API Evangelist And Streamdata.io API Lifecycle Workshops
08 Oct 2018
I have been partnering with Streamdata.io to evolve how I work with enterprise groups on their API lifecycle strategy. After working closely with the Streadata.io sales team, it became clear that many enterprise organizations weren’t quite ready for the event-driven infrastructure Streamdata.io provides. Most groups were in desperate need of stepping back and developing their own formal strategy for delivering APIs across the enterprise, before they could every scale their operations and take advantage of things being more event-driven and real time.
In response, I set out to evolve my own API lifecycle research, gathered over the last eight years of studying the API space, and make it more accessible to the enterprise, as self-service short form and long form content, in-person workshops, and forkable blueprints that any enterprise can set in motion on their own. The results is a series of evolvable API projects, that we are using to drive our ongoing workshop engagements with enterprise API groups, focusing in on six critical areas of the API lifecycle:
- Discovery (demo) - Knowing where all of your APIs and services are across groups.
- Design (demo) - Focus in on an a design and virtualized API lifecycle before deployment.
- Development (demo) - Understanding the many ways in which APIs can be developed & deployed.
- Production (demo) - Thinking critically about properly operating API infrastructure.
- Governance (demo) - Understanding how to measure, report, and evolve API operations.
Not all of our workshops will cover all of these areas. Depending on the time we have available, the scope of the team participating in a workshop(s), and how far along teams are in their overall API journey, the workshops might head in different directions, and expand or contract the depth in which we dive into each of these area (ie. not everyone is ready for governance). After several workshops this year, we have found these areas of the API lifecycle to be the most meaningful ways to organize a workshop, and help enterprise group think more critically about their API strategy.
Craft An API Strategy For Your Enterprise
The purpose of our API lifecycle workshops is to help enterprise organizations develop a strategy. Bring in outside API knowledge, learn more about where an enterprise API group is in their overall API journey, and leave them with a structured artifact that helps them step back and look at the entire lifecycle of their APIs. Moving the API conversation across the enterprise forward in a meaningful way with three distinct actions:
- Starter API Lifecycle Strategy - Provide a template API lifecycle strategy in GitHub or GitLab as README, and YAML file. Providing a framework to consider as you craft your own API strategy, providing a starting point for your journey. Generated from eight years of research on the API space, providing a living document that can be used to execute and evolve the overall API lifecycle strategy for an enterprise organization.
- API Lifecycle Workshop - Schedule and conduct a single, or multi-day API lifecycle workshop on-site, with as many enterprise and / or partner stakeholders as possible. We will come on site, and walk teams through each stop along a modern API lifecycle, helping customize, personalize, and make the API strategy better fit the enterprises strategy.
- Evolve API Lifecycle Strategy - Coming out of the workshop, you will be given an updated API lifecycle YAML document. Providing a human and machine readable framework that represents your API lifecycle strategy, helping provide a scaffolding for future discussions. Producing a usable artifact out of the gathering, encapsulating the research and experience we bring to the table, adding what we learned during the workshop, and hopefully continually being used to drive the API strategy road map.
- Provide Execution & Support - After the workshop is done, and we have provided an updated API lifecycle, we are still here to support. We can answer questions via the repository we leave an API strategy artifact, as well as email. We are happy to conduct virtual meetings to help check in on where you are at, and of course we are happy to always come back and conduct future workshops as you need.
We are happy to continue the conversation around the API lifecycle artifact we will leave with you. We don’t expect you to use everything we propose. We are more interested in teaching you about what is possible, and continuing to work with you to refine, evolve, and make the API lifecycle your own. We’ve just worked hard to identified many different ways to operating API infrastructure at scale, and continue to help standardize and make it more accessible by large enterprise organizations.
Helping You On Your Journey
The resulting API lifecycle strategy we leave behind after the workshop is done will possess all the knowledge we’ve aggregated across API research, gathered across leading API providers, and polished by conducting API workshops within the enterprise. Embedded within this API lifecycle artifact we’ll leave you with some added elements that will help you in your journey, going beyond just advice on process, and helping the rubber meet the road.
- Links - Provide a wealth of references to external resources, attached to each stop along the API lifecycle, bring our API research into your organization, allowing you to put to use inline as you are building your API strategy.
- Services - Embedding links to API services that you are already using, and introducing you to other useful API services along the way. Making sure specific services are associated with each stop along the API lifecycle, across the different areas, and even sub-linking to specific features that can help accomplish a specific aspect of API operations.
- Tooling - Embedding links to open source API tools, specifications, and other solutions that can be used to accomplish a specific aspect of operating an API platform. Brining in open source solutions that can be considered as you are crafting the API strategy for your enterprise organization.
While not all organizations will be ready to use a YAML API lifecycle artifact as part of their API orchestration, it helps to have the API lifecycle well defined, even if many steps are still manual. It helps teams think more critically about how they approach the deliver of APIs, while also being something that can be downloaded, forked, and reused by different groups across the enterprise. Eventually it is something that can be further automated, measured, and used to help quantify the maturity level of each APIs, as well as API across distributed teams.
Next Steps For Developing A Strategy
If you are interested in what we are offering with our API lifecycle workshops, there are few things you can do to get things started, to help us bring an API lifecycle workshop your way:
- Email Me - Happy to answer any questions, and get you the information you need to sell the workshop to your team, and get you in the calendar.
- Take Survey - Take a quick survey about your operations, helping us tailor a workshop for your needs.
- Demo Workshop - Take a stroll around one of our demos that we use in our workshop, introducing you to what we’ll be discussing.
While I work from a common set of workshop material when designing these workshops, I work to tailor each engagement for the company, organization, institution, or government agency I’m working with. All of my API lifecycle workshop blueprints are meant to be forkable, customizable, and something anyone can turn into their own working API lifecycle strategy.