Succinctly Series E-book Author Q&A with Marko Svaljek

This interview with Cassandra Succinctly author Marko Svaljek is part of a series of Q&A blog posts with our Succinctly series authors.

Why were you interested in working with Syncfusion to create e-books for the Succinctly series?

What I like the most about the Succinctly series is that you can learn a lot in a relatively small amount of time. In the modern world there is a severe shortage of time. One must really fight for every hour of free time, and when there is an available window I use the Succinctly series books to make the most of it. I read a couple of the Succinctly series books and then recommended the whole series to my colleagues, who were also thrilled. They were all amazed with how much they have learned in a relatively short period of time. I really like this approach and philosophy, and this was one of the main reasons that attracted me to authoring a book, along with great support from the people at Syncfusion.

Are these e-books your only technical manuals? Do you have additional titles you would like to share with our developer community?

For quite some time now I’ve been in the big data business and I have acquired some knowledge about it, and Cassandra has been my focus ever since I started to deal with big data. A couple of years ago I started running a blog where I describe the problems that I encounter in my day-to-day development.

At first I was surprised that Syncfusion contacted me to write an e-book about Cassandra. After taking some time to think it over, I agreed to write the book. It took almost all of my free time, but I wanted to give something back to the community because I felt the community was giving me a lot. That, and the Cassandra skills really helped me to advance my career. I think that most of the time we start off with things that somebody else did or studied before us, so writing a book was a way for me to contribute to that process.

Each title in the Succinctly series features a graphic of an outdated technology on the cover. What is your favorite outdated technology?

This question caught me a little bit—as a software developer, I'm oriented toward learning something new. Learning something new is not as easy as it might seem. The Succinctly series is definitely helping me to stay on top of things, but I only recently noticed that they always feature a piece of an outdated technology on the cover.

I can't say that I'm a fan of outdated technology and I don't like keeping anything useless around me. It's not that I don't like vintage technology, but I often throw stuff away if it has no use to me. From time to time I do keep a piece of technology like an old processor or something similar, but to be honest I don't have a favorite piece of outdated technology at all.

What have you learned since writing this e-book?

Writing a book showed me that I'm actually capable of far more than I even imagined a couple of years ago. I always liked to write about things, but Syncfusion gave me a chance to express myself in the form of an e-book, something that I always wanted to do. To be honest it's still a bit surreal to me that I'm a published author. One great thing about writing a book is that you learn the technology even deeper than before. One other thing that changed was when I finished writing the book, I started giving talks at

conferences, and it gave me a lot of confidence to face the crowds. Even my closest friends were surprised.

Do you have another reference that you would recommend to people interested in Cassandra?

One great thing about Cassandra is that it has a really nice community. At the core of Cassandra's community is definitely the DataStax company. It employs most of the Cassandra committers and has a ton of online documentation, tutorials, and

articles that you can look up. DataStax also organizes the meetups and summits and there are really great people giving talks there. Cassandra summits are not all about presentations, there are learning tracks that usually happen the day before the main event and there you can meet the core Cassandra people. I attended Cassandra summit in London this year and I really enjoyed the lectures given by Patrick McFadin. His Twitter feed and blog are always great places to hear something new and interesting about Cassandra.

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