Subramanya Vajiraya is the author of Serverless ETL and Analytics with AWS Glue, 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)?
Subramanya: Data Engineering and Analysis, Serverless Computing, AWS Cloud, AWS Glue, Apache Spark
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Subramanya: The effort involved in implementing Data Integration workloads within organizations can be extremely high and there are a number of tools and services available in the market today. AWS has certainly made this process considerably easier by introducing a number of services and features over the last few years to help individuals and organizations implement their workload with minimal setup.
Most novice users have trouble keeping up with the new features and changes to these tools and services without investing a significant amount of time and effort. This book is an attempt from us to reduce the effort involved and help our readers get started with their data integration journey on AWS.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Subramanya: Engineer at AWS.
I regularly assist our customers with their queries and guide them on best approach to use for their specific use-case. That being said, a significant amount of time was spent in planning the list of topics to discuss in the book and the flow of topics itself. Once we had the basic outline in place, we were able to quickly start putting content together.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Subramanya: We started writing this book when the world was suffering through COVID-19 pandemic and everyone was affected by the changes this brought upon us in one way or the other. As you can guess, while putting together content for complex technical topics, it requires a huge amount of coordination with other authors. This was especially challenging for us since our team was spread across 4 different continents.
Often the challenge was to decide on the concepts to include/omit and the assumptions we make about our readers. Any concept we include has to be backed by examples which our readers can relate to real-world scenarios. Coming up with such examples and validating them can be time consuming. Any time we had such challenges, we had discussions with the team and found the best way forward.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Subramanya: While the focus of this book is on AWS Glue and its feature-set, we have covered a number of other related tools and services and each of these are changing by the day!
If we are to consider the way these tools and technologies have grown in the past, I personally believe that they are going to be further optimized, even faster and more cost effective in the future. As we are all well aware, this is a never ending game and that’s what makes it exciting!
Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Subramanya: As I understand, this is the first book being released that focuses on Serverless ETL and Analytics and I have not found another book on the market as of now which focuses specifically on AWS Glue and its connected services.
Q: What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away with from the book?
Subramanya: While the concepts of data integration and the tasks involved may look intimidating at first, a little bit of research in to the use case and planning will help our readers achieve their goal. Managing an organization’s data infrastructure doesn’t have to be hard and certainly doesn’t have to be expensive and time consuming. This book demonstrates to our readers how we can leverage tools and services readily available to implement their workload and not start from scratch every time.
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Subramanya: My advice would be to get their hands dirty and try to implement whatever new concept you learn. There is no substitute for practical hands-on experience. If you run into issues or if you make mistakes, try and fix it on your own. Look for resources that can help you. In my opinion, this is the best way to learn.
No matter how many new programming languages, tools and services are released, fundamental concepts of computing haven’t changed in a really long time. Having strong foundational knowledge is the key to learning any new computing technology, tools or services.
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites, and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Subramanya: AWS Blogs is my go-to place whenever I’m trying to learn something new in AWS. Our readers can ask their questions on AWS re:Post forums (https://repost.aws/).
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Subramanya: It has been a great journey! The team members at Packt were extremely helpful in getting the structure and format of the book right. Their guidance on maintaining the structure and flow of concepts was invaluable!
And yes! I strongly recommend Packt to aspiring authors. They will work with you on your idea, provide you necessary guidance and resources and help you get it across the finish line.
Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?
Subramanya: I’m active within the AWS and Data Science Communities and often make an effort attend summits and conferences near me.
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Subramanya: AWS Big Data Blogs (https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/big-data/)! There are some really interesting articles in there which covers design-patterns that can help me understand the services and underlying concepts better.
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Subramanya: The first thing I did was to come up with an outline of concepts to cover in each chapter. Once I had a list of things I wanted to touch upon, I used the scratchpad approach to jot down detailed information about each of the concepts and once I was happy with the depth of the concept and examples, I started moving these to the final document and work on rephrasing and formatting.
Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Subramanya: Manage your time better by prioritizing tasks as required. It’s very easy to lose track, go down a rabbit hole only to end up removing content that you spent time on in the next draft because now you realize it was not as relevant or necessary as you originally thought.
Q. Would you like to share your social handles? If so, please share.
Subramanya: Twitter: https://twitter.com/svajiraya LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/svajiraya
You can find Subramanya’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here