Join us

7 Books Senior Developers Can Read to Learn System Design and Software Architecture in Depth


Hello devs, being an author of a popular Java programming blog (see here, I receive a lot of queries from senior Java developers, who aspire to become software architect or solution architect, like what can they do to become a software architect? Which books, resources, or certifications can help? And general queries like how much experience you need to become a software architect etc.

In the past, I have been suggesting them individually about best software architecture courses and books to read to expand their knowledge base and look at the software from architecture and design perspective, and this article is a compilation of many of such suggestions.

Since a lot of books can confuse you, I have only select 7 best and must-read books from the software architect's perspective, with a couple of System design and Software development books.

Since architecture is a very vast subject and highly depends upon the domain you are working, it's not possible to learn everything you need to design software from top to bottom, but these books will give you the necessary tools and techniques required to build robust, secure, and maintainable software.

They will also help you to develop the mindset required to focus on essentials rather than details, which is a crucial difference between how a developer thinks and how an architect thinks.

In general, developers focus on low-level details, like class and methods while architects focus on high-level details, like how individual components should communicate? how the persistence layer should behave? which technology stack to use? and what will be the non-functional requirements like reporting, archiving, logging, security, scalability, resiliency etc.

These books are also full of good advice in terms of object-oriented design, good coding practices, and how to avoid costly mistakes in the initial phase of software development.

7 Best System Design and Software Architecture Books for Experienced Developers

Without any further ado, here is my list of some of the books every experienced Java programmers and all the developers who want to become software architect or solution architects should read. These books will expand your knowledge and fill gaps in your understanding. They will also help you to understand the big picture instead of focusing on technical details.

1. System Design Interview Insider Guide 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.

2. 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 design 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.

3. Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture

This is one of those books who doesn't need a review. It's one of the classics like Gang of Four books which every programmer should just ead.

Martin Fowler is one of my favorite authors and a Guru in the software development world, and this book clearly shows why. The text is very well written and easy to follow.

This book complements the original Java design patterns book but lists many more patterns from the Enterprise architecture point of view.

You must read this book if you are interested in learning the patterns and architectural principles behind the popular frameworks programmers use to make sophisticated, real-world software on the web. If you prefer active learning then you can also combine this book with my favorite Basics of Software Architecture and Design Patterns in Java course on Udemy.

4. Software Architecture in Practice

This book is a good start for those who are curious or want to understand the basic concepts and ideas behind Software Architecture but it somewhat abstract, which many programmers might not enjoy.

What I like about the books is stories and anecdotes about incidents in history. Since I firmly believe that its stories which teach you what to do and what not do and our mind is more open to remember stories then concept, I found this book worth mentioning in this list.

You can use this book as a textbook to learn about software architecture and If you want, you can also combine this book with Coursera's popular Software Architecture online course for more active learning.

5.Clean Architecture

This is one of the first books you should read on Software architect. Uncle Bob, who is also the author of Clean Code and Clean Coder, two of the must-read books for professional programmers, has presented his years of experience on how to build a clean architecture.

Something, which is robust, maintainable, and adaptable to change. In this book, you not only learn about essential concepts of architecting software but also about terminology used at that level.

You will also learn about SOLID design principles and good coding practices required for writing clean code. The book also gives practical advice on evaluating different design and architecture by comparing their pros and cons.

In short, one of the most fundamental books on software architecture, which every senior programmer or someone aspires to become a solution architect should read.

6. Building Microservices: Designing Fine-Grained Systems

Another great book to learn about the design and architecture of modern, distributed software, particularly Microservices, which are powering this generation is the greatest apps, like Uber, Facebook, NetFlix, etc.

If you want to move away from monolithic applications to the world of Microservices, then this is the book you should read. And if you want to learn from courses, you can also check out the Master Microservices with Spring Boot and Spring Cloud course by Ranga Karnam on Udemy. It's one of the best and up-to-date courses to learn how to build Microservices in Java using Spring Boot and other tech stacks.

7. Domain-Driven Design: Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software

This is one of the oldest book features on this list, and many of you would argue that it's not for a software architect. Well, I agree, it's not for a software architect, but definitely, a must-read for programmers who want to become a software architect.

This is ideal for a software developer with 3 to 5 years of experience because it put forth many practical problems and their solutions, which can only be learned by real-world experience.

These problems and their solutions work in many different environments, and someone who is thinking of design and architect should be at least familiar with those.

In short, this book provides deep architectural insight and helps you to create robust systems in a changing environment, and most importantly, Eric Evans has done an amazing job to explain all these in a language that the developer can understand.

One of the key attributes of a software architect is knowledge of every aspect of the software, like design, coding, maintenance, deployment, support, etc. and that attribute can only be acquired by expanding your knowledge base and experience. These books, along with a couple of advanced training courses on leading-edge technology, like REST and Spring security, can help you to get there.

That's all about some of the best books for a software architect, technical leads, and solution architect. If you are a senior Java developer of 8 to 10 years of experience and want to move the next step in your career towards an end goal of becoming a software architect, these are the books to read to expand your vision and knowledge.

Other Programming Resources You may like:
How to become an Outstanding Solution Architect
5 Free Spring  Framework Courses for Java Developers
5 Courses to Learn Web Development
5 Online Courses to learn Core Java for Free
5 Courses to Learn React Native
Top 5 Selenium with Java Web Driver Courses
5 Courses to Learn Big Data and Apache Spark
Top 5 Java design patterns courses for experienced Java devs
5 Courses to learn writing Emails for IT Professionals
10 courses for Programming/Coding Job Interviews
5 Courses to lLearnShell Scripting in Linux

Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like these books, then please share them with your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions or feedback, then please drop a note.

P. S. - If you prefer online courses over books, you can also check out my favorite online training courses to learn software architecture. These courses will teach you how to architect your software and useful design principles and coding best practices required for creating robust software.

Only registered users can post comments. Please, login or signup.

Start blogging about your favorite technologies, reach more readers and earn rewards!

Join other developers and claim your FAUN account now!


Javin Paul

Blogger, Programmer, Developer

Blogger - Creator - Instructor - Website - Follow me for Java resources
User Popularity



Total Hits