Now in MEAP: Generative AI for the IT Pro!

Me and my BFF, Brandon, have been writing a new book it's available today in the Manning Early Access Program! This means you can get a copy of the book as we're writing it. We're a little less than halfway through.

We've both had a lot of success using Generative AI, specifically ChatGPT Plus and Azure OpenAI Service, and we wanted to show others how we're doing it. What I like most is that we're using it in unexpected ways.

For example past few days, I've been writing about Conflict resolution and crisis management and it's one of my favorite chapters (though not yet available in MEAP as it's a fresh draft).

Wondering if we're using AI to help write our book? We talk about our usage extensively in Chapter 1 and, at the end of every chapter, we share the prompts we've used. For example:

Chapter 1 Prompts

  • Name 50 real-world, practice things you think this book could help IT Professionals. For example "Generate After-Action Reports with objective insights, removing all intrapersonal issue influence"
  • Give me 10 suggestions that can replace the phrase "in a setting"
  • Can you suggest a change to the second paragraph that emphasizes fun and also give me a stronger call to action at the end
  • I'm about to paste two paragraphs and I want to keep them as is but insert a story in the middle. I'll paste a story told in first person but please change it to third person.
  • Here is a revised Chapter 1. Please review it and give me some insights. Anything I missed that can make it a little longer?

I absolutely love Manning's review process. The questions they ask are so insightful and helpful to us as authors. My favorites for this round are:

The authors are very transparent about how they're using AI as they are writing this book. Do you get the impression that: A) AI is authoring this book, or B) the authors are getting appropriate help from the tools, but are still very much the authors of this book

How do you think their transparency--even including prompts they used for each chapter--will affect readers and potential readers? A) It will hurt sales and make potential readers decide not to buy the book because they think it was written by AI. B) It will have no effect; it is an acceptable level of help from AI. C) It might have a positive effect, because sharing the prompts helps demonstrate the techniques the authors are teaching in the book.

Fortunately, 100% of the reviewers said B for the first one and B or C for the second.

What's the book about?

Here's our working table of content. It's a living document, as we're taking feedback from the multitude of reviewers that Manning connects us to.

  • Part I: Introduction to AI
    • Artificial intelligence in IT - Chapter 1
    • Basic intelligence - Chapter 2
    • Prompt engineering & problem formulation - Chapter 3
    • Prompts in action - Chapter 4
  • Part II: Documentation & communication with AI (working title)
    • Reports and document handling - Chapter 5
    • Emails and instant messaging in the workplace - Chapter 6
    • Conflict resolution and crisis management - Chapter 7
    • Career advancement - Chapter 8
  • Part III: Technical roles & AI
    • IT support and helpdesk - Chapter 9
    • Systems administration - Chapter 10
    • Software engineering & DevOps - Chapter 11
    • Database administration and development - Chapter 12
    • Information Security - Chapter 13
    • Cloud engineering - Chapter 14
  • Part IV: Management roles
    • Management essentials - Chapter 15
    • Management interventions - Chapter 16
    • Product management - Chapter 17
  • Part V: Wrapping up

After introducing ChatGPT and why we love it, we talk about Prompt Engineering and Problem Formulation. We use a mix of both when we work with ChatGPT, as you'll be able to see throughout the chapters.

Part II is my favorite part and the theme is basically: Here's how you communicate. Here's how you handle big problems. Here's how you document the problem. Here's how you find a new job. The sequence was actually inspired by a job that I left last year.

In addition to ChatGPT, we also touch on Gemini and Copilot for Microsoft 365 and expect to use it more in later chapters. ChatGPT is the most advanced so far, though, and we're finding it hard to use anything else.

Why did you want to write this book?

It came along organically. I wrote to my development editor at Manning because I was curious about their AI policy — do they let authors use ChatGPT? I told her that I had a lot of success using ChatGPT at work and she suggested that I write about it!

I invited Brandon to co-author the book because he's also had a lot of success using ChatGPT and we've always wanted to write a book together. We've known eachother since we were children and and became best friends in Ms. Rabon's class at Kaplan High School. Brandon now manages very important database and application systems at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles and I'm in Belgium managing some important data.

Keeping up

Most of the book was written with a focus on foundational knowledge that will still be useful even with the insane pace of changes. But sometimes we'll have to update along the way. For example, the Help Desk chapter already has to be rewritten because of the introduction of GPTs. We knew this going in and we're actually having fun with it.

Soon, I'll also be setting up Actions and Functions with ChatGPT to better understand the various ways it can be applied in the workplace.


If you're interested in buying a copy of the book as we're writing it (thank you!), you can get a whopping 45% off with the code mllemaire3. This code is valid for a limited time.

"[AI] is every bit as important as the PC, as the internet." — Bill Gates