Interview with Brett Hargreaves

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Brett Hargreaves is the author of Exam Ref AZ-304 Microsoft Azure Architect Design Certification and Beyond, 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)?

Brett: Microsoft Azure

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

Brett: Whilst working through the Azure AZ 303 and AZ304 updated certifications I became frustrated at the lack of AZ 304 specific content. As I worked through and researched the specific areas I realised that this would make a great topic for a book, and so decided to reach out to Packt.

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

Brett: As the Lead Azure architect in my company, I already had lots of experience in this area. However, for this book I used the Microsoft website and contacts within the industry to confirm some of the specific details noted in the official Microsoft exam requirements guide.

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

Brett: Time is always a challenge, especially when trying to juggle a full-time role and a busy family life! Luckily the Packt team were very understanding and helpful.

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

Brett: Recent world events have shown the importance of Azure, however as more companies move toward hybrid and cloud first technologies, being able to architect secure and reliable solutions has become a critical skill.

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

Brett: Most of the Azure architecture books are focussed on the AZ 303 exam, which is very hands on. My book seeks to explain how to choose any one particular technology over another, and what needs to be considered to ensure solutions are robust and secure.

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

Brett: Security and reliability is paramount. Azure is incredibly powerful and flexible therefore it can be easy to create insecure solutions. I would hope that as well as preparing users for the AZ 304 exam my book also highlights the critical areas that need to be considered.

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

Brett: Build things! Learning without context is very hard, therefore reading with an end solution in mind really helps to cement the information as you try to apply what you learn to real world problems.

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

Brett: https://bretthargreaves.com

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

Brett: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/architecture/

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

Brett: Absolutely – Packt helped me understand the process of writing a book (which was actually far more involved than I originally thought!)

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

Brett: I get up at 5am every morning as part of my daily routine. And I often use a couple of those early hours to work on personal projects such as this book.

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

Brett: Having a well thought out plan. This is something I had never done before writing for Packt, and it really help me understand what I needed to cover and when.

Q. Would you like to share your social handles? If so, please share

Brett: @brett_hargreave https://www.facebook.com/completecloud.guru

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

Exam Ref AZ-304 Microsoft Azure Architect Design Certification and Beyond – Available on Amazon.com