Ensuring We Invest In Educating And Engaging With Leadership Around Our API Operations
30 Sep 2019
I’m working on my strategy as the Chief Evangelist at Postman. We have a kick ass developer relations team and a passionate community of users who generate tutorials and other content, and while I will be working to help rolls up my sleeves and contribute in these areas, supporting the team, but I know they have this part of the conversation covered well. To augment what is already happening, I am working to develop a voice and approach that is uniquely mine, built on what I’ve been doing as the API Evangelist, but something that can be evolved to have that unique Postman presence. One of the areas I’m including in my approach is a heavy focus on non-developers, but specifically tryiing to make content, talks, and other resources that decision makers and other business users will benefit from.
While the tutorials and other technical storytelling are critical, one aspect of evangelism that isn’t always addressed by API providers and service providers is content that is accessible and relevant to business and technical leaders. Helping them understand why APIs are important, and get enough information on various stops along the API lifecycle, and other important aspects of delivering APIs reliably, ensuring they are making informed decisions when it comes building teams, crafting budgets, and other important aspects of operations that will make or break your API program. If your leadership isn’t on board with what is going on, the chances you will be able to realize the change you envision with your API effort will be drastically diminished, and you will be always struggling to stay afloat and properly invest in what is needed to find your way forward in any meaningful way.
I love being down in the weeds with APIs. Making requests to existing APIs, and designing new and interesting APIs. However, I also realize the importance of me zooming out, thinking about how business leaders can be engage to make sure they are up to speed on the how and why we are doing things, so that we are all on the same page when it comes to defining what API success is across teams. I have been talking with a variety of organizations about their struggles getting the attention of management and leadership, and will be working on more stories of how people are keeping their leadership and teams up to speed on what is happening within the organization, but also across the wider industry landscape. If you have had meaningful successes or failures at getting leadership on board with your API vision, I’d love to hear more about it—I am happy to tell your story publicly, or keep things anonymized if you, or your company prefers.
As I work through my notes from existing conversation, as well as past research and discussions, I’m putting on my “sell this to management” hat, trying to craft a view of the API lifecycle from which organizational leadership will want to look at things. I’m guessing I’ll be consistently thinking about how to more coherently measure what is happening, and be looking at everything in terms of efficiency, velocity, and money saved. In the end, I’m looking to craft a guide that anyone can take within a small business, enterprise, government agency, or other entity, and put to work helping them plot a course forward. Setting the tone for how I reach out to a mainstream business audience when it comes to talking about the API lifecycle and how Postman is essential to not just developer success, but also for business stakeholders when it comes to defining API operations across your company, organization, institution, or government agency.