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API World 2019: Event Recap

For the last eight years, API practitioners and vendors have descended on San Jose, right down the road from the Broadcom headquarters, for the annual API World conference. This year, the Layer7 API Management team was joined at the show by our colleagues from Continuous Testing and AIOps to talk about full lifecycle API Management. And while many tech conferences have tracks on APIs and API-related topics, there are a few things that set this one apart and make it more interesting than most.

First, API World always kicks off with the presentation of the API Awards, given in 19 categories to people, products, and companies driving excellence in the industry. This year Broadcom received two awards, for Best in API Infrastructure and Best in API Security. I was incredibly proud of the recognition in these areas, as our customers look at our solutions as a critical part of their infrastructure, and our teams have consistently delivered the strongest security offerings in the market.

Second, the specific focus on APIs means the content is relevant and interesting, and presentations run the gamut from beginner to expert. I particularly enjoy the presenters who come up with incendiary titles like “You’re Doing Microservices Wrong” or “The REST is Not Enough.” It’s easy to put together a presentation of best practices that doesn’t rock the proverbial boat, but it’s fun to challenge some of the status quo as well. We decided to go that route when Kieran Taylor and I presented our “Join or Die” presentation on capturing intelligence across the API lifecycle.

Third, I really appreciate the inclusion of API-related technologies in co-located parallel conferences. Along with API World, the Convention Center and attached Hilton were also hosting Microservices World and AI World, respectively. Microservices World has shared the space with API World for a few years, and it makes perfect sense – APIs are critical to successful modern architectures built on microservices. We’ve won the Best in Microservices API Award in previous years, and our offering has capabilities that are applicable across the microservices lifecycle. I was also very pleased that AI World also brought a focus on Machine Learning and AI Innovation to the building; I sat in on several sessions across a wide variety of topics from program synthesis to knowledge graphs. And though there wasn’t a whole lot of overlap between API and AI World, I was happy that our talk was able to bridge the two. Our automation.ai offering applies machine learning and deep domain knowledge to data collected across the API and application lifecycles to bring true business insights and actionable intelligence to the enterprise. 

Last but not least, I appreciate the audience at API World, given the innovative local tech scene. The Silicon Valley location means that real practitioners with hands-on experience with APIs can literally come by on their lunch break or after work and get into a deep conversation about API product management, or API testing strategies. So while we were feeding everyone pretzels, hot dogs, and cold IPAs at the Expo Block Party, we were also having great interactions with existing and potential customers about API Management requirements. And that kind of casual, geeky fun doesn’t come along with some larger, stuffier conferences. See you next year!

Jaime Ryan

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