API Strategy and Practice will Focus on Mainstreaming APIs

API Evangelist and 3scale’s API Strategy and Practice Conference will be held Sept. 24-26 at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. ProgrammableWeb spoke with 3scale CEO Steven Willmott, about what participants can expect.

“The big change since our last conference is that there are a lot of mainstream companies with APIs represented, like Ford and Walgreens,” says Willmott, CEO of 3scale and conference co-organizer with Kin Lane from API Evangelist. “That’s the shift. More companies are putting the infrastructure in place so they can make use of their data assets. APIs are the prerequisite before that sort of transformation can occur. An API infrastructure makes companies more agile from a systems perspective. More and more companies are recognizing that that internal agility around assets is critical.”

While API Strategy and Practice has a well-regarded reputation for being vendor-neutral and has deterred presenters from doing product pitches, it is also true that previous conference events have had a high degree of participation from the API provider side of the equation. Willmott sees this changing at API Strategy and Practice in Chicago:

The initial focus of this event series was to help API owners run their APIs. We have always had developers participating but haven’t necessarily had a developer stream for them.

We wanted to do something that was increasingly value for developers this time. So ‘how to use APIs’ has become a main focus. There is an API expo area, where participants can discover new APIs.

But the newest thing we are excited about is the speedhack. We have been asked at every event to organize a hackathon, but we believe that pulls developers away from attending the rest of the conference sessions: they end up coming for either the hackathon or the conference presentations. Still, we do acknowledge there are a lot of people who want to integrate and play with APIs here.

So the speedhack is a new way to create a bit of fun and let developers discover new APIs. We will have nine API challenges to be completed in four hours. There’s $2,500 in prizes, and the kudos of being able to do the code in four hours. It’s a chance to show off your coding chops without zoning out of the entire conference. So developers can explore the APIs, see where they stand against other developers and have some fun and try out these challenges.

Highlighting the theme of mainstreaming APIs, the conference will have companies presenting on their API strategies including:

  • Joshua Greenough, Capital One
  • John Ellis, Ford
  • Tim McCauley, Walgreens

Other speakers include Julia Ferraioli (Google) and Pratap Ranade (Kimonolabs).

API Strategy and Practice starts with a full day of workshops on Sept. 24, with conference proceedings from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sept. 25 and 26, at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.

Developers and API product managers, marketers and business strategists can register online.

Mark Boyd is a ProgrammableWeb writer covering breaking news, API business strategies and models, open data, and smart cities.

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