REST API Notes for 2016/08/11

Last week I mentioned some great API opportunities that I am hiring for. That was immediately followed by a surprising number of people unsubscribing from the newsletter.

Message received! You're here for the best in API thought collected from across the web. Without further ado:


When weighing the pros and cons of adopting an API strategy, there's plenty of theory. What is more difficult to find, however, are case studies of companies that have been there. That is why I love Thomas Betts' recounting of why Etsy chose an API-First architecture.

Many companies have APIs. But Etsy's multi-layer approach is the kind of architectural maturity that is rarely talked about - mostly because many companies are just beginning to come to grips with that problem.

A fantastic read.


In another InfoQ article, Jan Stenberg lays out why a team should not version an API. Rather than re-hash the traditional flame wars over the correct way to version an API - in the path, in the header, or in the domain - Jan proposes another angle: not at all.

In laying out the original case from Sebastien Lambla, two major pillars are identified as being necessary for "evolvable contracts": backward and forward compatibility.

Both the article and the orginal presentation that it is based on make for an interesting thought exercise.


I've heard webhooks referred to as "reverse-APIs". While kinda true, that definition doesn't do justice to their potential in a system. Guy Levin, writing on DZone, has a quick overview about what webhooks are and why you may want to use them. While I'll fall short of Guy's hyperbole that "webhooks are going to reshape the internet", I do believe that many companies might benefit from a webhook approach.


And there we go. As I was updating the site it is obvious that August is upon us. In addition to there being fewer articles being posted, the number of groups taking a break during the lazy days of summer also seems to have peaked. I fully expect a rebound as September approaches.

Finally, I wanted to mention that I'll be presenting not once, not twice, but three times in the next few months. On Tuesday, October 4th I'll be presenting at the DC Web API User Group. On October 8th I'll be speaking at the RVA (Richmond, VA) API Craft club. The deck culminates in a presentation at the 2016 APIStrat Conference in Boston. Will you be at one of those? If so, come on up after I'm done and say hello.

Till then, Matthew (@libel_vox)

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