Rainier Sarabia is the author of Test-Driver Development with PHP 8, 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)?
Rainier: Software Engineering, Software Architecture, Management.
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Rainier: I’ve been training developers about TDD, and software development in general. I also interview and screen senior engineering applicants for my employer and sometimes I interview very promising applicants who have no experience with TDD, BDD, or unit testing. I thought it’d be great if I can help change that by being able to reach out to more developers who are willing to learn.
I usually train developers back in our Melbourne office, and most of the time I do it verbally while sharing the keyboard with the developers. Then when COVID happened, I got in touch with my old mates whom I used to work with as C# developers, and they told me that they are interested to learn TDD with PHP. So we did a screen-sharing session and went through the basics. I then finally told myself I really need to get some materials organized so that I can help more developers learn TDD. Sure, it was easy to train developers back then in the office. But if I want to scale and reach more developers without having to repeat myself over and over again, I probably need to write a book. Since I myself use Packt products to learn new things, I decided to reach out to Packt. And that’s how the journey started!
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Rainier: I’ve been trying to buy books specifically about TDD and BDD with PHP and used them in an example project from business specification to production deployment, but I couldn’t buy one. So, I know that looking for a book having all these topics covered is probably non-existent for PHP before I wrote the book. I then spent a few weeks researching competitor PHP books with these topics covered and found none.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Rainier: I’ve been speaking and writing in English since I was a kid, and I’ve been writing software for about 20 years now. When I submitted my initial drafts and received the first feedback from the editors, I realized how much more I can improve in communicating with readers. I thought that just because what I write makes sense to me, it would automatically make sense to everyone else. I learned how to change the way I write, to make it easier to understand. I’ve got so much feedback from the Packt editors and my tech reviewers, I felt so much support and I just tried to listen to them with an open mind and implement their suggestions.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Rainier: Programming languages and frameworks might come and go, but Test-Driven Development is here to stay, no matter what the programming language is.
Q. Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Rainier: In this book, the reader will learn how to implement Test-Driven Development in a more realistic scenario from the beginning of a software project to its completion. This book is not about learning how to write unit tests. This book is about learning the TDD process and how it fits into software development.
Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?
Rainier: The reader will learn the real importance of Test-Driven Development, Behavior-Driven Development, and Continuous Integration. The reader will learn that writing automated tests is not an afterthought in the TDD process.
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Rainier: Always keep an open mind, with a healthy dose of skepticism. But the most important advice I can give is that the reader should try to learn what makes them happy, what gives them joy.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Rainier: Yes. I’m a big fan of astronomy, and I do a lot of astrophotography. Here in Australia, we have an amazing view of the Milky Way galaxy’s core from autumn til spring, as well as a lot of amazing deep-sky objects that are only visible from the southern hemisphere like the Carina nebula. You can follow my astrophotography adventure on my website: http://www.rainiersarabia.com/
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites, and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Rainier: These are some very helpful websites that the readers can learn from: https://phpunit.readthedocs.io/, https://blog.jetbrains.com/phpstorm/tag/phpunit/, https://laravel.com/docs/9.x/testing, and https://symfony.com/doc/current/testing.html
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Rainier: It’s been an amazing journey! I can’t believe how much I learned by just trying to write a book for a topic that I use for work every day, for years. I’ve learned so much just from the process of trying to write my first chapter. I am so grateful to the Packt editors, and my tech reviewers for their patience and unending enthusiasm to help me out.
Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?
Rainier: Astronomical Society of Victoria – Australia
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Rainier: I learn from books, blogs, and paid training.
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Rainier: I had to make sure that I look after my health, and always try to reward myself when I achieve my short-term goals. It’s not easy working full time and then having to have enough energy and focus to work on the book. I think looking after my physical and mental health is what really helped me manage.
Q. What is the one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Rainier: I got this advice from a friend, just start writing! Don’t be scared if you throw away 10 pages, just start writing. Otherwise, you will never get to start writing anything.
Q. Would you like to share your social handles? If so, please share.
Rainier: https://www.instagram.com/rainier.sarabia/, https://www.linkedin.com/in/rainier-sarabia/
You can find Rainier’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here