Ryan Mangan is the author of Mastering Azure Virtual Desktop, we got the chance to find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.
Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?
Ryan: IT Infrastructure, Cloud, End User Computing, and Application Packaging/Delivery
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Ryan: I do enjoy creating content and educational material. I started with producing a series of publications for Microsoft on Windows Virtual Desktop which soon changed to Azure Virtual Desktop. I then produced a book called “A introduction to MSIX app attach” which was focused on providing more information and insights on MSIX and app attach to industry due to the lack of resources and information available at the time. The success from the publications and my first book, encouraged me to take design and plan the book Mastering Azure Virtual Desktop.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Ryan: The book was based on the Exam AZ-140 which helped form the structure of the book. I had to design the book in a way that flows so that the reader can read from start to finish as well as pick specific sections for exam preparation. I spent a couple of months researching the requirements for the exam as well as taking the exam myself. I wanted to make the book a bit more personal with “from the field experience” as well as the required information to pass the exam. This was to ensure that anyone in the field or in this sphere of work could benefit from the content written.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Ryan: One of the biggest challenges was ensuring that I provided enough information without writing too much. As some chapters could be a publication for deep dive content. I also found the continued change and improvement of the product required further updates to the drafts to ensure the reader got the most value from the book possible.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Ryan: Azure Virtual Desktop leverages a wide range of Azure product/features. My two favorites were FSLogix and MSIX app attach. Currently Azure Virtual Desktop is growing at an estimated 60% year on year. I do believe that the majority of VDI organizations will move to ether full blown Azure Virtual Desktop or a composite form of AVD using third party products to improve the overall experience, cost optimization etc. .
Q. Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Ryan: I believe that this book has the required content to help anyone who wants to sit the Azure Virtual Desktop Az140 exam as well as others who want tips and tricks as well as some of the field experience which has been passed on in the book.
Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?
Plan an Azure Virtual Desktop Architecture
Implement an Azure Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Manage Access and Security
Manage User Environments and Apps
Monitor and Maintain an Azure Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Hints and Tips
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Ryan: Practice with labs help provide practical knowledge which is required for the exams. The book is full of information for configuring Azure Virtual Desktop, however you should practice using the labs as you progress through the section’s of the book to get the practical knowledge required for the exam.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites, and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Ryan: The team at Packt have been incredibly supportive and I have enjoyed working with the team. I believe support and feedback are two very important aspects of writing a book and Packt have been there through the journey.
Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?
Ryan: Azure Virtual Desktop UK user Group, The Yorkshire EUC Breaky club
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Ryan: The British computer society, https://redmondmag.com/
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Ryan: I had to plan due to my hectic work schedule allocating weekends and dates where possible in my calendar. The biggest challenge was sometimes the effort to spin up the labs ready to write the section. It took longer to build the labs in some cases than it did to create the actual content of the chapter.
Q. What is the one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Ryan: Focus on setting small goals when writing a book. Try and not look at the overall content as it can seem overwhelming. When writing, I find setting small section targets helps get the job done quickly and there is less pressure.
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