Nagaraj Venkatesan is the author of Azure Data Engineering Cookbook Edition2, we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.
Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?
Nagaraj: Microsoft – Data and AI Technology stack
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Nagaraj: Over the years, I have helped many customers solve complex data engineering problems. Thought, it was a good idea to compile some of those solutions into recipes which can be useful for the community.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Nagaraj: Most of the content is purely through experience gained in data engineering over the last 5 years and database management over last 15 years. So, most of the content naturally flowed 🙂 Of course, for some of the minor details, I would test the idea / recipe a week or 10 days prior to writing it.
I took a fair amount of time to research the hardware, software, people and process components of BI and DW before penning down the chapters. The research was ongoing to be honest – because as I was penning down chapters, new questions arose in me and by association, I figured out that those questions will be asked by the reader as well. So every topic was well researched – some on the spot, some preemptively.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Nagaraj: Book being a cookbook, trying to make sure one can start the book from any part of the book was a big challenge. Striking a balance between technical complexity and making it easily to follow and also ensuring readers can practice the recipes in their environment is another.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Nagaraj: Data and AI is the most happening area in computing space. Microsoft Azure is an excellent platform for data engineering and I see more advanced integration with AI in the future. I also see Data governance becoming one of the most sought after subjects as people begin to develop more and more complex data engineering pipelines.
Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Nagaraj: Simplicity. If you have basic understanding about Azure ( or even just any other cloud), you should be able to pick this book, work with it and would develop strong skills on Azure Data Engineering once you are done with it.
Q: What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away with from the book?
Nagaraj: Understanding of Azure Data Platform, data engineering process. Learn to build efficient data engineering pipelines which can ingest, store, process and consume the data and help you gain insights out of it. Get well versed with technologies like Azure Synapse Analytics, Databricks, Data Factory and Azure SQL Database. Also, get exposed to data governance services like Microsoft Purview and monitoring services like log analytics.
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Nagaraj: Always learn.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Nagaraj: Blog is – striclysql.blogspot.com
Youtube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI4UsoK8y6r00j7Xc5_TTuw
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites, and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Nagaraj: docs.microsoft.com and Microsoft learn ( https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/browse/?roles=data-engineer) are solid resources for people to follow and learn these technologies at depth
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Nagaraj: Absolutely. I am a first time author and Packt has a friendly editorial team to help and guide through the writing and publishing process
Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?
Nagaraj: Yes, I am part of several Microsoft Data and AI communities.. Most prominent one being the Singapore Azure, Data and office community – https://www.meetup.com/mssgug/
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Nagaraj: SQLServerCentral – https://www.sqlservercentral.com/ is an interesting one. Twitter keeps you updated anyways 🙂
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Nagaraj: Planned to write the book over the weekends as work keeps me busy completely during the weekdays. In the end, glad it all worked out well.
Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Nagaraj: Keeping things simple would always help
Q. Would you like to share your social handles? If so, please share.
You can find Nagaraj‘s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here