Interview with Florian Rappl

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Florian Rappl is the author of The Art of Micro Frontends, 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)?

Florian: Micro Frontends, Microservices, Security, Scalability

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

Florian: For the past 5 years I’ve been developing micro frontend applications. After doing the same architecture over and over again (with refinements, of course) I thought: “Alright, I learned enough. Time to share.” Part of this sharing process was the creation of a reference implementation for this kind of architecture (known as Siteless UIs). The resulting open-source solution “Piral” is already quite successful and so the next phase was to actually bundle all my knowledge in one larger essay – a book had to be published!

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

Florian: There was not much to research as I am actively contributing and staying in touch with the micro frontend community. Of course, some specific topics had to be investigated in a bit more depth than beforehand, but these have all been things I wanted to do anyway for a long time. The book just gave me the right kick to finally do it.

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

Florian: Of course there have been some troubles here and there. Partially, my examples would have been too extensive or complicated. Partially, I did not know how to lead the reader efficiently to the learning path I wanted to draw. Sometimes the words just did not flow as they should. I’d say these are all “standard” problems every author will face. Luckily, I planned enough time so I could always take the focus off and come back with a fresh mind. Given enough time and iterations I always came back on a path I could happily go forward.

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

Florian: Obviously, I am quite bullish on micro frontends. I see micro frontends playing an important part in the future of web development. The whole process of being leaner will also be reflected in future frameworks and UI libraries. Overall, this is a good thing. Nevertheless, I think (and hope) that people learned from microservices. A good monolith cannot be beaten (and – by the way – can be easily decomposed into; microservices or micro frontends). So just going for some architecture or technology because its currently being hyped or fresh is definitely not the right basis for a decision. That being written – micro frontends will not be as popular as microservices, but popularity should not be the measurement of success here.

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

Florian: Personally, to get fully informed on a topic multiple views should be considered. So personally, I don’t see much exclusivity here. However, if you only want to buy a single book for micro frontends I regard this one as “the one”. It covers the topic from the initial drawing board phase up until marketing and maintenance. It contains all popular high-level architectures with a great approachable example. It also touches on topics that are important but rarely talked about, such as the developer experience and exchange with designers. I think it’s a book that covers the required high-level aspects with a good practical approach.

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

Florian: Scalable frontend development might be easier (and more fun) than you might think. Keep in mind that most of the hard work needs to be done before the actual implementation when the right architecture and domain decomposition is chosen. The book will help you to make these decisions.

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

Florian: Stay hungry, stay foolish. Don’t take other people’s advice as given. Try to put things into the right context.

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

Florian: I do, https://florian-rappl.de/, but unfortunately, I did not blog there recently. Right now the best position would be my dev.to space (https://dev.to/florianrappl).

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

Florian: A beautiful ride. It all started with the first contact and evolved with every touchpoint we had. I really liked the onboarding and the whole journey!

Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?

Florian: I am a Microsoft MVP for development tools. I started as an MVP for C# / .NET, but as my own interest shifted more and more towards the web (specifically frontend architecture) fortunately for me also Microsoft’s commitment in that area started growing. I organize some user groups / meetups and I am part of some conference committees..

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

Florian: I read a lot of different blogs, subscribe to insightful newsletters, and go to different conferences with topics that I am interested in. Of course, I am also into books. Unfortunately, in the last 1.5 years, I could not read as much as I wanted, but the last one I read was a good one about development with Elixir and Phoenix.

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

Florian: Luckily, the initial exchange that lead to this great opportunity demanded a quite detailed outline of this book. This outline provided a wonderful basis for organizing the work. Other than that, I made dedicated appointments and scheduled tasks to leave plenty of room for actually doing the work. Booking these times in my calendar reminded me what to do and blocked most potential inference right away.

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

Florian: Start high-level and then go into details. If you start with details right away you might get lost in them.

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

The art of micro frontends is Available on Amazon.com