API Evangelism Sometimes Seems Similar To The Environmental Discussion - What We Would Like, Does Not Reflect What Actually Happens On The Ground

I was just listening to segment on NPR, All Things Considered, about educating students around the environment. Throughout the program I couldn’t help be reminded of a similar imbalance in the world of APIs. Throughout my API experience I’m constantly faced with a separation between what I hear is possible, what I would like to see, and what actually occurs on the ground in startups, small businesses, and within enterprise organizations, and government agencies.

You might have to listen to the segment to fully grasp what I mean, but essentially it comes down to this: we’d like a perfect world where we do not negatively impact the environment, and everyone understands the urgency, but in reality there are a lot of real world constraints that prevent us from truly realizing this vision. In the world of APIs, these same constraints exist. We’d like to achieve API harmony in everything we do, but in reality there are a lot of real world constraints we have to navigate, from knowledge and education, to the time and resources needed to implement.

This chasm reflects the challenge in my API Evangelist mission. How do steer clear of selling people a single product, platform, or holistic vision of an API strategy, and break things into small, bite-size chunks of information that anyone can use (or not use) as they see fit, in the environments they operate within. I don’t believe there is a silver bullet, or single religion to follow here, it is all about staying in tune with what is working, and what is not—then making your own decisions about what is appropriate on the ground.

API Evangelist was born out of my success and failures working at SAP—which was all about striking a balance between what I knew was possible, what I wanted, and what was really possible in the environment I operated in. Alright, enough pontificating, and back to understanding all of this. I guess my point is, that this isn’t just about understanding where are going, where we’ve been or where we are currently—it is also about actually making meaningful connections that guide us, incrementally, in the right direction.