Austin Dewey is the author of Learn Helm, 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…
Austin: I’ve been blogging about various Kubernetes-related topics over the last few years and have worked with many different OpenShift customers as a consultant with Red Hat. My co-author Andy Block first heard about the opportunity and reached out to me about writing a book about Helm with him. Having enjoyed working with Helm at different customers prior, of course I decided to join!
Q: How long did it take you to write the book?
Austin: I believe about 6 months
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Austin: I had to do a bit of research on Helm 3, which had just been released shortly after we started writing the book. I had to learn the differences between Helm 2 and 3 to avoid writing about deprecated features/components. Luckily, there weren’t many differences, so the research did not take longer than a few days.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Austin: The biggest challenge was making sure the hands-on portions were guided enough to allow readers to follow them. Readers can’t be expected to perform large, complex tasks (especially in an introductory book), so a lot of thought and planning went into place to create hands-on sections that were simple, yet impactful.
Q: What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Austin: When learning a tool for the first time, I like to skim through the product’s documentation. I may not understand everything at first, but I’ll at least get a high-level view of the product’s features and design. Then, I try to find hands-on examples that help me apply what I’ve learned. Many times, a product’s docs will contain an “examples” section with hands-on examples to help reinforce concepts from the documentation. I also try to find books or blogs with hands-on examples that provide further insight.
Q. How do you keep up-to-date on your tech?
Austin: I follow different authors and topics on Medium that help me stay up to date. I also follow different subreddits (r/kubernetes, r/ansible, etc) that are always active and sharing ideas. My own writing helps me stay up to date as well. There’s always a bit of research involved in writing about tech, so I always learn something each time I write.
How would you describe you author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Austin: I liked how the Packt team was quick to answer emails and answer questions that we had throughout the writing process. Next steps were always made clear, and it helped in planning out work. I’m definitely a better author after working with Packt, and I think Packt will help aspiring authors improve their skills as well!
You can find Austin’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here