distributed system designs, and preparing for job interviews – all valuable resources that will help anyone pursuing their knowledge in this area.

  1. Kill It with Fire: Manage Aging Computer Systems

    Kill It with Fire: Manage Aging Computer Systems
    Marianne Bellotti
    Published in 2021

    Kill It with Fire: Manage Aging Computer Systems, written by renowned software engineering expert Marianne Bellotti is an insightful book providing practical strategies for modernizing legacy computer systems. Filled with interesting case studies and anecdotes, the author distills key lessons learnt from her experience into actionable advice to help readers determine when and how best to invest in modernization projects. The value-add techniques within are applicable both for new and ancient systems alike and will provide organizations of all sizes a vested interest in their technology’s future. This witty yet engaging read offers exercises, resources & frameworks that enable efficient use of time & money while making sure migrations add tangible value before they’re undertaken. Kill It With Fire is essential reading for anyone tasked with updating aging computer networks; it provides invaluable guidance on where to focus maintenance efforts as well as what should be considered prior to transitioning data to the cloud or declaring a project complete.

  2. Systems Analysis and Design

    Systems Analysis and Design
    Scott Tilley, Harry J. Rosenblatt
    Published in 2016

    This book offers a comprehensive and up-to-date guide to the world of systems analysis and design. Authored by Scott Tilley, emeritus professor at Florida Institute of Technology, alongside Harry J. Rosenblatt, professor of information systems at College of The Albemarle, this text is an invaluable resource for those looking to develop their knowledge on the topic. It provides readers with clear objectives linked directly to chapter headings as well as real-world examples and screenshots that ensure content remains relevant. Furthermore, key terms are defined in each chapter so you do not need to refer back to the glossary repeatedly; exercises throughout encourage critical thinking while also allowing students to hone IT skills in a professional context. SYSTEMS ANALYSIS AND DESIGN 11E is sure to prepare any reader for success within today’s competitive business climate – it certainly deserves five stars!

  3. Systems Analysis and Design in a Changing World

    Systems Analysis and Design in a Changing World
    John W. Satzinger, Robert B. Jackson, Stephen D. Burd
    Published in 2015

    Systems Analysis and Design in a Changing World is an essential textbook for any student studying computer information systems. Written by John Satzinger, Robert Jackson, and Stephen Burd – experts with decades of experience in the field – this 14-chapter book provides readers with a comprehensive overview of the most important principles when it comes to system analysis, design, project management and software development approaches. Using case driven techniques to focus on content that is key to success today’s market, it highlights use cases diagrams as well as their application towards traditional web development object-oriented or service-oriented architectures. The text also reflects Microsoft Project 2013 Professional and Microsoft Visio 2013 making it an ideal resource for modern courses. With plenty of examples throughout combined with real world business insight this guide will give students a sound foundation from which they can build upon.

  4. Designing Distributed Systems: Patterns and Paradigms for Scalable, Reliable Services

    Designing Distributed Systems: Patterns and Paradigms for Scalable, Reliable Services
    Brendan Burns
    Published in 2018

    Designing Distributed Systems: Patterns and Paradigms for Scalable, Reliable Services is an essential guide to the architecture of reliable distributed applications. Written by Microsoft Azure’s Director of Engineering Brendan Burns, this book provides a collection of tested patterns that enable developers to rapidly design efficient distributed systems with established language frameworks. Through its exploration of side-car, adapter and ambassador patterns as well as multi-node designs such as replication or communication between nodes, it details techniques designed to make development quick and simple while ensuring reliability. Furthermore, readers can benefit from research into large scale batch data processing covering work queues, event based operations and coordinated workflows in order learn more about how digital services are structured today. An invaluable resource for any software engineer looking to build dependable programs using modern technologies – Designing Distributed Systems should be on your bookshelf!

  5. System Design Interview – An Insider’s Guide: Volume 2

    System Design Interview – An Insider's Guide: Volume 2
    Alex Xu, Sahn Lam
    Published in 2022

    System Design Interview – An Insider’s Guide (Volume 2) is an invaluable guide for those prepping for a system design interview. It contains thirteen real-world examples with detailed solutions to provide readers with the skills required to answer any system design question they may face. Providing over 300 diagrams as visual aids and featuring a four step framework, this book gives clear instructions on how to tackle complex questions related to distributed systems, metrics monitoring, object storage and more. With insider information on what employers are looking for in their candidates and easy-to-follow steps that make even the most difficult concepts understandable, System Design Interview – An Insider’s Guide: Volume 2 is an essential resource for anyone wanting to ace their next job interview!

  6. Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems

    Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems
    Jennifer Petoff, Niall Murphy, Betsy Beyer, Chris Jones
    Published in 2016

    This book, Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems, provides a unique insight into the development processes of one of the most successful tech giants. Written by Niall Murphy and other key members of Google’s Site Reliability Team, this collection of essays covers topics such as scalable systems, reliability optimization and management strategies. It is divided into four sections including Introduction to SREs; Principles guiding them; Practices they use daily; and Management tactics employed at Google. This book is an ideal resource for anyone looking to glean knowledge from industry experts on how best to design large-scale computing systems or optimize existing ones. The war stories about outages are especially interesting and offer valuable lessons that readers can apply in their own organizations.

  7. A Common-Sense Guide to Data Structures and Algorithms, Second Edition

    A Common-Sense Guide to Data Structures and Algorithms, Second Edition
    Jay Wengrow
    Published in 2020

    This book is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to develop their understanding of data structures and algorithms. Written in a practical, easy-to-understand manner with examples in Python, JavaScript and Ruby, it takes readers on a journey through the complexities that come with coding efficiently. With clear explanations using visuals and words as well as detailed solutions to exercises throughout each chapter, this comprehensive guide covers topics such as Big O notation, linked lists and hash tables; recursion; dynamic programming; binary trees; graphs for scaling specialized applications like social networks or mapping software; plus even more advanced techniques. It’s perfect for those new to these concepts along with experienced coders needing a refresher course – so don’t miss out!

  8. C++

    Mark Reed
    Published in 2022

    This book is an essential guide for anyone wanting to learn and master the powerful programming language C++. It provides an in-depth look at how to set up a development environment, as well as vital concepts such as binary operations, decision making loops and syntax. Additionally, it also includes two books in one; The Ultimate Beginners Guide To Mastering C++ Programming & Implement A Robust Program Quickly which provide clear step-by-step instructions on creating custom functions and understanding best practices for coding. With helpful images, glossary terms and examples included, this comprehensive resource will help you quickly build the foundations of your program with confidence. Perfect for all levels from novice to experts!

  9. Rock your Role as a Salesforce Admin

    Rock your Role as a Salesforce Admin
    Jodi Hrbek
    Published in 2022

    “Rock Your Role as a Salesforce Admin: Create Value, Calm the Chaos, and Supercharge your Salesforce Career” is an essential read for anyone working in the world of Salesforce. Author Jodi Hrbek offers two decades experience leading high-performing teams to offer helpful career advice and actionable tips on how to unlock business value through impactful solutions. With engaging writing that includes pop culture references, this book provides readers with invaluable insights into managing workloads and stakeholder communications without getting overwhelmed. An absolute must-have for any current or aspiring Salesforce admin, it will show you how to become an indispensable member of your organization while elevating yourself from order taker to trusted partner. Get ready to be inspired by this inspiring guide!

  10. Fundamentals of Software Architecture: An Engineering Approach

    Fundamentals of Software Architecture: An Engineering Approach
    Mark Richards, Neal Ford
    Published in 2020

    This book provides an overview of the fundamentals of software architecture and is sure to be a great resource for aspiring architects. Authors Mark Richards and Neal Ford bring decades worth of experience in this field, offering readers insight into architectural characteristics such as patterns, components, soft skills and engineering practices. They explore topics such as component determination, diagramming technologies and evolutionary architectures through clear examples that are easy to understand. This guide also emphasizes repeatable results which add rigor to software architecture; invaluable tips on team management meetings negotiation presentations; modernity approaches; plus metrics and concrete valuations make this one essential reading! Fundamentals of Software Architecture: An Engineering Approach is clearly written with practical advice based on real-world experiences making it must read material for anyone looking to get ahead in their career.

  11. Algorithms

    Robert Sedgewick, Kevin Wayne
    Published in 2011

    Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne’s fourth edition of Algorithms is an essential textbook for anyone interested in computer programming. It covers the most widely used algorithms, as well as data structures and sorting procedures. The book has been written with Java implementations that are easy to understand and use; there is also a companion website containing helpful content such as test data, exercises, visualizations and lecture slides. Additionally, readers can access an online course related to this text which offers hundreds of video lectures integrated into the material presented in the book. With its comprehensive coverage of algorithm fundamentals combined with innovative teaching methods, this modern guidebook is sure to provide students with a valuable learning experience.

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