REST API Notes for 2017/06/01

Late spring is the high point of conference season; the volume of thought-provoking pieces recently made available proves it. This edition of the REST API notes is all about media - the presentations, the streaming video, and the podcasts. Find a comfy seat, grab that set of headphones, and let's review the latest and greatest that API folks have to offer.


Cassandra Shum is a engineer with ThoughtWorks. She was recently featured on the Software Engineering Daily podcast discussing microservices. She's presented with the usual questions (what are microservices compared to a monolith, how are microservices different than SOA, etc.). What is fascinating to me, however, is the number of tangents that always end up incorporated in the microservice discussion. Whether it is Docker, automation, continuous integration, cloud, or cultural change, all seem to make an appearance during the course of the interview. The audio (or the provided transcription) serves as a great overview for those new to the landscape.


Daniel Bryant has been producing a tremendous wealth of software architectural thinking over the past year or so. His latest presentation, Microservices: The Organizational and People Impact is no different. It supports a rhetorical question I'm quick to ask: if microservices was only about architecture, we have a whole lot more success stories to point to than Netflix and Amazon. Starting with microservices as the solution without understanding the value stream and business strategy will result in subpar (or even disastrous) results. Daniel lays out the argument why.


Last week was Gluecon. Someone I'm lucky to work closely with, James Higginbotham, was there presenting API Design in the Age of Bots, IoT, and Voice. Even with only slides, there's a compelling story that demonstrates the potential of hypermedia APIs. Developers remain stuck assuming that RESTful APIs are just an HTTP wrapper for database tables. Then, subsequently, they look for exotic new buzzwords when they don't see the expected ROI on their time. James illustrates capacity driven design, and why more developers should be considering it in their own work.


At the end of last year there was some discussion about whether API events were waning. Having watched the event landscape for the past two years for, I've actually seen the opposite. I remained surprised by the number of new meetups that spring up and I'm sure there's plenty more undiscovered work out there. If you know of an API event, let me know! Either respond to this email or use the contact link at the bottom of that site.

Until next time, Matthew (@libel_vox and

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