The last 2 days were pretty crazy I decided to spent them entirely at Codemotion Milano because I was selected to talk about APIs as an Opportunity for Startups.
This is a short story of how was it (<spoiler> it was such a good time! </spoiler>)
The Event and the Venue
The event is pretty well known in the IT World, is an international series of events where all the most cool people (from SW Developers, IT Architects to CTO/CEO and, yes, technology inventors) meet to tell a story and/or listen to a story.
This year, just to give an idea, the two keynotes were opened by Birgitta Boeckeler of ThoughtWorks, James Higgs of ustwo and Rasmus Lerdorf of Etsy but also known as the PHP inventor.
The host was Politecnico of Milan in their new buildings in Bovisa Area very comfortable and clean (I’ve took my Master there so probably I might be biased :)).
Long story short: if you never been there and you love IT technology, light sabers, beers and startups, you should be there next time!
The story I’ve told
As a founder and CEO of Stentle a Startup which business model is strongly related to the API Economy I’ve decided to give back to community why we’ve decided to expose API and how we’re doing it.
API Economy is a phenomenon the helped in the last 15 years companies like Amazon (with AWS), Facebook, Twitter and Netflix (and hopefully Stentle tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow :) ) to grow and become what they are today. Just to share one example: Netflix thanks to their Public API engaged a startup/developer ecosystem that helped them to be on more than 800 devices without paying 1$ of R&D on hardware.
But being part of API Economy, for a techie startup, is not just design beautiful APIs and make them publicly accessible (that is one of the mandatory steps of course) but also to think about the business model, decide how engage your business partners (that spread from the single Developer to IT Companies and/or Web Agencies) and have with them conversation to collect feedback and make your API even more usable. I’ve used the term API User Experience Designer, because I believe that as well as we love when a User Interface is clean and easy to understand, having easy to understand and efficient APIs is one of the success key factor to their spread.
In Stentle we’re building our API having this in mind and, of course being a Startup, we made a lot of mistakes during design that cost us refactoring, that means time, that means money. But if this will allow, for example, a Ruby Developer, one day, to use them without sending us an email and being happy of our APIs integration (that means doing it in less than 1 day approximately), well in that case our API design team have won.
I’ve also talked about the existing relation between API and SOA and Microservices. We’ve started with a monolithic backend that is now moving towards a Microservice architecture. There are many API Management Tools in the market (free, Pay-as-you-Go, etc) that help not only handling documentation and developers using your APIs but also they act as API Gateway in order to have a single point-of-contact between you and your partners.
I was super excited since it was the first time that I’ve had a talk on this topic in a event like Codemotion but eventually was a success: the room was packed and a lot of people stop me during the conference to ask me questions about the talk and/or Stentle. So thank you guys and thank you Codemotion and PoliHub of course! :)
Story I’ve listened to
I’ve spent the rest of my time ad Codemotion between networking and attend a couple of other events.
- Building the world’s largest grocery site in React (Robbie McCorkell): very interesting they did a great job on Tesco mobile
- No-Backend Web Architecture (Daniele Dellafiore) a success with a lot of attendants, and since in some way it was related to API and Stentle buisness model I was very happy not only for Daniele :-)
- Cloud — Build a Microservices System with Bluemix a two-hours lab on IBM Bluemix that was relaxing and quite interesting
- Designing Microservices based systems (Thiyagu Palanisamy) that told about ThoughWorks experience in refactoring PAM IT System from Monolithic to MicroServices)
They were 2 amazing days, I’ve met a lot of people and friends and talked about my passion and work.
Live long and prosper.