Joey Bernal is the author of Industrial IoT for Architects and Engineers, 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)?
Joey: IoT and Cloud Architect.
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Joey: I had been thinking about a book like this for several years actually. I felt I had some things to say. This is my seventh book, so I was not new to the process. I enjoy writing and it’s almost cathartic (big word, don’t judge me please) for me.
At some point Packt reached out to me and asked if I was interested in writing for them. Our first attempt, the timing wasn’t right as I was moving to another country and in a transition phase. A year later I reached back out and told them I was ready.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Joey: As a consultant by profession, I sometimes feel like I am saying the same thing over and over again. I feel like when writing a book, I can get it out once and for all. Of course a lot of work goes into this process. I particularly enjoy the hands on portions. If a chapter is going to be hands on, then I always do the technical bits first. Building a working example. Then the writing come easier for that chapter.
There are some areas you have to research, because you may not be an expert in all areas, but you need to provide a complete book. For that stuff, you need to dig in, make some notes, and start writing. I usually try and tell the reader what and why so they know the scope of what I am providing.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Joey: For this one, it was pesky work that got in the way, for both myself and my co-author. We took much longer then we should have, but worked through it.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Joey: I’m interested to see where platforms go. In the book we focus on AWS and putting together a unique solution for your needs. But IoT platforms continue grow. There is still going to be that not-invented-here attitude, but can platforms get to the point where they will be flexible and cheap enough to take over.
Q. Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Joey: One of the things we wanted to do was use real industrial equipment in our examples. We ended up trying to balance that with using tools that were accessable to our readers. So we avoid using simple sensors attached to a microcontroller as a sample. It feels like we have had enough of that over the last 10 or so years. So for some of the chapters we use industrial sensors and equipment that you would use in an industrial solution.
Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?
Joey: I think most of all we try and guide the reader how to think about their situation and goals, and then provide some options for designing and building a solution. It’s never one size fits all and we don’t even try to pretend like out way is the best. Even in most of our hands-on chapters we show 2 or 3 different paths you could take.
Learn from it, and build YOUR solution.
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Joey: Learn to code! Python, Java, Shell Scripting. I find it devastating how many technical consultants are out there without any hands on knowledge. Anything you touch in this space will require some coding knowledge. Every hands on chapter in our book has some code. We stick with Python in the book.
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Joey: Good support and encouragement from the team. They pushed us when we needed it. and were supportive from start to finish.
You can find Joey’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here