Patrick Haggerty is the author of ‘The Ultimate Guide to Google Cloud Foundation’.
We got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.
Q: What are your specialist tech area(s)?
Patrick: Google Cloud, Kubernetes, data engineering, software development
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Patrick: I’m 54 and I’ve always loved technology and learning about high-tech. Writing a book was an opportunity for me to extend my knowledge in Google Cloud, because you may think you know a topic, but teach it, or write about it, and you’ll quickly figure out the areas where you are weak. I’m good at knowing my weaknesses, and I’m good at researching and fleshing those weak spots out. I went into this process knowing a lot about building a foundation in Google Cloud, but now I know 10 times as much as I did when I started. Good times.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Patrick: In the writing world there are planners, and there are pantsters. I’m a writing by the seat of my pants sort of writer. I did an initial outline, which Packt liked and which the book doesn’t very much resemble, to get an idea of the direction I needed to move, and then I dove in. I researched as I wrote and by chapter 2, my book was taking me in a direction I didn’t initially plan. When I train people, my brain is always trying to come up with better ways to explain things so my students get it. Writing my first Packt book was the same sort of experience. I had a rough framework related to the topics that were important, but then I put them together in a way that made the most sense to me, and I hope to my readers.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Patrick: Yeah, I didn’t know as much as I thought I did. I work in Google Cloud daily, mostly teaching people how to use it, but setting up a full end-to-end foundation isn’t something I do more than once every now and again. Once I got in there writing, I ran into areas where I was weak and had to do lots of research. Honestly though, that’s the most exciting thing. I’m not writing a book because I expect to make a lot of money, or because I have some compelling desire to see my name on a book spine, I’m writing because it forces me to learn, and I really love that stuff.
Q. What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Patrick: Keep learning baby! Every day something changes in Google Cloud, and I get paid to try and keep up. I love my job 🙂
Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Patrick: Look, I’ve been training people in technology for close to thirty years. I may not be the smartest person, but I can tell you in all modesty, that not a lot of people can teach better than me. I love getting up in front of a group of technologists looking to learn something new, and helping them reach their goals. I approached the book like I would teaching a class full of people. I told goofy stories and wrote in a casual style close to how I talk, and I think that works with a lot of people. You read this book and you’re going to learn something about building a foundation in Google Cloud. I promise you.
Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?
Patrick: I want you to be able to fill in the gaps you have as they relate to building a foundation in Google Cloud. No more, and no less.
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Patrick: In the world in general, and in technology specifically, change happens. You can either embrace that change with the bright eyed excitement of a child, or you can hate every day and die unhappy. Don’t ever stop learning and don’t stop growing. I’ve been a US Marine, a mechanic, went to school to be an actuary, worked tech support, and taught the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). I’ve taught more computer systems, technologies, and languages than you can imagine. In all the things I’ve done I’ve never once thought to myself, “This is is. I’m going to do X until I die.” Today, I help people do things in Google Cloud, and I love it. The cloud never stops growing, and I never stop learning as it does.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Patrick: I don’t have time for a blog, ha.
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites, and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Patrick: I manage a page of links on Google Cloud, which I update almost daily. It’s huge, but you want to read about something in Google Cloud, find the section of my doc and start clicking. The URL is http://gcp.help/ but that just redirects you to the Google Doc. You may have to use a non-work machine to get to it, but once you do, have fun.
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Patrick: Packt has been great to work with. They’ve been super helpful throughout the writing journey, and they’ve forgiven me for not following my original outline, and especially for being late! Everyone from initial contact, through the pubs to marketing have been a joy.
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Patrick: No, I like to teach about Google Cloud and whenever I see something new, I like to research it. Google has a what’s new in Google Cloud page on their blog which I read weekly. They also have an excellent podcast, if that’s your thing. Their blog in general and their youtube channel area also excellent resources.
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Patrick: Like I said earlier, pantster. I knew what I sort of wanted to say, I knew where Google’s 10 step plan to building a foundation in Google Cloud was, and I dove in. Finding time to write was a problem. I put off getting started for too long and then had to write every spare moment (I’m writing this on a Saturday). If I do another book, I’m going to do a better job writing just a couple of pages every day, and trying to take most weekends actually off. You should see the size of my honey do list…
Q. What is the one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Patrick: Stop editing yourself as you write. Get the words down on the page, and once you finish the chapter, do a read through and edit. You can’t edit something that isn’t written. Also, don’t give up. Writing is like any skill, you’ll get better the more you do it.
You can find Patrick’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here.
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