The View from #API360

It was my great pleasure to join our inaugural #api360 event in Washington, DC, Sept 12.  The Newseum was an ideal venue, offering a stunning cityscape view including the Capitol building and, of course, the Canadian Embassy.  The day kicked off with Gray Brooks of 18F giving an insider’s view of the widespread API activities taking place in the US Federal government.  I was amazed at how much activity there is, but even more so by how refreshing their approach is.

Next up, Irakli Nadareishvili from the API Academy gave insight into how APIs can be used as the best products a company or organization can have.

Sanjay Motwani and Amit Malhotra gave us a look inside the work that the Advisory Board Company is doing to build a digital fabric for their industry-leading research and consulting services for healthcare.  We were privileged to have the API Evangelist himself, Kin Lane, join us and moderate two panels.  The first was an interesting discussion on the technical, business and political challenges of open data, with Alex Howard (TechRepublic), Ian Schuler (Development Seed) and Steve Davenport (World Bank) taking part.

Michael Prichard of WillowTree Apps gave us an energetic post-lunch talk on the importance of API design to mobile developers, and even gave us a memorable “speaker selfie” to commemorate the presentation.  Ronnie Mitra of the Academy gave us the flip-side of this coin, explaining the importance of keeping developers in mind when designing APIs.  Mike Amundsen’stalk was founded on information theory principles, as he emphasized the need for data to be usable in order to be considered open.

Our second panel gave us a great blend of opinions on open APIs, from the private sector enterprise (Dave Goldberg of CapitalOne), to startups (Frank Febbraro of Phase2), to public media (Adam Martin of BBG/US International Media) to the federal government (Lisa Wolfisch of the U.S. Census Bureau).  I closed out the day with a TED talk (in length if not significance) on the shift from SOA in the enterprise to APIs.  I would like to thank Lauren Rapkin for doing such a great job organizing and running the event, and Steve Tait for assisting and documenting the whole thing through social media.

We are very excited about the #api360 Summit series, and look forward to the next event on November 18 in London, UK!

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