Louisville, Barcelona, APIs, and Racing

I recently had the privilege of participating in two API-related events: the Code PaLOUsa event in Louisville and APIdays Mediterranea in Barcelona. All within just days of each other. It was a great experience.

April in Louisville The Louisville Code PaLOUsa event holds a special place in memory for me. It was there, in 2012, that I first began delivering talks that were more than just technical – ones that included some background and stories in an attempt to give the material some perspective. That year, my talk was entitled, REST: And Now for Something Completely Different. The material in that talk turned out to be the basis for the eBook A Guide to REST & API Design, which the API Academy released in association with CA Technologies earlier this year. I remember how welcoming the people at Code PaLOUsa were in 2012 and was not surprised to find that was still the case in 2015.

This year, I had the chance to deliver two talks.The first was An API Design Methodology, in which I outlined a process for iterating through a Web API design process in a way that will work no matter the style (RESTCRUDRPC etc.), representation format (HALCollection+JSONSiren, or domain (accounting, user management, helpdesk etc.) Most of the material also appears in the book RESTful Web APIs, which I co-wrote with Leonard Richardson

My second talk at Code PaLOUsa was REST, Hypermedia & the Semantic Gap. This was an updated version of a talk I delivered while visiting Google in 2014. It was kind of nice to return to Louisville three years later to talk about a similar topic. It allowed me to notice that, in the intervening years, most Web developers have gained a increased understanding of Roy Fielding‘s early work and have come to expect more from the tooling and guidance given in implementing both REST and hypermedia-oriented design for Web APIs.

While I enjoyed the conference, I couldn’t stay too long since I needed to move on to the next event. I actually left Louisville just a few days before the Kentucky Derby – a race that pretty much defines Kentucky for many people in the world. My next stop was another city hosting an important race – Barcelona, Spain.

May in Barcelona I arrived in Barcelona only a few days before the Spanish Grand Prix race – an event that has been running for more than 100 years. Now that’s a stable implementation!

My reason for visiting Barcelona was not to pilot a car in the race but to participate in APIdays Mediterranea. The Spanish version of APIdays placed an emphasis on machine learningnatural language processing and predictive APIs. The speakers were all excellent and the “hallway conversations” between sessions were animated.

I was invited to deliver one of my favorite talks, From Stacia to Hyperion & Back Again: A Hypermedia Hero’s Tale. In the spirit of the Barcelona event’s emphasis on language, this talk presented a full-on fairytale as an allegory covering various key Web computing concepts. It’s always a challenge to present this talk since it is essentially a 5000-word short story – non-stop talking for about 25 minutes. One of the reasons I enjoy delivering this talk, though, is that the slides are all original artworks by a very talented artist – who happens to live in Louisville, KY!

It was a great couple weeks and I hope I get the opportunity to return to both Louisville and Barcelona for next year’s events.

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