Victor Dantas is the author of Architecting Google Cloud Solutions, 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)?
Victor: Cloud computing, infrastructure, operations, DevOps
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Victor: I was approached by Packt on LinkedIn with a proposal to write a book on Google Cloud. I knew it would be a big effort and time commitment but I’ve always had an item in my bucket list that says “write a book”. Also, Google Cloud is something I am passionate about, so this opportunity seemed like one I couldn’t refuse. I’m glad I didn’t.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Victor: I did extensive research using primarily online materials, including some training materials from Google. I haven’t measured how long I spent on research, but I can confidently say many, many hours went into it. And it wasn’t just before the book, I kept researching until the end.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Victor: The main challenge was keeping the pace. Writing every day. And sometimes, if I couldn’t write for any reason, anxiety would kick in. Dealing with that was the biggest challenge, but I managed to overcome it by ensuring that even during the busiest days, I would put in at least 15 minutes of either writing or reviewing. Even if that was all I could do on some days, this helped me maintain a sense of momentum and progress. I did scheduled some day offs also, for my own sanity.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Victor: Cloud computing is a fast growing area and Google Cloud, in particular, is growing very rapidly. Also, I believe data technologies such as Big Data and AI will be the key value drivers for businesses already in the near future, and Google has unparalleled experience and know-how in those areas. Google Cloud is playing the long game and I believe it will ultimately become the top choice of cloud provider for a much larger number of enterprises.
Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Victor: I believe most other books in the area take an encyclopedic-like format, presenting an overview of various services but failing to provide the bigger picture. In my book, I’ve put a lot of effort into condensing and bringing together the technology and the business perspectives of cloud computing (and Google Cloud).
Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?
Victor: I want the reader to think like an architect and learn the mental framework to reason about architectural decisions. The specifics of any technology are not difficult to learn – there are many resources online for those. However, the fundamentals and the principles of good system design are not often explored. And those are the things I wish my readers to come away from the book with.
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Victor: In everything you learn in tech, never lose sight of what is the value and the impact of the specific technology you’re learning about. And try to learn things outside of your niche. Don’t sacrifice breadth of knowledge for depth.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Victor: I have a blog at https://victordantas.me where I occasionally write articles.
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Victor: Google Cloud’s official blog (https://cloud.google.com/blog/) is a great resource.
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Victor: The team that I worked with was very supportive and professional and I had an overall smooth experience with Packt. I would definitely recommend it to aspiring authors.
Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?
Victor: No. I am admittedly not as active on social media and tech communities as I perhaps should.
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Victor: I don’t have any favorites. I tend to follow primarily official sources (cloud provider blogs and press releases, whitepapers, etc.) and a number of other resources online.
Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?
Victor: I reserved an hour every morning for writing and another hour in the evening for reviewing. When time allowed, I would spend a little longer. When life got busy, I would spend a little less time. During weekends I would put in several hours of research, writing, reviewing, and/or preparing hands-on assignments. If I was falling behind schedule, I would add in some extra hours to catch up.
Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Victor: Just show up every day. Focus on the next word, next sentence, next paragraph. If you think about the end result and how much of the book is left all the time it will be overwhelming and counter-productive. Just set a cadence and be consistent.
You can find Victor’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here