{"API Evangelist"}

I Am Seeing Significant Returns From Investing In Definitions Over Code When It Comes To My API Strategy

I am doing way more work on the creation of machine-readable OpenAPI Specs for APIs, indexed using machine-readable APIs.json files than I am the actual creation of APIs lately. About half of the API definitions I create are for existing APIs, with the rest of them describing APIs that should exist. With the existing APIs, in some cases, I am creating client-side code, but mostly just focusing on a well crafted API definition. When it comes to the new API designs, I am focusing on a complete API definition, but also crafting both server-side, as well as client-side code around the definition--when needed.

Even when I do craft server or client code for an API definition, the value of the code is significantly lower than the definition(s). In my mind the code is disposable. I want to be able to throw it away, and start over with anything I am building, at any point. While I have made significant ideological investments into using Linux for my OS, AWS for my compute and storage hosting, MySQL for my database, and PHP + Slim for my API deployment framework, the code that operates within this framework has to be transient. Some code might end up having a long, long life, but if a piece of code isn't generating value, and in the way, I want to either get rid of it or rewrite it to better meet the requirements.

When it comes to delivering technology in my world, my investments are increasingly in the API definitions, underlying data schemas, and the data and content that is actually stored and transmitted within. The PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, CSS, and HTML is valuable, but a second class citizen to the JSON, and YAML representations of my APIs, schemas, and the valuable data and content stored. For me personally, having made significant investments in a variety of tech solutions historically, this provides me with the flexibility I need to live in the current online climate. This is something that only has been coming into focus in the last year, so I assume it will also continue to evolve in focus over the next couple of years, but I am already seeing significant returns from my investing in definitions over the code when it comes to my API strategy.