My API Talk at Montgomery County Java User Group in DC

While out in Washington DC last week I was invited to speak at the Montgomery County Java User Group in Rockville, MD. Without much of an understanding of who my audience was I chose to talk about the Building Blocks of a Successful API.

There was about 25 developers attending from various companies with a heavy health care influence, since the building that hosted the event was home to several health care technology companies. There were also developers from firms who contracted with federal agencies ranging from Census to the Department of Defense.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out how hungry many of these developers were for information about the API movement and what is working in the open, public API space. As with my experience with other enterprise companies, these developers were well versed in APIs in the context of service oriented architecture, but had little experience with the building blocks used by many of the successful public APIs operating today.

My presentation went for about an hour, then we discussed not just the business of APIs, but the politics of APIs for another hour. With the health care presence in the room, the conversation quickly focused on the challenges around deploying APIs in an industry that is so heavily regulated, but also dominated by several 1000 pound gorillas who really have no interest in opening up data, something that threatens their control and dominance.

If I had more money, I think I could spend 100% of my time traveling around the country talking to user groups like MCJUG. There is a hunger for information about the tech, business and politics of APIs by developers, and I will be coming back soon to Rockville, MD to talk more about APIs with MCJUG. For now I will keep publishing as much content as I can to help these developers understand APIs.