Five things we learned at APIStrat Amsterdam

Screen-Shot-2012-10-18-at-9.59.54-PM

After two great APISTRAT events last year, the first European event in Amsterdam kicked things of this year – and duly delivered another great few days of content and discussions. The tweet stream says in all on how engaged people were: the keynotes and sessions just got better an better. (If you missed it – you have APIStrat Chicago to look forward to 24-26th September and a great new workshop at Gluecon!). Out of all the great material in Amsterdam it’s hard to distil the top takeaways and everybody will have their favorites. You can already see posts up by:

[hit us up if you have a summary post and we’ll post it here!]

Having said that, after recovering from the rush, here are our top five trends and moments:

  • Hardware and APIs make magical: The Internet of Things session at the event was packed with the biggest audience for any breakout and had great presentations from Marco Herbst, Marc Pous, Rob Zazueta and Paul Hopton. Romain Huet’s great keynote combined both a Raspberry Pi camera and a Node-enabled drone with Twitter and having the drone fly in the session – showing how hardware and software can combine. Last but definitely not least, Wandering CTO Adam Wiggins showed why “hackability” is so important on the hardware and consumer devices we buy.
  • Real Time is beginning to creep into many applications: both the realtime panel and the scalability breakout covered how APIs are reaching scale and how this can be dealt with. On the realtime panel, the speakers covered the different time-scales of “real time” and when it makes sense to add these capabilities to an application. The breadth of what realtime frameworks are being used for keeps creeping up and adds a key “event driven” dimension to many API-App combinations.
  • The bigger API Picture is coming into view: Four keynotes and one panel stood out as covering some of the bigger issues APIs will face as the grow. Ken Wronkiewicz and Mehdi Medjaoui kicked off Thursday morning. Ken Wronkiewicz covered how choices in how we govern and adopt APIs very much mirror how we structure and build our cities: with important choices to be made. Mehdi Medjaoui talked through the need for a common notion of openness and why this is important for the API Community – his resulting draft is available on github. The fireside chat with Tyler Singletary and Kin Lane then dug into the legals around APIs and re-use in fascinating segment. The fourth keynote in this category was Mike Amundsens’ which let everybody in the audience think a little bigger to what the world would look like with APIs at Scale. Lastly the closing panel on Friday covered a wide range of topics and what it would take to reach 1 Million APIs – many of the discussion points revolved around more shared best practices, standards and governance.
  • APIs are becoming more mainstream in the Enterprise: The enterprise breakout and mainstage enterprise highlighted the depth of adoption of APIs by companies such as TomTom, Unibet, IBM, Edmunds, and industry organizations like the GSMA. In addition Eva Sjokvist‘s excellent keynote showed how a large enterprise marketing department could use APIs to completely restructure their means deliver new refreshing experiences. Last but not least, the lively finance session showed how deeply APIs are beginning to penetrate the banking sector with presentations from BBVA, Rabobank, OpenBank and Nomos Software.
  • The Consumer side of APIs is marching ahead: Last but not least, as already seen in San Francisco – technology and experience for the consumer sides of APIs is becoming more and more important. John Sheehan kicked off this theme with his keynote on the need to to treat web programming as distributed computing. Several of the breakouts and the closing panel also all name checked scripting platforms such as IFTTT, Zapier, Cloudwork and others as important emerging services to help users ‘get things done with APIs’. Lastly for 3scale, we also launched access to our new APITools beta service – our contribution to how to consume APIs more effectively!

Many of the other segments were also excellent, including: Kat Borlongan‘s engaging talk on APIs and Disaster Relief, Robin Wauters’ great interviews with Gordon Holligworth and Renaud Visage (the first of which is already up here), excellent sessions on Civic APIs and much more. The videos and slides are starting to appear now so you can catch those you missed! Follow @apistrat on twitter to catch them.

The event had 325 attendees and everybody contributed to the conversations – we’re looking forward to doing it all again in Chicago – look out for announcements about that shortly! If you’re interested in participating as a speaker or early sponsor, please contact us as soon as you can (reach out to kerrie@3scale.net).

Thanks you everybody – Speakers, Sponsors, Attendees and everyone for a great event!