Interview with Knut Sveidqvist

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Knut Sveidqvist is the author of The Official Guide to Mermaid.js, 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)?

Knut: Java Tech Lead, Core Team member for Mermaid.js

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Knut: After creating Mermaid it got a huge adoption by the community and Packt reached out to learn if I was interested too write about Mermaid. As there were no other books about Mermaid and this could useful for Mermaid users I agreed.

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Knut: I spent 5 years creating and maintaining Mermaid so I already had a good understanding of both the feature set of mermaid as well as the underlying technology. I did spend a month preparing the structure and scope of the book together with my co-author Ashish Jain.

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Knut: This was the first experience of professional writing for both me and Ashish which had some challenges with both with delivery format and estimating the page count. Thankfully Packt provided great help and competence in guiding us along in the beginning.

Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

Knut: Mermaid is a great way to make documentation both efficient and fun. In the future we expect Mermaid to grow both with new diagrams and more features in existing diagrams. We also hope to see even more adoption of Mermaid in the community.

Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

Knut: This the first exclusive book on the market about Mermaid.

Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?

Knut: * That documentation does not need to be cumbersome and boring

* Using Mermaid is fun

* Knowledge of the powerful diagrams that Mermaid provides

* Knowledge of how to quickly find the required information about configuring and theming Mermaid

* Tips on how to use Mermaid in their documentation workflow

Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?

Knut: Do a practical hand-on exploration of the subject paired with knowledge gathering when required. Don’t be afraid to try things.

Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?

Knut: No

Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?

Knut: Official resources: https://mermaid-js.github.io/mermaid-live-editor/ https://mermaid-js.github.io/mermaid/#/

Good links: https://betterprogramming.pub/mermaid-create-charts-and-diagrams-with-markdown-88a9e639ab14 https://towardsdatascience.com/mermaid-create-diagrams-quickly-and-effortlessly-d236e23d6d58 https://betterprogramming.pub/making-diagrams-fun-again-with-mermaid-8a2c9ea3e471 https://dompl.medium.com/produce-great-looking-flowcharts-in-seconds-7f3bea64f2e2 https://workspace.google.com/marketplace/app/mermaid/636321283856

Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Knut: Packt has provided expertise and a good process that has really helped in the work with authoring the book. This combined to many good suggestions and other help makes it easy to recommend Pack to other aspiring authors.

Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?

Knut: GitHub Open Source Advisory Board

Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?

Knut: https://javascriptweekly.com/ https://www.echojs.com/ Various blogs

Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?

Knut: Packt help setting up a schedule with deadlines for the chapters. After that I made sure to work with the book in smaller chunks every day, continuously in order to avoid falling behind

Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

Knut: Keep a steady pace

You can find Knut’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here

The Official Guide to Mermaid.js is Available on Amazon.com