Dylan Meeus is the author of Functional Programming in Golang; 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?
Dylan: Go programming, functional programming.
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Dylan: I’ve always been interested in sharing what I learn and in teaching. Within the Go community, this took place in the form of blogging and conference talks. While having an interest for both Go as well as Functional Programming languages such as Haskell, it sparked a natural curiosity to apply those Functional concepts to Go. Personally I think it’s interesting to look into neighboring domains and expand our knowledge of the paradigm in which we work.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Dylan: Through content that I had written previously for my blog, I had a good understanding of the content material which I wanted to cover. Most research time probably went into Generics, as they were a relatively new addition to the Go programming language. Research took the form of reading blogs, watching YouTube videos but also just playing around with Go code.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Dylan: Writer’s block did happen on occasion. At times the idea of what to cover was clear but the breakdown in how to teach it wasn’t. Typically I just tried a few things, often with “pen and paper” approach to just scribble random thoughts in how to approach it. Also, writing the code first helped to then understand how it could be build throughout the chapter logically.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Dylan: Go will become more and more relevant. It’s a language that continues to grow in popularity and is generally liked by software engineers. Functional Programming is also seeing a rise in popularity, with more and more concepts of functional programming being adopted by mainstream languages.
Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Dylan: It’s a practical introduction to Functional Programming that does not get too bogged down in the theory. This book focuses on applicable strategies that you can start applying right away to the code you’re writing. It’s also up-to-date with the latest Go developments (Generics) while still covering the pre-generics way of doing things.
Q: What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away with from the book?
Dylan: 1) Functional programming is viable in Go and can benefit your codebase. 2) You don’t need pure functional programming to get (all) the benefit of functional programming. 3) Mix and match liberally in Go, use the functional paradigm where it makes sense.
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Dylan: Try out the code examples and play around with them. As for any technology, the best way to learn is to get hands-on.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Dylan: Yes, but not active enough: https://dylanmeeus.github.io/
Q: Can you share any blogs, websites, and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning? What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away with from the book?
Dylan: There’s a lot of information on the internet about Go and Functional Programming.
Q. How would you describe your author’s journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Dylan: It was good, could not have done it without the support I received! It’s also a relief knowing that there’s both technical and editor checks happening on the content. I’d definitely recommend Packt to aspiring authors.
Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?
Dylan: Used to more actively, but time (and COVID) kind of disrupted a lot of the activity – also moved countries during COVID and have not yet picked it up again. Probably something I should do!
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Dylan: news.ycombinator.com (hacker news) is one of my favorite ways of keeping up-to-date.
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Dylan: Having dedicated writing times was what worked for me. But it did take some weeks to find times that actually worked well for me. Eventually it became part of my routine.
Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Dylan: What helped me was having a dedicated time for writing (and sticking to that).
Q. Would you like to share your social handles? If so, please share.
Dylan: LinkedIn, Twitter, Github
You can find Dylan’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here