Patrik Borosch is the author of Cloud Scale Analytics with Azure Data Services, 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)?
Patrik: I am a Cloud Solution Architect in the Data & AI area at Microsoft. This means Business Intelligence and Advanced Analytics in the Modern Data Warehouse / Data Lakehouse is my daily work.
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Patrik: I was approached by a representative of Packt over LinkedIn. It seems that my posts have caught her attention. My motivation was to spread the word about the Modern Data Warehouse with Azure Data Services. There are so many different options and literally any project size can be fulfilled. I have learned about so many new facets of the Azure Data Services and how they are working together. Now after writing the book I am even more convinced that Azure is the perfect platform to run an analytical project that combines the BI world as we know it with the new advanced analytical technologies like Data Lakes, Machine Learning, Cognitive Services but also near-realtime or realtime processing.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Patrik: My daily work was part of my research. Giving me the opportunity to work on projects that implement exactly the services that I am writing about.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Patrik: Timing was a challenge during the writing process. During the pandemic the workload in my job skyrocketed and there was never enough time to squeeze in the writing. But I managed somehow to deliver without too much delays. A special thanks goes to my wife! She was always full of understanding and always supported me even during the night sessions, when I needed to finish another chapter. To overcome procrastination I planned my writing times ahead and didn’t deviate too much from these appointments.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Patrik: Microsoft is definitely on the right way with their Synapse platform. I am sure the company will keep adding more features to the platform to make it even more competitive in the future. The tight integration between analytical services on Azure will keep delivering on the success of the users and will make their life far easier. The times, where you have to buy many different licenses to accomplish all the tasks in your data estate are over. Platforms like Azure with services like Synapse will enable the customers to react fast on business requirements. The availability of Cognitive Services and Machine Learning components and the ease of use of these functions will push the performance of the customers to new heights and help them deliver better services to their customers, the consumers in the end.
Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Patrik: There where many books available on Azure Data Services already. But I didn’t find one, that showed the services together in their context. Sure, you can build a Data Warehouse with Synapse dedicated SQL Pools. But what about the Modern DWH with a Data Lake integrated? How would you integrate Machine Learning into this architecture? And which services would you use? Would you always need all of the Data Services available or would it be possible to also start with a smaller t-shirt size and then grow later? Where does Data Governance kick in and what service would you use? I have tried to give a holistic view over the Azure Data Services that can be used to form a Modern Data Warehouse / Data Lakehouse. And as we are talking about cloud services, there is no need to start with the Big Mac upfront. Our customers can start small but can always be convinced that when they need more punch, the tight integration, the scalability and elasticity of the cloud services will support them in going forward.
Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?
Patrik: The book gives a start into the Modern Data Warehouse with Azure Data Services. If you are an absolute beginner with Azure Data Services or if you already are proficient with Azure but want to investigate on how a modern data estate can be built on Azure, this book will help you start. The book will describe the services and their purpose. It will teach you, how to set them up and how to do your first steps with them. It will further locate the Azure Data Services within the Modern Data Warehouse architecture and will discuss which service you might want to use when. The most important takeaway from the book might be, that once you start into the analytical world of Azure and around Synapse, you might find (just like me) that you won’t need other services any longer as there is everything you need available right at your fingertips.
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Patrik: My number one tip on learning tech is: always start with a use case. When you want to solve a problem, you will be able to ask far better questions and develop into a certain direction. Sure, you won’t always learn everything about the technology with your question, but you will have a far better start. My second tip is: never give up. I spent ages in solving certain challenges. When you give up too early you will never learn how rewarding it can be, when you finally “win” against the problem. And be it only a small script, that you want to run or a configuration that you want to finish, you name it. Finally: stay curious! We live in exciting times, where you only need to wait for weeks or months until there are new technologies coming up, that might take you to new heights and make you view things from perspectives you never thought about.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Patrik: Yes, a kind of. I have started to write articles on LinkedIn.
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Patrik: I have named some in the book.
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Patrik: Yes. In the beginning it was a little bumpy until we found a common language. Maybe the documents for new authors could need the one or the other adjustment. But yes, I can really recommend Packt to aspiring authors. And I already did. A colleague of mine is writing a cook book about Power Query for Packt.
Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?
Patrik: only loosely. Mostly within Microsoft
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Patrik: I don’t have any favourites.
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Patrik: Yes. I found that a strict plan helped me most to stay current and on track.
Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Patrik: Keep writing. Don’t procrastinate too much… You will be in trouble delivering on time.
You can find Patrik’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here