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Interview with Marc Delisle, author of Mastering phpMyAdmin 3.4 for Effective MySQL Management

Marc is the author of our recently published Mastering phpMyAdmin 3.4 for Effective MySQL Management which is a step-by-step tutorial for phpMyAdmin, a MySQL web interface.

Marc Delisle was awarded "MySQL Community Member of the year 2009" because of his involvement with phpMyAdmin. He started to contribute to the project in December 1998, when he made the multi-language version. He is involved with phpMyAdmin as a developer, translator and project administrator and enjoys meeting phpMyAdmin users in person.

Packt: By publishing a book, you have opened a new chapter in your life. How does it feel?

Marc: My first Packt book (and my first book) was published in 2004; since then, I feel lucky to be a published author and this status is important in my life.

Packt: How will readers benefit from this book? Did you learn anything new while writing the book?

Marc: The phpMyAdmin software is popular but contains many less common features that this book explains. During the writing process of all the seven editions of this book, I learned a lot and even uncovered and fixed some bugs in the software while preparing the screenshots.

Packt: Our authors usually have full-time jobs whilst writing for us. Was this the case for you and how did you approach managing your time?

Marc: I had a full-time job so it was clear from the start that my writing schedule would take place over the week-ends and summer vacations.

Packt: Whilst writing your book, did you find that it overshadowed personal life in any way? How did you deal with this?

Marc: Indeed, personal life was affected. I could efficiently write only in a calm place so I had to find a writing environment outside of my home.

Packt: Do you have any advice for other authors who may be interested in writing for Packt, but are still unsure?

Marc: Writing a book is a challenging experience, so be prepared to spend more time than planned initially. Also, be patient while reading the reviewers’ and editors’ feedback.

Packt: What tips or tricks would you like to share with other authors?

Marc: . I don’t know why, but reading the chapters printed on real paper helped me spot more errors and improve the wording. Maybe, it would have been the same on a reading device like Kindle.

Packt: During the writing process, did you come across any issues/ difficulties that affected your writing and how did you overcome these?

Marc: The biggest issue was to try to avoid forward references, like “this is be covered in chapter 10”. As a reader, I don’t like to see such references. To overcome these, I had to shuffle the material, and I still feel that it’s a difficult issue.

Packt: What is your favorite relaxation technique when the pressure is too high?

Marc: I enjoyed taking a walk, and I even took a few days break. However, the best way to avoid pressure is to come up with a realistic schedule.

Packt: Was there anything interesting that happened during the writing of the book?

Marc: Reading the reviewers' feedback was really eye-opening. Also, after the publication, I enjoyed seeing my work translated in a few languages.

Packt: How did Packt’s Acquisition Editors help you - what kind of things did they help you with and how did they support you throughout the writing process?

Marc: I got good support from the Acquisition Editors, especially for the first edition of the book, when they gave me feedback about subjects that were clear for me but not for them.

Packt: How did you find the overall experience of writing your book for Packt?

Marc: The overall experience was positive, but challenging at the same time. However, I did not hesitate to write two more books for Packt, and to accept reviewing books for them.

Packt: What tools or configuration do you use for your workstation?

Marc: I used GIMP for screenshots; I try to use open-source tools whenever possible.

Packt: What projects, if any, are you working on at the moment?

Marc: I am a mentor for two students in the Google Summer of Code 2012 program. They are improving phpMyAdmin’s source code and I try to share my “wisdom” and learn from theirs!

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