When My API Evangelism Is Seen as Being Commercial

I’ve had many, many, many people over the years accuse me of being a shill for technology because my brand centers around API Evangelist. It is common for people to look at what I do at face value, and assume I am evangelizing that everyone should be doing APIs. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, but most people will never stick around long enough to learn and understand any more than that. Those that stick around and get to know me realize I am actually very against APIs in most cases, and I am evangelizing API awareness, not just APIs are awesome! I purposefully chose the phrase API Evangelist because of its religious connotations, which I’d say is the #2 reason people don’t pay attention to me, in that they think it is wrong to make draw parallels between religious and technology evangelism.

I find it fascinating to have people make an API call to tell me that my API Evangelism does’t matter. People can’t get past their own narrative that I am somehow hocking my wares and selling a future that is all APIs. When in reality, we already live there. I’ve been pointing out to folks that everything behind their personal and professional lives is driven, manipulated using for over a decade now, so I am never surprised at how oblivious folks are to their daily API manipulation and what it is that I do. IT CAN BE REALLY HARD TO YELL OVER THE SOUNDS OF THE MACHINE!! People just don’t see that they are making hundreds or thousands of APIs calls each day, and when some dude walks up to them and points out that this is the number one way they are manipulated they just dismiss me as the problem, or just being crazy and delusional.

I am not in the business of selling you APIs. I am not telling you that you should be building APIs. I am telling you that you are using APIs everyday and should be more aware that they exist and even consider taking more control over them. If you are building APIs already, I am sharing stories about how you can do them better, and strike a healthier balance between you the producer and your API consumers. Trust me, I am so very tired of APIs, but there really is not escaping them, and most days I have found peace wit that and will be keeping up the good fight. I see APIs in the same way I see cars. The cat is out of the bag. APIs are negatively impacting our world. APIs do have some positive benefits, but mostly they are making the world a not so better place. So I keep evangelizing and sharing stories about how APIs can be done well, how they can make our lives better, while also being the person to call out when they aren’t serving us human beings well.