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Interview with Glen D Singh

Glen D. Singh is the author of CompTIA Network+ N10-008 Certification Guide: Second Edition, 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?

Glen: Cybersecurity and Network Engineering

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

Glen: Just a few years ago, one of the awesome persons from the Acquisition team at Packt Publishing had reached out to me with the opportunity to become an author for their Cisco security solutions book at the time. I was quite nervous and excited about becoming an author for the first time as it was something I had not foreseen during my younger years. The opportunity and experience were very thrilling as it allowed me to share my knowledge and wisdom with many people around the world.

As time progress, I’ve written a lot more books with Packt that focuses on network engineering and architecture that are aligned to popular network certification vendors such as Cisco and CompTIA, and cybersecurity topics that focuses on discovering and exploiting security vulnerabilities on systems and networks using Kali Linux. One of my greatest motivations for writing the ‘CompTIA Network+ N10-008 Certification Guide’ is to simply give back to the community with the intention of helping as many people as I can who has an interest in learning or starting a career in network administration and engineering.

Many years ago, when I began my journey as a network engineer, there were many things I wished I knew at the time, some of which isn’t always taught in a classroom, but writing this book allowed me to share all the wisdom, experiences and knowledge onto to others who are interested in network administration and engineering and wants to obtain the official CompTIA Network+ certification.

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

Glen: As a cybersecurity and networking lecturer and author, I always try to keep up to date with the latest news on technologies and trends that are happening within the industry. For instance, when CompTIA released their new CompTIA Network+ N10-008 exam objectives for the new certification, I know it was time to get started working on this book for readers such as students, professionals and enthusiasts who are interested in becoming CompTIA Network+ certified. After reviewing the exam objectives, I made a comparison on the old exam objectives and the new one to determine what has changed. This helped me to determine the legacy technologies that are no longer part of the curriculum and the new technologies that needs to be in this book.

Additionally, I spent some time researching all topics from the official CompTIA exam objective and started creating the book’s outline to ensure all topics were thoroughly covered while providing additional insights to help all readers gain a solid understanding of some of the more challenging topics. Even while writing, I continuously did research to ensure my written content was most accurate and contains all details and discussions needed to not only guide the reader to passing the official CompTIA Network+ N10-008 certification but acquire the skills and knowledge needed to be a network professional in the industry. Overall, the research process was continuous throughout the entire book, to provide the best quality to readers.

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

Glen: In my experience of being an author, there’s always one specific challenge I sometimes encounter from time to time, the good old “writer’s block” experience. It usually when my mind is unable to develop or create the words I need to write on a topic and sometimes it affects writing an entire chapter. Honestly, it can be a bit frustrating at times, because it occurs randomly without any prior signs. It’s definitely one of the many experiences of being an author. One of the key concepts I’ve learnt when experiencing “writer’s block” is to try to not get angry or frustrated, instead take a break or go for a walk and ground yourself with the earth while listening to the sounds of nature and feel the wind passing around you. Grounding oneself to the earth and nature can relieve you from the stress and frustration while helping you clear your mind and thoughts.

Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

Glen: One of the things I like about IT certifications are the certification vendors usually update their exam objectives quite often as new technologies are being developed and implemented in the world. Hence, the technologies and content within book are always and will continue to be in-demand by both aspiring and seasoned IT and network professionals around the world. The strategies, technologies and tools covered in this book not only sets a baseline for anyone who wants to start a career in network administration and engineering, but also teaches the reader how to develop new skills that are needed to manage modern network architectures.

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

Glen: While there are many amazing books in the market for readers, choosing a great book can be sometimes challenge at times, especially a book that will teach you how to become a network professional from ground-up while not only preparing the reader for the official CompTIA Network+ N10-008 certification exam but helps the reader to develop and hone their skills as a network professional who can design, implementing, maintain and troubleshoot modern networks in organizations.

This CompTIA Network+ N10-008 Certification Guide is designed to help readers easily understand core networking concepts without the need of prior industry experience or knowledge within this field of study. It takes the reader through a journey from beginner, gradually moving to intermediate and advance topics while maintaining a student- and learner-centric approach.

During the writing process of this book, I ensure all topics are aligned to the official CompTIA Network+ N10-008 exam objectives while providing additional details that every aspiring and seasoned network professional needs to know. With a learner-centric approach, anyone will be able to use this book for in-classroom, instructor-led and self-study based on the learner’s preference. Furthermore, there are various hands-on, practical exercises and exam prep questions to help the reader gain practical experience and better understanding to challenge topics.

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

Glen: You will be able identify common networking concepts, services, protocols and architectures. Furthermore, you will be able to implement wireless networking technologies and solutions to ensure organizations has an optimal wireless network infrastructure to support mobile devices. Additionally, you will be able to identify common cyber-attacks and threats and learn how network security solutions are able to prevent and mitigate threats and threats actors from compromising the assets of an organization. Lastly, you will learn how to implement network hardening techniques to safeguard devices and use best practices to discover and resolve common networking issues on wired and wireless network architectures.

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

Glen: Everything you read in tech, always try to create a lab on the topic and explore while being an out-of-box thinker. Use virtualization technologies to help you create a virtual lab environment on your personal computer to gain the hands-on experience and hone your skills. There are so many awesome topics within the field of tech and sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming trying to learn everything all at once. Always try to discover your passion or the fields in tech you enjoy doing the most, then focus your learning path on those specific field(s) and it will help you become an expert in no time.

Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?

Glen: Most certainly, earlier in 2022 I started my personal blog that enables me to share my knowledge and experiences to all readers through concise articles on cybersecurity, network security, and network engineering topics. Readers can follow and subscribe to my personal blog at: https://glensingh.net/blog.

Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?

Glen: These are great websites and blogs readers can follow to learn more about new and emerging technologies: https://blogs.cisco.com , www.wired.com , www.theverge.com , and www.cnet.com

Q. How would you describe your author’s journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Glen: My journey with Packt has always been a wonderful experience and the team of editors and managers were always there to provide guidance and support to me. Packt made the publishing experience very easy and stress-free as there were many behind-the-scene activities which they handled professionally and seamlessly, allowing me to focus more on writing each chapter of my books. I would definitely recommend anyone who’s interested in publishing their tech books with Packt.

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

Glen: Keeping up to date with technology news can be somewhat overwhelming as there are so many new things happening daily in the tech industry. Personally, I subscribe for newsletters on various top tech websites that provides the top tech news via daily email messages to me. This enables me to quickly read the top news quickly each day and keep up to date without affecting my daily schedule.

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

Glen: The first thing was getting started with the outline of the book as it helps to determine who are the target audience, learning outcomes for the reader, book overview and structure, and the details of each chapter. Understanding who the target audience is important because as a writer you need to understand the mindset, needs and expectations of the readers. Additionally, the learning outcomes was used to determine what the reader will learn after reading each chapter and what skills will be gained after completing the book. Creating meaningful learning outcomes that are needed within the industry improves the value of the book to the reader.

Next, developing the book structure helped me create the various chapter heading and sections of the overall book, this provided a visual on the number of chapters, their titles and the order these chapters are listed in the table of contents. Lastly, creating the detail for each chapter such as their description, sub-headings and skills that will be learned at the end of a chapter. Once the outline was developed, it was time to start writing the chapters. While writing chapter 1, I wrote the sub-headings and created multiple key points for each of these sub-headings.

After, I started elaborating on each key point and was able write multiple paragraphs to provide a detailed breakdown of each key point. Eventually, from a few key points of a sub-header turned into a few pages of written content. I repeated this technique throughout each chapter and was able to exceed my own expectations along the way to create an awesome book which contains thorough explanations and valuable content.

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

Glen: Always create a fully structured outline for your book that contains the specific details of each chapter and their purpose. Within each chapter, create headers based on the topics you want to include as it will help you to develop a smooth flow for your words and content. Setting deadlines for each chapter is good but sticking to those deadlines is better as it helps you to manage your time during the writing process while meeting your objectives.

When writing on a topic, breakdown each element of the topic into smaller piece and write on each piece one step at a time. Ensuring each paragraph is simple and very clear to understand by anyone who reads it. Consider there are readers who are new to the topic and without any prior knowledge, simplicity and easy-to-follow methodology works very well with many readers.

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

Glen: Yes, you can find me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/glen-singh, https://www.facebook.com/glen.d.singh, https://www.instagram.com/glen.d.singh/, https://www.twitter.com/glendsingh

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

CompTIA Network+ N10-008 Certification Guide: Second Edition is Available on Amazon.com