Lahiru Fernando is the author of UiPath Associate Certification Guide; we got the chance to sit down with her and find out more about her experience of writing with Packt.
Q: What are your specialist tech areas?
Lahiru: RPA, Document Processing, Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Lahiru: A couple of years back I embarked on a journey to change my career into RPA. I used to be a BI developer before the year 2019. The RPA journey was very interesting, challenging, and at the same time, was quite rewarding. I was able to become one of the UiPath MVPs in year 2021 for the first time. While my community contribution was going on, team from Packt reached out to me with this amazing opportunity to be an author of a book. Being surprised and curious about the new chapter that is just about to unfold, I realized that I was recommended to be an author by Rajesh Nambiar and Vibhor Srivastava from UiPath. I’m always focused on helping the community in the best possible creative ways. Being an author of a book was something I never expected in my entire life. However, I was super excited and motivated to be a part of this amazing team to do something different. Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Lahiru: Writing a book is not an easy task. Also, we had to make sure that we mention all the technical content in a way it is easy to understand by anyone. At the beginning, we spent a couple of weeks to come up with the structure to find what topics we are going to cover, how to structure them, and topics we can provide as a value addition to the users etc. Hence, we spent several weeks in setting up the foundation for the book.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Lahiru: Of course, there were a lot of challenges. The biggest challenge is that Im not a native english speaker. Writing a book requires a special way of expressing ourselves in a way others can easily follow. I even took some online lessons to improve myself to write in a much better way. Further, I did not know how to write a full fledged book, and how to structure each chapter. The Packt team supported us all the way, giving us the required training, support material to refer, and help us improve groom ourselves as writers throughout the entire process.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Lahiru: RPA is a technology that many are talking about today. We saw the demand for RPA rising especially during the time of the covid pandemic as people realized the need and value. Today, many organizations are embarking on their digital transformation journey automating mundane tasks. The universities across the globe started introducing RPA to educate the next generation of the workforce to prepare them for the future to come. RPA and UiPath as a platform leading the industry will be one of the most important technologies that anyone and everyone should know in the near future.
Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Lahiru: The book provides a practical syllabus based guide to successfully embark on your RPA journey and get certified. The book also includes content around real-world use cases, mock tests to practice yourself for the exam, and get certified in the first attempt.
Q: What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away with from the book?
Lahiru: Reading this book give the user a good understanding of the world of RPA, and how to prepare for the RPA journey. The main focus is to get the users familiar with the technology, and the core functionality of the UiPath platform. The main take away is the knowledge and experience required to pass the Associate certification on the first attempt
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Lahiru: Technology evolves everyday. The most important thing is staying up to date with the current changes and trends. Always make it a practice to spend a couple of hours on yourself everyday to do your research, practice new things, and learn a something new every day. The continuous learning is very important. Further, whatever you learn, share it with others. Learning and sharing both helps you to get more understanding of the technology.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Lahiru: Blog: https://medium.com/@lahirufernando90
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Lahiru: UIPath forum is a great place to start engaging with experts in the industry, and get all your questions answered.
https://forum.uipath.com/ UiPath community platform helps the users to sign up for events happening all around the the world to get more knowledge about latest updates, features, use cases etc. https://community.uipath.com/
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Lahiru: The author journey with Packt was super amazing. This is my first attempt to be an author. I did not have any idea on how to write a book. But the Packt team was very supportive from start to end. They provided us the required training on how to write, the resources and guidelines on how to structure the book, and many more to help us groom ourselves as an author, and get a quality book delivered at the end. The support, guidance, motivation given by the team is amazing. I would really take this opportunity to recommend Packt for anyone who would love to become an author. Even I am interested in continuing this journey, and maybe work on another book with Packt 🙂
Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?
Resa: Yes.. I am a part of the UiPath community. I provide mentoring and guidance to everyone who require support in their RPA journey
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Lahiru: Don’t have a specific journal as such. But I do a lot of research every day on Google related to RPA, UiPath, AI, machine learning etc. I find quite a lot of interesting topics that I like to learn through those. When it comes to UiPath, I still with UiPath forum and the community platforms to stay updated with the latest features and trends.
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Lahiru: Writing a book requires a lot of focus, patience, and a peaceful mind. At the beginning we prioratized and came up with some deadlines for us to work with. I also had to make sure that this effort is not conflicting with my usual daily work. So, I figured that waking up a little early in the morning and focusing on the book is the best way to get it done. So, I woke up around 4AM everyday, got to a place where i had a nice view of the sunrise, birds, etc that helped me to focus, and started writing the book. I do that till about 9 or 10 in the morning, and then start with the usual office work. I have to say waking up early morning and focusing on the work is more productive.
Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Lahiru: The main point for me is, planning what you are going to write in the chapter. Get the initial high level structure in place first. Once you have the structure, think through each section and plan your flow and the content. The visualization you build in your mind is what takes you through the chapter in adding the content.
You can find Lahiru‘s book on Amazon by following this link : Please click here