Jim Ledin is the author of Architecting High-Performance Embedded Systems, 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)?
Jim: Embedded systems development and testing
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Jim: I was approached by a Packt acquisition editor to write “Modern Computer Architecture and Organization.” My new book, “Architecting High-Performance Embedded Systems,” focuses on designing and building digital devices using the most advanced FPGA architectures available. My goal is to make the use of this technology accessible to developers who may have believed it to be beyond their capabilities.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Jim: My primary area of research was to learn as much as I could about the details of designing systems with Xilinx FPGA devices. I began the research a few weeks before beginning the book, but also continued learning about specific topics as needed for particular book chapters.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Jim: My non-writing work fluctuates in intensity, and there were periods when I lacked sufficient time to continue work on the book while addressing other responsibilities.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Jim: FPGA architectures will become more powerful and will incorporate specific features such as neural network/AI hardware that will enable new capabilities in battery-powered personal devices.
Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Jim: This book covers all aspects of designing and constructing high-performance embedded systems incorporating FPGA devices. In addition to presenting the features and capabilities of FPGA devices themselves, the book covers the design of high-speed printed circuit boards, PCB assembly using reflow soldering, and the development of firmware for the system.
Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?
Jim: It is possible for developers who have never worked with hardware and FPGA programming to learn the skills needed to design and build a prototype of an exceptionally high-performing digital device based on an FPGA.
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Jim: As a general skill, unrelated to any particular programming language, learn to write code in a manner that is clear, self-explanatory, and easy for someone else to understand on the first reading.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Jim: I do not.
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Jim: I write articles for DZone.com based on my books. I also suggest the Digilent blog at https://blog.digilentinc.com/
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Jim: All of the Packt team members I have interacted with are professional and easy to work with. I recommend aspiring tech writers consider Packt as the publisher for their work.
Q. Do you belong to any tech community groups?
Jim: I am a member of a number of groups on LinkedIn, including Embedded C/C++ Coding Standards, Agile, Computer & Software Engineering Professionals, and the J1939 automotive CAN bus group.
You can find Jim’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here