Interview with Aaron Wishnick

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Aaron is the author of Serverless Analytics with Amazon Athena, we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

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

Aaron: I have had the pleasure of working with Anthony and Mert for several years. They reached out to me to see if I would be interested in collaborating on the book, and well, the rest is history!

Q: How long did it take you to write the book?

Aaron: I joined in the later stages and was working on writing for around 2 months.

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

Aaron: My work with Anthony and Mert was actually on building parts of Athena, so that certainly helped. Otherwise, I did some specific learning around the machine learning aspects of things since that was something I wasn’t completely comfortable with before starting. SageMaker really does make what is an incredibly complicated world pretty painless to get started in.

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

Aaron: As I mentioned in the research before the book, getting familiar with machine learning was something I had to get a bit more comfortable with before diving in. Thankfully, SageMaker was super helpful in getting up and running.

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

Aaron: Don’t be afraid to just jump in and break stuff. I once heard a talk where someone was visually describing the differences between an expert and a beginner when it comes to their knowledge in a specific subject. They described it essentially as a graph data structure, where specific pieces of knowledge are the nodes, and a number of edges connecting those nodes represent the expertise. Basically, the more you learn and experience and connect the dots between various points within a world, the more will stick and the more you’ll know.

Q. How do you keep up-to-date on your tech?

Aaron: Working at AWS certainly helps. Whenever we are building something we want to make sure we are keeping an eye on the rest of the organization to see if anyone else has done something that we can leverage. But more generally, seeing what’s going on everywhere in the world of tech and then diving into how companies are accomplishing things that I find particularly interesting. I find most tech companies these days are pretty amazing about publishing blog posts about particularly challenging problems they have solved.

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

Aaron: No

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

Aaron: In my experience, the best engineers do not limit themselves to any one place for information. They start with a search and go from there, not eliminating any possibilities along the way.

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

Aaron: Very painless process, easy to get started, the Packt representatives we are working with are very responsive and helpful.

You can find Aaron‘s book on Amazon by following this link

Serverless Analytics with Amazon Athena on Amazon.com