Henry Been is the author of the book Implementing Azure DevOps Solutions, we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.
Q: How long did it take you to write the book?
Henry: Writing “Implementing Azure DevOps Solutions” took me roughly ten months of writing. I started writing in February 2019 and completed the first draft by the end of 2019. After that we went through several months of re-reading, improvements and iterating on content that has changed between the moment of writing and the publishing. Final publication was in June 2020.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Henry: Deciding on the chapters for “Implementing Azure DevOps Solutions” went without to much of upfront research. I really wanted the book to take the reader on a typical “DevOps Journey,” starting with continuous integration and deployment and then incorporating other DevOps practices like infrastructure as code and configuration management, but also addressing common issues like security and closing the loop through monitoring and user feedback. Of course, for all these individual topics I had to dive into the specifics, augmenting my own experience with that of others and reading up on the latest platform updated by Microsoft.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Henry: The biggest struggle for me was the speed at which Azure DevOps and the Azure cloud keep changing. I think roughly 20% of the book was completely rewritten after the first iteration, only to to deal with changes in the platforms it described. And even now, only one month on the market, some screenshots in the book are already missing new buttons or options in the interface. My way of coping with this was by focusing as much as possible on the practices and how to implement them and use the actual platform only for showing how to do that. With that approach I hope the book stays relevant for much longer after its release as it teaches why and how to implement DevOps practices as just showing which buttons to click.
Q: What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Henry: My big tip would be to never forget that working in IT is knowledge work. Never pride yourself in what you know, but always be on the lookout for new topics to master or areas to explore. Try to continuously invest a portion of your time into learning to prevent you find yourself to be outdated all of a sudden. Change is a constant in our line of work and learning should thus constantly be a part of your work. Also, this is not solely your individual responsibility. Try to find an environment that supports constant learning. Be it through meetups, through training or through an employer that gives you learning hours every week.
Q. How do you keep up-to-date on your tech?
Henry: Personally, to keep learning, I follow a good amount of people on Twitter and LinkedIn. Not only in my own technology stack, but also on other subjects sometimes even outside of technology. Being a Microsoft MVP, I also have the privilege of being part of a community of always learning people that all share their knowledge along through blogs, podcasts and on conferences.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Henry: I try to blog at my personal blog https://henrybeen.nl whenever I can.
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Henry: If there is a single resource that I would highly recommend it is the Microsoft Documentation that can be found at docs.microsoft.com. Over the last few years this has become an immense source of documentation.
You can find Henry’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here