Nate Chamberlain is the author of the book Microsoft Office 365 Administration Cookbook, 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?
Nate: I started this book in March 2020, so it took me about five months.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Nate: Every time I wrote a recipe, I actually performed the steps in it to be sure it was up-to-date and ensure it would work for users following along. The research performed in writing was done as needed, and for each recipe individually.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Nate: The largest challenge in writing for me is dedicating time when committed to multiple projects and looking at several deadlines simultaneously. Writing has helped me with time management, though I have some work left to do in prioritisation and learning to limit the number of projects I take on simultaneously. Any challenges I faced in writing this book, however, were positive and helped me grow as a professional.
Q: What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Nate: Always double-check what you’re reading in print or on blogs. Things change so frequently in the tech world that you’ll want your computer on and ready as you go through books like these so you can follow along, take notes of changes, and write specific ideas of your own in the margins as you go. Also be sure to run any significant changes past your colleagues and appropriate parties before performing them. It’s best to learn and try new things in a demo or sandbox environment before trying it in production.
Q. How do you keep up-to-date on your tech?
Nate: I’m a hands-on learner so I tend to take news and announcements then turn on my computer and go explore the announced feature or function first-hand to get a grasp of what is now possible or different. You can keep up to date on Twitter, LinkedIn, Microsoft’s blogs, free webinars and lunch and learns from Microsoft, and more. There are so many options to keep up with news – the hard part is choosing your favourites and integrating them into your regular schedule. Dedicate time to learning and growing.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Nate: I blog regularly at NateChamberlain.com, typically as I run into problems or questions or have news to share. There’s also a mailing list on the site that sends a weekly digest to readers wanting to see what was posted but not needing daily updates.
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Nate: My number one resource is roadmap.office.com. This lets you know what’s coming to which environments and when to expect it. It’s easily filterable and can even be exported for custom reporting and sharing if you’d like. There’s a recipe in my book about using it! I frequently benefit from techcommunity.microsoft.com and blogs.office.com as well – check them out!