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Interview with Author Roy Justus

Roy Justus is the author of ServiceNow for Architects and Project Leaders; we got the chance to sit down and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: What are your specialist tech areas?

Roy: ServiceNow, Observability, Machine Learning 

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Roy: I’ve been part of the ServiceNow community since very early on. Back then there were no resources to fall back on other than the wiki documentation and the ITIL v3 books. Since ServiceNow has become so prevalent in our world today I wanted to compile the resource that I wish I had back in those early days. The content we put into this book would have been invaluable to me and I hope it can serve that role for someone just getting started today. We tried really hard to avoid duplicating the content that is found on Now Learning or the documentation site and instead create something that helps with those areas in ServiceNow that we find are important but often overlooked.  

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Roy: In a sense much of what I’ve written and learned over the past decade prepared me to write this book, but I still found myself needing to cross reference specific recommendations as the best practices and even technical details have changed many times over the years. The latter half of the book was the most challenging for research as we look at newer products such as Employee Service Center where not all the patterns and practices are fully consistent yet. In that case we spent hours going through roadmap presentations and even digging into the code of Out of the Box ServiceNow Instances to make the content as up-to date as possible, even knowing that New Releases would likely change some factors. 

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Roy: A really big challenge was to keep one audience in focus and not explore tangents that may not be relevant to them. We also wanted to create something that would have value even years down the road when the ServiceNow technology advances so much of the content is focused on those principles and ideas that have already stood the test of time, digging into specific implementation details only where we felt it brought something new to the ecosystem. 

Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

Roy: I have read many great books focusing on the technical aspects of ServiceNow but haven’t found anything targeting leaders and architects specifically. I think that instead of competing with any of the existing books ours is one that is complementary and informs strategy more than tactical execution. In other words I’d like this book to help people do the right things, while other books on ServiceNow more commonly focus on doing things right.  

Q: What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away with from the book?

Roy: I would hope that our readers come away with a strong appreciation of the core theme that these technologies and processes are there to create and safeguard value for the people that use them and the organizations in which they operate. Far too many projects operate without a clear understanding of what specific value that project is supposed to deliver. If we could help nudge just a few projects towards value alignment that would be a huge win.  

Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?

Roy: In all technology and in ServiceNow in particular I think the most important thing is to find some problem and then start working to try and solve it. Certifications are great but I learned more in my countless hours of hands on explorations than I did in preparing for any of my ServiceNow certifications. 

Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?

Roy: I actually really enjoy reading the API docs on the ServiceNow developer site. Aside from that most of my professional reading is on https://arxiv.org and https://www.lesswrong.com, the former for technical advances and the latter for tools and frameworks for organizing knowledge. 

Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?

Roy: Poorly. This book got done despite my organizational skills, not because of them. 

Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

Roy: Just write and expect that you’re going to have to edit a lot to get things to a point where you’ll be happy with it. 

Q. Would you like to share your social handles? If so, please share.

Roy: www.linkedin.com/in/rjustus

You can find Roy’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here

ServiceNow for Architects and Project Leaders is Available on Amazon.com