Interview with John Mueller

John Mueller is the author of Machine Learning Security Principles, we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: What is the name of your book?

John: Machine Learning Security Principles.

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

John: I initially made contact with Packt through my agent, Matt Wagner. I immediately hit it off with the people at Packt and have sincerely enjoyed my time working with them. My motivation for writing this book is that there aren’t any really understandable books about machine learning security on the market; books that managers, researchers, and budding data scientists could read and understand.

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

John: There aren’t a lot of good sources for machine learning security topics online, other than PhD dissertations, which I spent a great deal of time reading. I also looked at news articles, example code, discussion groups, and a wide variety of other sources. Before I decided on anything, however, I spent a good deal of time experimenting with various security issues on my own systems.

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

John: The biggest issue was how to present complex, abstract ideas in a simple, concrete manner. Some of the block diagrams in the book went through quite a few iterations before I thought they’d actually work. Trying to find good references also proved difficult in some cases.

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

John: Security will continue to become more problematic as hackers use better techniques to break into systems and rely more heavily on machine learning methods to do the heavy lifting. However, it’s not just the hackers, but also other sources that can create huge problems and they’re becoming more prevalent as people realize the value of the data they’re working with. Plus, government entities are constantly passing new laws that require anyone working with data to take extraordinary means to protect it.

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

John: The most important feature of my book is that it’s understandable. It also covers a much broader range of security issues that most books do.

Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?

John: Computer Science, Data Science, Computer Hardware, Technical Writing.

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

John: Security shouldn’t be scary, it should be doable.

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

John: Make security a primary part of the design process for any new system, application, user interface, or data storage method. It’s too late to close the door after the hacker is already inside your system.

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

John: This would be a really long list and I do provide this kind of information in my book.

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

John: I enjoyed working with the people at Packt a great deal and would definitely recommend this publisher to other authors.

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

John: I read a lot, but I don’t follow any specific tech journal. However, one of my favorite places to look for information is Towards Data Science (

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

John: I started with a good outline based on the research that I performed before writing the book. I then tried to ensure that the outline followed the ideas that I saw in various discussion groups. After that, I focused on one chapter at a time, rather than let the enormity of the book overwhelm me.

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

Machine Learning Security Principles – Available on


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