The Evolution Of The API Strategy And Practice Conference

In the summer of 2012, Steve Willmott approached me with the idea of doing an API conference. We had both been discussing the need for a vendor-neutral API conference throughout the year, and now he wanted to make it a reality. We got to work talking to potential sponsors to see if the idea would be financially viable, and after a handful of conversation, we quickly had the sponsor support we needed to go ahead with the real thing.

The first API Strategy & Practice (APIStrat) was scheduled for December 2012 in New York City, but had to be rescheduled to February of 2013 due to Hurrican Sandy. Honestly, it ended up working out well, with the first APIStrat ended up being sold out. After we did New York, we followed up with San Francisco, Amsterdam, Chicago, Berlin, Austin, and the latest edition in Boston last November, and after seven events, the conference will now be operated by the Linux foundation, as part of the OpenAPI Initiative.

I'm very happy to see the conference mature to this level. The conference has been a forum for sharing API knowledge for over three years, so it makes sense to elevate it as part of the movement at the OAI, something that is bigger than just the OpenAPI specification. The conference will have more reach, and resources available to it. APIStrat will have a much bigger events team, allowing it to continue to grow and evolve, beyond what Steve, myself, and the 3Scale team were able to make happen. It was a no-brainer to give the conference to the Linux Foundation, and the OAI--I couldn't imagine any better home for the conference I helped create.

I wanted to take a moment and thank Steve, and the 3Scale team for making APIStrat a reality. Without their support, it never would have been a thing. I was fortunate enough to ride the train, and help stimulate the conversation. I feel like the API space has matured and evolved alongside APIStrat, and while the conference is just a small part of the growing conversation, I feel like it definitely heleds drive awareness and healthy growth across the API sector. 3Scale was central to all of this happening, behaving in a humble, vendor-neutral way the entire time, while also ensuring the event was fully funded each round, even when it meant running at a loss--thank you 3Scale (and Red Hat).

The 8th edition of APIStrat is scheduled for October / November in Portland, Oregon. The entire Linux Foundation community is currently being mobilized, and we are beginning to talk about on the ground engagement with the Portland developer and business community, so make sure to get involved where you can. Steve and I are still very involved in the event, we just have a much bigger team to help pull it off now. I'm very happy to see how things have evolved, and I am looking forward to our baby growing up and becoming much bigger than our original vision. Thanks to 3Scale, Red Hat, the Linux Foundation, and the OAI team for pulling this off, I'm looking forward to the ongoing conversations about APIs with the growing APIStrat community.