My Upcoming Talk with the UK Government Digital Services (GDS): The API Life Cycle Is For Everyone
21 Jan 2020
I am heading to London in February to talk to the UK government about APIs. They invited me out to talk about my history of work with government in the US and EU, and share my views of the API life cycle. To help share my view of the API landscape I pulled together a talk titled, "The API Life Cycle Is For Everyone". I am hoping to share my view of the fundamentals of a modern API life cycle, as well as emphasize the importance of both developers and non-developers having a place at the table. Here is what I've pulled together for my time with the GDS in London.
APIs are widely considered to be something that is exclusively in the domain of software developers. While it is true that APIs are often a very technical and abstract concept which requires a more technically inclined individual to engage, APIs are something that impacts everyone across todays digital landscape, impacting both business users and developers, making the API development life cycle something all parties should be educated on, made aware of, and equipped to participe in. As part of my contribution to the GDS talks on interoperability and open standards I’d like to spend an hour with you talking through the human-machine intersection across:
- API Definitions - Talking about Swagger / OpenAPI, as well as Postman collections and environments, and how they are being put to use.
- API Documentation - Understanding common approaches to delivering and maintaining documentation for APIs that are being delivered.
- API Mocks - Thinking about how API mocking can be used to articulate and share what an API delivers for all stakeholders involved.
- API Testing - Understanding the role that API assertions and testing play in defining the operations and reliability of our API infrastructure.
- API Management - Looking at how API management secures our APIs, but also helps us develop the awareness of how they are used.
- API Contracts - Having an honest conversation about the observability and reliability of the APIs we are providing to our consumers.
- API First - Highlight the potential of being API first when it comes to delivering desktop, web, mobile, and device applications.
This discussion about APIs in government is meant to help show the important role that non-developers play in the API development and delivery life cycle. Focusing on the role that API definitions play in making APIs more accessible to developers and non-developers, and help facilitate a more organized and collaborative approach to delivering and consuming APIs. Helping all participants understand how APIs are driving different types of applications, as well as system integrations, helping ensure that government better serves its constituents, and is an active player in the API economy, maintaining its role when it comes to setting the tone in how markets work.
If you work within the UK government, I'll be participating in the GDS Tech Talks: Interoperability and Open Standards on February 3rd--you can sign up with your government email account using the EventBrite page they have setup. I'll be in town on February 3rd and 4th, but then have to get back to San Francisco for the kickoff of the Postman Galaxy Tour on February 6th. I'll be back in Europe later on in the spring to talk APIs as the Postman Tour makes its way around the globe, so if you don't catch this talk I'll be back. As part of my Postman work, I will be continuing to invest in my work with the US, UK, and other federal governments, as well as my work at the state and municipal levels. If you would like to have me come talk with your government agency, I'd be happy to fit into the calendar when it make sense--just let me know.