Earlier this year (May 2014), ProgrammableWeb ran its first every API conference in San Francisco. Called APIcon, I billed it as an API conference that was for the API community by the API community. The event included developer workshops (many of which were standing room only), conference sessions for API stakeholders in just about any stage of their API journey, and a hackathon with all sorts of prizes in addition to the more than $15,000 in cash we awarded to the best applications. Of course, the networking and entertainment were first rate. The feedback was so overwhelmingly positive that we couldn't resist the temptation to host another APIcon in London.
So, vacations schmay-cations. The minute APIconSF (San Francisco) ended, the ProgrammableWeb team started crankin' on APIconUK and has been working through the summer to throw another great event. The dates and location -- Sept 24-26 at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge in London -- are set and the Web site for registration and more information is up and running. All we need is you. But, at a little more than half the size of APIconSF (which was sold-out), space is very limited.
So, who are "you?"
On the attendee side, you are the developers who innovatively consume APIs using client or server side code in your Web and mobile apps and who want to attend workshops from some of the top API providers like Stripe and Google. You are the API providers that are in various stages of your journey; from just-thinking-about-it to already-up-and-running and looking to learn from practitioners who have not only blazed the path before you, but also from the innovators who are building the next platforms and technologies that will power the API economy. You are the non-technical business and marketing people who must make the case internally for why your company without APIs is like a computer without the Internet (yes, this is true). You are the stakeholders that are orbiting the API economy for whom the API signal has risen above the noise and are trying to figure out how best to board a train that's already left the station.
On the speaker side (yes, we still need speakers!), you are the API providers who want to take up some of our workshop slots to teach developers how to work with your APIs, SDKs, frameworks, and libraries. Or, maybe you're the sort of API-provider that has learned so many lessons during your provisioning journey that you want to share those lessons with others who are just getting started on their journeys. You are the experienced Web and mobile app developers who are willing to help other developers learn about the latest approaches to API-consumption in the language of your choice. Or, you're like Markus Lanthaler and Holger Reinhardt; domain experts in burgeoning areas like API-based access to linked data (think JSON-LD) and the Internet of Things (respectively) with a laundry list of things for all API providers to consider as they plot their road maps.
Then, we're trying something new with this event that I'm calling the ProgrammableWeb Innovation Showcase. This is where we'll hand-pick five API-driven innovators who, in the course of explaining what they do (we'll give them the big stage to make their elevator pitch), will bend your mind and shape your thinking when it comes to the way that APIs will change everyone's game.
If you're interesting in speaking or you think you qualify for one of the precious Innovation Showcase spots (or if you have any other questions about APIcon), write to me at email@example.com.
Already, APIconUK is shaping up to be an amazing event. Back in 2005 when ProgrammableWeb was founded, mashing Web-based APIs into a single Web-app was all the rage. Almost a decade later, the APIs that are showing up in browsers thanks to the standards being set by the World Wide Web Consortium (e.g.: WebRTC) along with the APIs that unlock device functionality are now in the mix. In recognition of those trends, not only has ProgrammableWeb.com been expanding its purview, APIcon isn't just about RESTful APIs. The other APIs matter too. For example, Google Senior Developer Advocate for Wearables Hoi Lam will be giving a 2-hour workshop on developing for Google Glass (no, you won't need Glass to participate).
Just to name a few of the other speakers we've got lined up, Stripe's UK Country Lead Andy Young is giving a workshop on working with Stripe's API and Lokku's Ed Freyfogle will be on-hand to share his lessons learned when it comes to taking the public data API aggregation approach as he did in developing the OpenCage geocoding API. Former ProgrammableWeb editor Adam Duvander (now a developer advocate for Orchestrate.io) will be on hand to talk about the top five ways to increase API adoption and our own Mark Boyd will be unveiling a bunch of his research on how APIs can be the chief enablers of smart cities. As said earlier, Layer 7's (CA) senior principle Holger Reinhardt will be there, giving his state of the state look at the now-exploding Internet of Things and we've got both Markus Lanthaler (co-author/editor of the W3's recommendation for JSON-LD 1.0 and the inventor of Hydra) and Dimitri Van Hees giving several presentations on the ins, outs, and efficacy of linked data and hypermedia.
Over the next days and weeks, we'll be updating the APIconUK Web site with all of the speakers, their topics, and the schedule.
Finally, a word about ProgrammableWeb's business-model for APIcon. In my view, APIcon is and should be for the API community, by the API community. To the extent that ProgrammableWeb is seeking both sponsorship and attendance monies for APIcon, I want the community to know that our goal is for APIcon to one day break-even. It didn't happen in San Francisco. It won't happen in London. Typical of any conference, the costs include the space, manpower, audio/visual gear, food and beverage, etc. At the same time that APIcon is delivering significant value to your API journey, please also know that your participation is what makes a community event like APIcon both possible and sustainable.
I hope to see you there!