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Interview with Julien Simon

Julien Simon is the author of Learn Amazon SageMaker, we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey.

Julien: I was contacted by a friendly Packt editor, who asked me if I was interested in writing a book on SageMaker. I had turned down book offers proposals before, because my travel schedule was too heavy, but COVID-19 lockdown forced me to stay home for a while. This gave me the time I needed to write a book, and I accepted the offer!

Q: How long did it take you to write the book?

Julien: It took me a little less than 3 months, working full time on the text and code.

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

Julien: I’ve been working for AWS for 5 years, focusing on SageMaker for about 3 years. It’s fair to say I was in well-known territory. Most of the book was written in my head, so it was more a case of putting everything on paper and writing code samples.

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

Julien: Not really. The Packt team was very easy to work with, and they provided excellent feedback during the writing process. As some of my examples are pretty involved, I did hit a few tricky bugs, but my engineering colleagues quickly fixed them.

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

Julien: Learning should be part of your daily routine, just like physical exercise! You should set time aside to read, if only a few pages, and to run code samples. I encourage you to tweak, experiment, and leave no stone unturned. Be curious and don’t let go until you really understand how things work.

Q. How do you keep up-to-date on your tech?

Julien: Blogs and books, mostly. Nothing beats the depth of quality written content. Long-form videos can be useful too, like conference and university talks.

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

Julien: https://medium.com/@julsimon

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

Julien: AWS blogs: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/ , https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/machine-learning/
Applied ML blogs: https://machinelearningmastery.com/ , http://francescopochetti.com/ , https://cosminsanda.com/
Research ML blogs: https://ruder.io/ , http://www.offconvex.org/ , https://thegradient.pub/

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

Julien: It was very smooth. I never thought writing a tech book would be this simple. I’d definitely recommend Packt to other authors.

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

Learn Amazon SageMaker – Available on Amazon.com