Tobias Theel is the author of Creative DIY Microcontroller Projects with TinyGo and WebAssembly, 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)?
Tobias: Go, C#, TinyGo and of course Unity.
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Tobias: Some day I found an email inside my postbox. I first thought it would be spam, as it was a surprise, that the title suggested, that I could become an author. Some days later I replied to the email, as the mail seemed to be legit. I got in contact with Alok Dhuri, we talked about TinyGo, possible projects, brainstormed ideas for the book and so on.
In general, I love sharing my knowledge, so writing a book was the only logical next step.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Tobias: The research did mainly consist of, researching what TinyGo does support currently, what features are going to come, while writing the book etc. So I spend several evenings and nights looking through open issues pull requests on GitHub reading all the discussions.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Tobias: TinyGo currently is very young and fresh with a volatile API. The current release version is 0.17. As soon as the API stabilizes a bit I can foresee a great future for TinyGo. While I think this Project is currently mainly used by hobbyist developers for private projects, I am sure that TinyGo can be production ready for business usecases within maybe one or two years.
The TinyGo community is one of the nicest and involved communities I have ever witnessed. That alone will pave the way into a bright future.
Q. Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Tobias: My book is the first book ever on this topic. So I would say, readers should choose my book, because it is the best book available on the market. Well, it is easy to say so, when being the first one to do something. So, why choose this book? I’d say, that I have managed to gather a good amount of interesting projects, that start very easy with the very basics of microcontroller programming and tend to get more complicated as the reader progresses. The book covers all important basics of microcontroller programming and TinyGo, so even if there are competing books some day, this book will still be a good choice.
Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?
Tobias: Oh that is plain simple. My goal is that every reader is able to use any component (sensor, display, etc.) that they want to use in private microcontroller projects. This can be achieved either by using existing drivers, or by writing drivers on their own.
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Tobias: Network! Join Code Meetups, even if you might be shy. There are so many good people in the tech community, nearly all of them love to share their knowledge and many of them have really valuable knowledge. And, NEVER be too afraid or hesitate to ask a question.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Tobias: Yes, but beware it has a mixture of German and English articles. Although I do now focus on writing English articles. Link https://noobygames.de/blog/.
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Tobias: You should not miss Ayke’s blog https://aykevl.nl.
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Tobias: Yes! Before starting to write the book, I had absolutely no idea how to structurize such a project. I wrote blog articles before, I attended at code meetups as speaker etc. but nothing prepares you for writing a book.
The Packt team was very professional, they brought in good ideas, asked the correct questions, had brilliant examples and guides, that get one started.
Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?
Tobias: Nope, not currently.
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Tobias: Honestly, most of my tech related updates come from twitter.
Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Tobias: Plan in more time, than you think. Things will go wrong, things will take longer. There will be days, were you won’t be able to concentrate at all. So it is important to plan in enough time, maybe a healthy buffer, so you don’t get behind your schedule, just because you had some bad days.
You can find Tobias’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here