What Is More Important? Helping New Users Be Aware Of APIs Or Pushing Concept Forward?

This is a topic that has come up in several discussions lately and is a topic I struggle with on a regular basis. What is more important, helping new users, both developer and non-developer be more aware of APIs, or is helping push forward the concept of APIs amongst those who are already tuned in? While I don't think there is a perfect answer, I think it is an important concept to explore and discuss.

I started API Evangelist on the premise of helping educate new users about the importance of APIs and is something I regularly strive to do, but if you read my blog I definitely do not always keep things simple and accessible to a wide audience. I keep coming back to this founding premise of API Evangelist and work hard to write about 101, and 201 level concepts, despite definitely being a card carrying member of the core API community.

There are a number of leading-edge topics in the space right now from hypermedia to GraphQL, as well as leading edge implementations like bot and voice enablement, but should we be careful to not focus too heavily on these leading issues, and make sure we all invest in new users education as well. I'm feeling like we should keep a core academic group focusing on the big issues, but also enlist armies of folks to help translate down the food chain.

I do not feel there is a right answer to this question. You ask me on separate days, I will answer differently. Sometimes the topics that push forward the API conversation seems most important, but then sometimes educating the developer masses, and the average business users about APIs seems like what will truly push forward the conversation. Even with my flip-flopping, which is why I will never run for president, I think this topic is something we should ask ourselves regularly, and try to understand where we stand as time marches forward.