The API Journey

I’ve been researching the API space full time for the last eight years, and over that time I have developed a pretty robust view of what the API landscape looks like. You can find almost 100 stops along what I consider to be the API lifecycle on the home page of API Evangelist. While not every organization has the capacity to consider all 100 of these stops, they do provide us with a wealth of knowledge generated throughout my own journey. Where I’ve been documenting what the API pioneers have been doing with their API operations, how startups leverage simple web API infrastructure, as well as how the enterprise has been waking up to the API potential in the last couple of years.

Over the years I’ve tapped this research for my storytelling on the blog, and for the white papers and guides I’ve produced. I use this research to drive my talks at conferences, meetups, and the workshops I do within the enterprise. I’ve long had a schema for managing my research, tracking on the APIs, companies, people, tools, repos, news, and other building blocks I track across the API universe. Now, after a year of working with them on the ground at enterprise organizations, I’m partnering with (SDIO) to continue productizing my approach to the API lifecycle, which we are calling Journey, or specifically SDIO Journey.

Our workshops are broken into four distinct areas of the lifecycle:

  • Discovery (Goals, Definition, Data Sources, Discovery Sources, Discovery Formats, Dependencies, Catalog, Communication, Support, Evangelism) - Defining your digital resources are and what your enterprise capabilities are.
  • Design (Definitions, Design, Versioning, Webhooks, Event-Driven, Protocols, Virtualization, Testing, Landing Page, Documentation, Support, Communication, Road Map, Discovery) - Going API first, as well as API design first when it comes to the delivery of all of your API resources.
  • Development (Definitions, Discovery, Virtualization, Database, Storage, DNS, Deployment, Orchestration, Dependencies, Testing, Performance, Security, Communication, Support) - Considering what is needed to properly develop API resources at scale, and move from design to production.
  • Production (Definitions, Discovery, Virtualization, Authentication, Management, Logging, Plans, Portal / Landing Page, Getting Started, Documentation, Code, Embeddables, Licensing, Support, FAQs, Communication, Road Map, Issues, Change Log, Legal, Monitoring, Testing, Performance, Tracing, Security, Analysis, Maintenance) - Thinking about the production needs of an API operation, extracting the building blocks from successful APIs available across the web.
  • Outreach (Purpose, Scope, Defining Success, Sustaining Adoption, Communication, Support, Virtualization, Measurement, Structure) - Getting more structured around how you handle outreach around your APIs, whether they are internal, partner, or public API resources.
  • Governance (Design, Testing, Monitoring, Performance, Security, Observability, Discovery, Analysis, Incentivization, Competition) - Looking at how you can begin defining, measuring, analyzing, and providing guidance across API operations at the highest levels.

We are currently working with several API service providers to deliver SDIO Journey workshops within their enteprise organizations, helping bring more API awareness to their pre-sales, sales, business, and executive groups. While also working to deliver independent Journey workshops for their customers, helping them see the bigger picture when it comes to the API lifecycle, but also begin establishing their own formal strategy for how they can execute on their own personal vision and version of it. Helping enterprise organization learn from the research I’ve gathered over the last eight years, and begin thinking more constructively, and being more thoughtful and organized about how they approach the delivery, iteration, and sustainment of APIs across the enterprise.

I have turned SDIO Journey into a set of basic APIs that allow me to build, replicate, and deliver our Journey workshops. I’m preparing for a handful of workshops before the end of the year with Axway, and for API Days in Paris, but then in 2019, continue productizing and delivering these API workshops, helping encourage other enterprise organizations to invest more in their own API Journey, get more structured in how they think about the delivering of microservices across the enterprise. Helping them realize that the transformation they are going through right now isn’t going to stop. It is something that will be ongoing, and require their organization to learn to accept perpetual change and evolution in how they deliver the data, content, and algorithmic resources they’ll need to do business across the enterprise. While also evolving their understanding that all of this is more about people, business, and politics more than it will ever be about technology all by itself.

If you have any questions about the SDIO Journey workshops we are doing, feel free to reach out, and I’ll get you more details about how to get involved.