HomeAuthor InterviewsInterview with Priscila Heller

Interview with Priscila Heller

Priscila Heller is the author of Automating Workflows with GitHub Actions, we got the chance to sit down with her and find out more about her experience of writing with Packt.

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

Priscila: GitHub and technical support

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

Priscila: LinkedIn has been generous to me and my career in many ways! Shazeen Iqbal reached out to me through LinkedIn mentioning plans to write a book about GitHub Actions, and asking if I was interested. I rarely say no to a good challenge, and after meeting with both Shazeen and Sankalp Khattri, I took on this fantastic opportunity.

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

Priscila: I started researching as soon as I accepted the challenge to write the book. I was a beginner to GitHub Actions myself, and decided to test everything out as I was reading the documentation. Video tutorials on Youtube, public documentation and a lot of Googling and searches on GitHub.com helped me learn and write about GitHub Actions.

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

Priscila: There were many challenges throughout the process of writing this book, including a global pandemic! I was also hospitalized with a health scare and needed some time to recover. On a technical note, I was not familiar with technologies and platforms that I wrote about. I am not a software developer, despite learning some Javascript/CSS/HTML in the past. The way I found to overcome these technical challenges was to test everything out myself, and rely on the community that shares so much knowledge on GitHub community forum, stack overflow and other platforms.

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

Priscila: I really enjoy working with Azure. The future of technology in general is so bright! It seems like the tech world is working towards making code, computers and the knowledge behind all of it more welcoming of beginners and more user-friendly in general. GitHub Actions is a real example of how simple integrating code can be, even if you have never heard of DevOps before.

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

Priscila: There are fantastic books and materials in the market. But some of them can be overwhelming and assume you already know a lot. This book meets you where YOU are. You are not required to have advanced knowledge or experience in technology: if you know how to navigate the internet, you already have what it takes! The language is easy to follow even if English is not your primary language. The book presents simple and achievable steps that you can successfully complete as you learn about GitHub and GitHub Actions.

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

Priscila: DevOps does not have to be scary and complex.
GitHub Actions is easy to use.
You are not alone: there is a wonderful community that keeps collaboration and open source alive and create incredible opportunities to learn and improve the world.

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

Priscila: Find a good and welcoming community to be a part of.
Don’t be afraid to try things out.
Test things out as you go: making mistakes can be the best way to learn.
Share the knowledge you gather.
Do not be afraid to use your resources: Google, StackOverflow, GitHub, Slack communities… ask for help and help when you can.
Be kind and patient to yourself: learning is a journey.

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

Priscila: When you face “writer’s block”, write down loose words that relate to that chapter or section you are starting. Sometimes I was tired, distracted or didn’t have enough to write a full paragraph or section from the top of my head. Writing keywords loosely on the white page slowly turned into sentences, which then turned into paragraphs. The human mind only needs a little push, and sometimes one word is all it takes.

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

Priscila: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/priscila-heller/

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

Automating Workflows with GitHub Actions – Available on Amazon.com