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Interview with Karuna Murti

Karuna Murti is the author of Rust Web Development with Rocket, 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?

Karuna: I specialized in backend development. I’ve done backend development for more than 15 years using various languages like PHP, Ruby, Python, Go, and Rust.

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

Karuna: I was interested in doing something insightful with Rust language. It’s a really performant, powerful, and safe language. One of the earliest Rust web framework is Rocket. I’ve been following and using Rocket web framework since the beginning. I submitted a couple of pull requests for Rocket framework. One day I expressed my interest in writing a book in one of my social media profile, and someone from Packt approached me to write a book for Rocket web framework.

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

Karuna: I learned a lot from Rust and Rocket documentation. I’ve been following the development of Rocket since a long time, so I’m pretty familiar with the configuration and how the framework works. Right now the framework itself is in development for v0.5, incorporating async feature and it changed the framework quite a bit. There are a couple of undocumented inner workings of the web framework, so I have to check the source code. More or less the total time I spend researching took about 2-3 months.

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

Karuna: The challenges are mainly trying to explain Rocket web framework to the readers who might not be familiar with Rust language. I feel that web developers might be familiar with a lot of Rocket concepts, but Rust itself is a very different language from languages commonly used for web development. There are concepts like lifetime, borrowing, using heap memory that are not typically discussed when people talking about web development. To overcome those problems I created outline that not only explain Rocket web framework itself, but also how we can use Rust concepts in Rocket. For example when the readers are learning about how to upload different file types, the readers also going to learn about generic concept in Rust.

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

Karuna: Rust are a fast growing languages. Tech companies and organizations are starting to adopt Rust for everything. For example Linux kernel, one of the largest software project in the world are going to be released with Rust support in the near future. Rocket has a huge potential to be one of the best Rust web framework. With it’s type safety and easy derive. Rocket has changed a lot from multi-threaded with no database support out of the box to async with async database support out of the box.

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

Karuna: The Rust language is fairly emerging and this book is one of the first book that explains Rocket web framework.

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

Karuna: The readers can create web application using Rocket web framework, while getting understanding of Rust language.

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

Karuna: Explore new things, not just because everyone else exploring those new things. But explore new technology because they’re an improvement of what have came before.

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

Karuna: I have written a few articles before, that’s all.

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

Karuna: You can find the news for Rocket at https://rocket.rs/master/news/ and news for Rust in https://blog.rust-lang.org/ The development of Rocket is organized at https://github.com/SergioBenitez/Rocket. The forum for Rust is at https://users.rust-lang.org/, you can usually find topics about Rocket or ask questions about Rocket too.

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

Karuna: Absolutely, the people have been helpful since they approached me. They explained in detail of what the process are going to be, helped in every step of the publication and ensured beginner author like myself can successfully write a good book.

Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?

Karuna: I’ve dabbled in community events and user groups, but nothing major or persistent.

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

Karuna: I usually get my news from social websites that have tech sections, like Hacker News or Reddit.

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

Karuna: I found that creating the outline of the books is one of the most important part of writing a book. It’s just like building a boat, you have to have a good structural integrity. The first thing to do is planning what are the end results going to be, then you started from the beginning thinking about the tech and what are the steps to create the end results. From there you can group the steps into chapters. Because I have regular work at Merpay, I had to use my spare time after work and on weekends to plan and write a chapter based on the outline. The planning include researching of the tech, writing and testing the code, and thinking about organizing the way to convey the code for the readers. After the code is ready and the outline for sub topics in a chapter is ready, the writing process itself is not too long.

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

Karuna: In my case perseverance is one of the most crucial aspect of writing. Just try write a paragraph or try think about something to improve, but make sure there’s a progress.

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

Karuna: You can find my professional handle at LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/karunamurti. I have a twitter profile at https://twitter.com/karuna_murti/ but I mostly tweet my ramblings about Star Trek at that handle.

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

Rust Web Development with Rocket is Available on Amazon.com