We are on the brink of entering the Second Machine Age. Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, the authors of the book with the same title, assert that today’s modern, digital machines very soon will do “for our mental power […] what the steam engine and its descendants did for muscle power” as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution (i.e., the First Machine Age).
Self-driving cars doing 700,000 miles accident-free are a great example. Vinod Khosla – top investor, technology fan, founder of Khosla Ventures and founding CEO of Sun Microsystems – is passionate about Machine Learning, too, and claims that “in the next 20 years, machine learning will have more impact than mobile has” (source: TechCrunch).
The API Strategy & Practice Conference (APIStrat) focuses on what works for API creators and consumers alike by bringing industry leaders together in one forum. This is an inclusive, community-supported conference series co-organized by 3scale and API Evangelist. Now in its second year, the fourth conference will be held in September 2014 in Chicago will focus on the potential of APIs, best practices, and how to craft a successful API strategy.
Romain Huet at APIStrat Amsterdam — picture courtesy 3scale
One of APIStrat’s main goals is to enable as many people as possible to share and benefit from practical API experiences. The three tracks encompass three major audiences in the space: API providers, developers, and those having conversations around specific industries.
The biggest Nordic APIs conference to date was held in Stockholm, Sweden 18-19 September, 2013. As one of the organizers I am proud to say everything went very well and that we did what we set out to do – which was to create a place for the API community in the Nordics to meet in person.
During the conference there were a few themes that emerged – that APIs are about more than technology, that the security stack is maturing and that we have a strong API community.
Tictail, a Swedish e-commerce platform that manages over 24,000 stores spread across 110 different countries, launched their API on September 16, 2013. Because Tictail’s main focus is simplicity of use, they decided to offer developers the same tools they use internally to build this new platform. According to Carl Waldekranz, Tictail CEO, they “want developers to have that same opportunity as [the company] continues to grow internationally.”
At the conclusion of the first API Days San Francisco, one thing is clear above all else: APIs are in. Huge growth in the startup space developing APIs and major acquisitions amongst the larger companies are a great indicator of a burgeoning API ecosystem. Despite a wide variety of opinions and philosophies in the speaking arrangement capable of satisfying any developers thirst for insight, one common theme prevailed: APIs are a critical component of any modern development strategy.
API Economy Panel – Image by Michael Pratt
Rather than providing a simple recap, let’s touch on a few of the most important and emerging topics discussed.