Interview of Donald A. (Donnie) Tevault

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Q: What are your specialty areas?

Donald: Linux administration, Linux security

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

Donald: I became an author when a Packt Publishing representative noticed the videos on my “BeginLinux Guru” YouTube channel, and then asked if I’d be interested in writing a book about Linux security. I said “yes”, and the rest is history, as the saying goes.

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

Donald: For my “Mastering Linux Security and Hardening” book, I had already done most of the research by studying for my LPI Level 3-Security certification. So, I didn’t have to do a lot of extra research for it. However, I did have to do considerably more research for my “Linux Service Management Made Easy with systemd” book.

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

Donald: I faced very few challenges with my “Mastering Linux Security and Hardening” book. However, I did face quite a challenge with the “Linux Service Management Made Easy with systemd” book, due to the fact that the already existing systemd documentation isn’t very good. So, I ended up doing lots of DuckDuckGo searching, reading of man pages, and hands-on trial-and-error in order to get things right.

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

Donald: Both of my books present Linux technologies that are here to stay for a very long time, and that every Linux administrator should learn.

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

Donald: Both books present material that’s not easily found elsewhere. That’s especially true with the systemd book. In fact, “Linux Service Management Easy with Systemd” is the first book ever written that provides a comprehensive view of the entire Systemd ecosystem.

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

Donald: For the Linux security book, I’d like readers to come away with a good working knowledge of how to operate Linux servers and devices in a secure manner. For the systemd book, I’d like for readers to learn how to manage all aspects of the systemd ecosystem in the most efficient manner possible.

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

Donald: Get your hands dirty. Seriously, you need to actually work with this stuff in order to learn it well. It’s easier now than it was when I first started, because virtual machine technology is much better than it used to be.

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

Donald: I don’t have a blog, but I do have the “BeginLinux Guru” channel on YouTube.

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

Donald: It’s been fun. And yeah, I would definitely recommend it to new authors.

Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?

Donald: I have participated with the Jacksonville Linux Users Group and the IT Bootcamp group in Jacksonville, Florida.

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

Donald: My favorite tech websites include ZDNet, “The Register”, Distrowatch, Fudzilla, and linuxsecurity.com.

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

Donald: I mainly just meditated about things a bit, and then played around with things until I got them right. For prioritizing my work, I just had to make sure that I sat down nearly every day to write.

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

Donald: Learn to write in a fun, conversational manner that won’t put your readers to sleep. Also, if you’re unsure about basic English grammar, you might find it useful to enroll in a writing course.

You can find Donald’s book on Amazon by following this link

Linux Service Management Made Easy with systemd on Amazon.com



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