Glen D. Singh is the author of Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions: CCNA 200-301 Exam Guide, 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…
Glen: In 2018, Packt Publishing had reached out to me to be a Technical Reviewer for the book, ‘Penetration Testing with Shellcode’. After this project was completed, Packt had reached out once again in the same year, this time to be the Lead Author for the ‘CCNA Security 210-260 Certification Guide’ and since then I’ve been writing books which focuses on topics of cybersecurity and networking.
Q: How long did it take you to write the book?
Glen: For this title, it took approximately 5 months from starting the first chapter to completing the last.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Glen: As a Cisco CCNA Instructor, I was up-to-date with the latest content and the exam objectives for the new CCNA 200-301 certification. However, prior to starting the writing process, I did some research using the information found on Cisco’s website on the new topics that were added to the new certification. This provided reassurance and validation to my knowledge and experience as a professional and instructor within the field.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Glen: There were two main challenges I’ve faced during my writing process, these were experiencing a ‘writer’s block’ and there were a few times the technical labs did not work as expected. Whenever I’m experiencing a writer’s block, I would stop writing and take a walk outside for some fresh air or do something fun which usually takes away any stress and helps clear my mind. For the labs, I would perform some additional research on the topic to verify that my procedures and configurations are accurate and determine if I have missed something on my end.
Q: What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Glen: Technologies are always fascinating and can be a bit overwhelming. Sometimes you may feel like you need to learn everything, I sometimes get this feeling a lot too. Before starting a path, do some research into the field of study, research some jobs and read their day-to-day roles which will help you to get a clear idea of what to expect in a particular field or industry. Research stuff such as how to get into the field, what qualifications do you need, what technologies will you be learning and working on, what type of organisations are using such technologies and so on.
Mostly importantly, try to build you own lab environment and play around with the tech to determine if you truly like it or not, simply because things may seem easy and awesome on the outer surface but when you’re actually working with the tech, it may not be what you were expecting and no longer be interested. To put simply, before diving in to any technologies or field of study of your choice, ensure you genuinely have an interest in it. If you’re choosing the path of certification, ensure each new cert you decide to pursue adds value to your existing portfolio as an upcoming professional. Lastly, always keep learning and expanding your knowledge and skillset.
Q. How do you keep up-to-date on your tech?
Glen: Keeping up-to-date is important for any professional within their field of expertise. I usually subscribe to the technology vendor official page on social media platforms such as YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. In this case, I’ll subscribe or follow Cisco’s official page on YouTube and LinkedIn to receive their latest post and videos on new and trending technologies.
Q. How would you describe you author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Glen: The journey has been such an amazing one in my experience. The team at Packt provided excellent support and guidance throughout this journey from start to finish. I would always recommend Packt to any future aspiring authors who wants to get their ideas turn into published books.
You can find Glen’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here