Top 5 Courses to learn System Design and Software Architecture in 2021 - Best of Lot

Software design or System design is one of the tricky concepts to master. You can quickly learn a programming language like Java or Python, but creating software using that programming language is a totally different thing. That's where software design and coding skills come to the rescue. It's actually an art to structure your program, design your modules, specify boundaries and interactions with other parts of the system so that they are easier to read, maintain, and flexible to change. It's one of the most essential skills for a software developer but often gets ignored. If you look for an online course to learn Software design and architecture, you won't find many, forget about good ones.

At the same, time if you look for courses to learn Java, Python, or JavaScript, you will find tons of classes. That's why we have tons of programmer who knows Java, Python, and JavaScript but when it comes to software development, system design, coding, and software design then often struggle.

To help my readers with this problem, I did some research and come up with this list of best Software/System design and Architecture online courses.

You can take these courses to build this powerful skill which will serve life long. Unlike programming languages, frameworks, and libraries, this skill also doesn't become outdated in a few years.

Btw, prepare to work hard. Just joining and the online course won't be enough as most of the people just join the course without actually completing it or doing what the instructor says.

You don't learn when you join an online course, you learn, when you work and apply the knowledge you have gained. That's where project-based courses shine. They encourage you to use your experience to solve real-world problems, and you will find a couple of such classes on this list.

Top 5 Software Design and Architecture Courses for Programmers

Without wasting any more of your time, here is my list of some of the great, interactive, and fun online courses to learn Software design and Architecture.

1. Grokking the System Design Interview

This is one of my favorite courses when it comes to learning Software Design or System design. It's actually created to prepare you for the System design interview, but you can also use it to learn how to approach System design in general.

The Grokking, the System Design Interview, is one of the first courses (or book) that describes the Large Scale Distributed System Design problems in detail. Even if you’ve worked on Distributed Systems before, there are a lot of things that you can learn from this course.

Top 5 Courses to learn System Design and Software Architecture - Best of Lot

Authors have created this course to provide you design choices(including pros and cons) so that you can understand the requirement, compare approaches, and come up with the best solution for the problem at hand.

They are also mindful to not overwhelm with the information and provide a solution at a granularity that's appropriate for a 45-minute discussion. This makes the course very interesting. Even if you are not preparing for Coding interviews, I suggest you take this course to improve your System design skills.

2. Software Design and Architecture Specialization

This is another, well-structured course to learn Software design and Architecture. It is offered by the University of Alberta and delivered by Kenny Wong. The specialization contains 5 online courses to teach you object-oriented design, design patterns, software architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA).

The specialization also includes a project, and you will be awarded a certificate after completing the course. The best part of this specialization is that you will learn the science behind Software design and architecture.

Once you know the relevant patterns and principles, it would be much easier to communicate your plan with your fellow programmers and stakeholders. You will also gain the ability to critically view a software or piece of code from the design perspective.

best course to learn software architecture

3. Data Structures and Software Design by edX

This course, part of the CS Essentials for Software Development Professional Certificate program, will take your skills to the next level by teaching you how to write “good” software that appropriately represents and organizes data, is easy to maintain, and is of high quality.

You will not only learn how to convert a set of requirements into a high-quality software design but also how to write efficient code that is easy to read, understand, and modify.

This is a great free course to learn two significant skills data structures and software design. The course is 4-weeks long and requires 8-10 hours of effort weekly. The course also offers a certificate, but you need to pay for it.

4. Secure Software Design Specialization

Security is an essential concern of Modern software design, and this specialization is focused on teaching you how to design secure software. There are 4 courses in this Specialization which will not only show you practices of safe software design but also introduce you to tools and security threads and how to mitigate them.

Like other Coursera specialization, all four courses are free-to-audit, but you need to pay a small fee if you need a certificate of completion, something which you can add to your CV or LinkedIn profile.

This certificate gives you the right to show the world that you know about secure software design. The course is offered by the University of Colorado.

By the way, if you find Coursera courses useful, then I also suggest you join the Coursera Plus, a subscription plan from Coursera which gives you unlimited access to their most popular courses, specialization, professional certificate, and guided projects. It cost around $399/year but its complete worth your money as you get unlimited certificates

5. Java Programming: Principles of Software Design

This is an excellent course for Java programer to learn the principles of Software design. In this course, you will learn how to solve real-world problems with Java using multiple classes.

You will also create programming solutions that scale using Java interfaces. Recognize that software engineering is more than writing code - it also involves logical thinking and design.

As part of the course, you will also enter a program that analyzes and sorts of earthquake data and developed a predictive text generator. If you are a Java programmer, then I highly recommend this course for you.

It's also part of the Java Programming and Software Engineering Fundamentals Specialization, which has helped many programmers to start their Java career

best course to learn software architecture in Java

6. Master Object-Oriented Design in Java - Homework + Solutions

One of the problems with Java developers is that they know how to code, but mostly they are not aware of how to write useful industry-standard object-oriented software. This course tries to fill that gap.

In this course, you will not only learn about object-oriented programming and design using abstract classes and interface but also about OOP design principles like SOLID and outline patterns and design patterns like Builder, Observer, and Decorator, which are vital for writing modular and flexible code.

The course also has assignments where you can apply the knowledge to design software from scratch, which is really great to truly master this valuable skill. The course has been created by Imtiaz Ahmad, one of the Udemy best seller instructors, and more than 19,363 students have already enrolled in this course.

best course to learn object oriented design in Java

That's all about some of the best courses to learn about software design and architecture. As I have said, investing time and effort in these skills goes a long way in your career and becoming a better software developer. They also help you to crack coding interviews because the object-oriented design and system design are an integral part of programming job interviews. If you need some practice, you can also see the Grokking The System Design course on Educative.

Other Articles You May Like to Explore

Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like these software architecture and system design courses, then please share with your friends and colleagues, they will appreciate it. If you have any questions or feedback, then please drop a note.

P.S. - If you are looking to learn Object-Oriented Programming and design, then you can also check out this list of free OOP courses to build your foundations and fill gaps in your understanding.


  1. as a rough estimation, how long it takes to finish Grokking the System Design Interview ?

    1. It depends how much time you spend daily. Estimated completion time: 20h, so if you spend 2 hours daily, 10 days or 2 weeks is enough time to complete this course.

  2. You can learn the system design from here.

  3. could you please tell me if I can go through these courses if i am from python background?

    1. Yes, you can go through, it doesn't matter if you are from Python or Java background, the information is important for any programmer and software developer.


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