Shubham Saboo is the author of Neural Search – From Prototype to Production with Jina; 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?
Shubham: NLP, Large Language Models, Neural Search.
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Shubham: I got into this habit of writing technical blog posts during my time at university. I used to take notes in all my class and one day it suddenly struck me that why not convert my notes into blog posts so not just me but the entire community can learn and benefit from my notes. I consistently kept writing about the stuff that I have been learning throughout my university days which continued when I started working as well.
I started to breakdown the technical concepts in easy to understand language via analogies and examples that we come across in our day-to-day lives. That’s how I got my first book project from O’Reilly in 2021 which led me to co-author and publish the book on OpenAI GPT-3.
I started working on the book from Packt publication after I joined Jina AI in around late 2021 and its all a history since then.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Shubham: I researched a lot about the evolution of Neural Search, how it came to existence and what are its roots. I followed up with the current state of Neural Search, how companies like Google and Microsoft are using it and how it is a part of our day-to-day lives. Then I learned about Jina in depth and how it makes it really easy to build sophisticated search engines.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Shubham: Being consistent with the writing routine has been one of the biggest challenge that I faced. One thing that I realised in the process is that, writers block is a real thing. You can’t just plan few hours and write in it. It needs to come from within to truly generate quality content.
When I didn’t felt like writing, I used to indulge myself in outdoor activities like simply taking a nature walk or playing some sport and just meeting some friends. It used to refresh my mind so I can focus better on my writing.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Shubham: Neural Search/Information Retrieval is going to be one of the biggest domain in the technology universe. Every business is going to have a search use case in some form or other and the framework/company that will enable it will lead the technical revolution from the front.
Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Shubham: This book stands out in way that it is designed and how chapters are systematically arranged. It starts with explaining the importance of neural search and how it differs from conventional keyword based search. Then it goes into the technical nuances of what vector search really mean and explains about the framework required to build search applications.
Towards the end, it deep dives into the real world applications and guide users with step-by-step instructions to build them and put them to production.
Q: What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away with from the book?
Shubham: Key takeaways for the readers:
– Understand the difference between Legacy search v/s Neural Search
– Concepts behind Vector Search
– Multimodal Search Systems
– Practical examples of Neural Search.
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Shubham: Follow along with the book material with hands-on practical, code and build thing while you read the book. The best way to learn something is to put it in practice.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Shubham: Medium Blog – https://shubhamsaboo111.medium.com
Q: Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Shubham: Blog – https://medium.com/jina-ai
Website – https://learn.jina.ai
Q. How would you describe your author’s journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Vishakh: It has been amazing and full of learnings, throughout this journey I have learned a lot about professional writing process and the different components associated with it. All thanks to the fantastic Packt team leading the project.
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Shubham: Here are the four things that helped me to write the book while working a full-time job:
1. Time Management – Identifying the key tasks to be done by the end of the day and making a list of them. Striking the tasks achieved from that list before I wrap up my work.
2. Make work like play – Do what you enjoy, and prioritise tasks depending on your mood, time of the day, and how energetic you feel. There is more science than art to it!
3. Context Switching – People think context switching is bad, and you should focus on a single task until you finish it. I think differently about it and let my mood decide when to switch tasks. It has helped me to enjoy my work. Rather than being pushy, just go with the flow!
4. Focus on Bigger Picture – Always make decisions by considering the bigger picture or longer time horizon. What you do today might not have immediate effects. Think of it as a seed you are planting, and you must keep watering to see it grow!
Lastly, as Steve Jobs said – “You can only connect the dots looking backwards and not looking forward in the future”. Just trust your instincts and keep doing what you are. One day you are definitely going to get your due!
Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Shubham: If I have to give just one advice to the aspiring authors, that would be “Keep it simple!”. Don’t overcomplicate your content no matter how complex the technology is, you can only add value if you can explain the trickiest of concepts in a very simple and easy to understand language.
Q. Would you like to share your social handles? If so, please share.
Shubham: Twitter – https://twitter.com/Saboo_Shubham_ | LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/shubhamsaboo
You can find Shubham’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here