The API Lightbulb Went On For Me When Amazon EC2 Launched A Decade Ago
It is the 10th anniversary of the launch of Amazon EC2 this month, and I think it is a good time to revisit what this has meant to the API space. If you have heard any of my keynote talks where I visit the history of APIs and share my story of how I became the API Evangelist, you have heard this before, but is something I feel is worth repeating so that my new readers can play catch up.
In March of 2006 Amazon launched their new Amazon S3 service, and in August of 2006 they followed up with their launch of Amazon EC2. The Amazon S3 release interested me and I signed up right away, but the Amazon EC2 release is when the lightbulb went on for me when it came to the potential of web APIs--which eventually led to me launching API Evangelist in July of 2010.
Prior to 2006 APIs were being used for what is considered very non-business activities, like publishing and sharing photos, videos, and of web links. S3 opened up storage in a new way, but the potential for deploying server infrastructure around the globe using web APIs was a serious game changer (I do not use this phrase often). With the release of EC2 web APIs weren't just for fun and games anymore, or just a "hobby toy" as my SAP IT directors in Germany liked to tell me--you could now do real world business things with them.
It would take a couple more years for me to realize this potential while I was running events for SAP and for Google, as the VP of Technology at WebEvents global, but by 2010 I had been touched by the holy API spirit. I then quit my nice six figure job, fired up a blog, and hit the road spreading the gospel of how web APIs could make digital, and increasingly physical resources more accessible to not just business, but also individuals, government agencies, and beyond.