Interview with Aly Saleh

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Aly Saleh is the author of Kubernetes in Production Best Practices, 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)?

Aly: Cloud transformation, infrastructure, containers technologies, Kubernetes, AWS, GCP, Azure, SaaS, PaaS, IaC, CAC, DevSecOps, distributed computing, data engineering, software development.

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

Aly: I believe that experience and knowledge sharing is a key factor in advancing the technology and software development industry. As a technology enthusiastic before being an engineer, I find it is my duty to share experiences with others.
When Packt team contacted me to cooperate with them in writing a book about containers technologies, I thought it is the right opportunity to write about Kubernetes in production, as it is a challenging territory for a lot of organizations and experts who are just starting their Kubernetes journey.

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

Aly: As I have been involved in multiple Kubernetes large scale projects, I did need less than a week to do my research. I looked into most of the released books about Kubernetes to make sure I introduce new topics and useful knowledge to the readers without redundancy and repetition.

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

Aly: It is definitely a tough ride, specially in 2020! Writing my book came with personal and global challenges. The panic and the sad moments which all of us lived due to the fear of COVID-19 health and economical consequences.
Then there is the challenge of writing a book for the first time, and how to keep my self committed and focused to deliver a high quality product, while controlling the book scope and deciding what matters thee most to my readers.

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

Aly: I strongly believe that Kubernetes is a solid technology that are here to stay, and it is going to evolve and mature over the next few years. This is not a speculation but based on the rate of adoption by the organizations around the world, the large community contributing to it, and the powerful enterprises supporting it.
Kubernetes is becoming the favored platform for the modern cloud computing, as it powers almost every use case, ranging from internet-scale web platforms, 5G networks, to IoT and edge computing.

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

Aly: I have to admit that there are a lot of books about Kubernetes in the market. Most of them are targeting the basics or different specialized topics, and none of them brings the real life production experiences and learned lessons.
My motivation was to write a book that brings practical experiences and put them between the hands of the reader, this will cut the long path of trials and errors, and also open the readers’ eyes on the advanced topics and technical decisions that challenge most of the modern cloud infrastructure projects.

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

Aly: My ultimate goal is to help my readers to use Kubernetes confidently for their production projects. The readers will learn to develop mature processes and make technical decisions to design their Kubernetes infrastructure. They will come away from this book knowing the best practices that are followed by organizations around the globe to build and operate Kubernetes infrastructure.

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

Aly: When you learn a new infrastructure technology and specially Kubernetes, it is very important to learn about it through real life projects. Also to learn about its best practices and pitfalls whenever possible. This is because infrastructure technologies are directly impacting your production reliability, and if you do it wrong or improperly, the consequences will bring huge losses to your business and your system users.

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

Aly: No

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

Aly: The readers can look into introductory level books about Kubernetes by Packt, as it has multiple books. I referenced some of them in my book, as I find them very useful to the readers if they do not have previous knowledge about Kubernetes.
There are also various websites and blogs but most importantly https://kubernetes.io/docs/home/ and https://kubernetes.io/blog/

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

Aly: I have to admit that they were very understanding and patience with me. With everything that went on during this 2020, writing wasn’t easy. I’m deeply thankful for the help and support.

Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?

Aly: Kubernetes SIG Multicluster, multiple Java user groups around the world, and professional software engineers associations.

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

Aly: I prefer to follow curated lists and messaging boards to save time. For this book, I focused on Kubernetes and cloud journals and curated lists such as KubeWeekly, FAUN, AWS blog, GCP blog, and DevOps’ish.

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

Aly: Creating a writing process and sticking to it is the key to your success as an author. When I started writing, I set a process that consists of the following stages:
1- Brainstorm topics and ideas for each chapter
2- Filter the topics to decide the most relevant topics to the scope of the chapter.
3- Decide the final outline.
4- Start writing the first draft for each topic in the outline.
5- Design the practical exercises and try them on my own.
6- Put everything together and produce the final draft of the chapter.
7- Do multiple rounds of quality review and improvements.

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

Aly: I encourage them to specify and be committed to a time slot for writing on daily or weekly basis. The positive cooperation and transparency with Packt editing team is very essential to the book writing success.

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

Kubernetes in Production Best Practices – Available on Amazon.com