Net API Notes for 2020/07/15 - Issue 136

Hello! How are you?

I've been on vacation for the past couple of weeks due to the July 4th holiday and completing a couple of big presentations. I wouldn't exactly say that I'm rested, but I'm ready to get back to things.

Onto the notes!


Of the presentations that I've recently completed, I've posted the script and slides for my APIDays talk. Entitled "APIs are Arrangements of Power; Now What?", it describes the importance of organizational arrangements on software development. I also emphasize the critical role software architecture and governance have in driving organizational structure.

Despite being my first virtual conference delivery, the emotional roller coaster for putting one of these things together remains the same:

A diagram of excitement level over time when preparing a presentation.

APIDays did something I haven't seen too often: they recorded the sessions delivered live to the North American audience. They then turned around and rebroadcast those sessions at appropriate business hours for Asian and European attendees. It gave me a chance to catch some of the sessions that I couldn't attend due to scheduling. I'm sure it also accommodated other folks that couldn't (or wouldn't) stay up all night to participate.

Of course, I wasn't the only one presenting. Phil Sturgeon took time out of his pothole-cursing schedule to deliver "Automating API Style Guides".

API Governance is a balancing act. Stray too far into wild-west development territory and the overhead spent trying to cobble together bits and bobs will kill the velocity on new development. Too far to the other side and you risk hindering new ideas.

Whatever is put into a style guide needs to serve both these concerns. In his deck, Phil clearly articulates why inconsistency is a problem. He then demonstrates how automating rules during design time help prevent the bureaucratic log-jam that traditional review causes.

Similarly, Arnaud Lauret's talk was about "The Augmented API Design Reviewer". He, like Phil, discusses the usage of Spectral during API design. Arnaud also shares how even conventional spreadsheets shouldn't be overlooked when getting started.

Successful modern software development is about managing complexity. A consistent API interface that behaves as one would expect given previous experience or training, is one way to simplify that complexity. It was exciting to see the industry making strides in this area near and dear to me.



The votes have been tallied, and the results are in! The winner of the 2020 Big Bracket of API Impact is:

API Design First

It beat out Swagger/OpenAPI as being the most impactful API trend, technique, or technology. API Gateways were the runner up, narrowly beating out OAuth for third place.

In other updates, has several upcoming events for the API community. I took a peek, and it appears that there have been a few tweaks that need to be applied; those should be applied by the time you read this. If you know of an upcoming API-related community gathering that isn't listed, shoot me an email! I'd be glad to add it.

Lastly, thank you to the Patreons who support this newsletter.

Till next time,

Matthew @libel_vox and

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