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Tech Evolution: Navigating Shifts with Matthew Reinbold - Adapt or Fade

Explore how the tech landscape shifts with Matthew Reinbold on Livin' On the Edge podcast. Gain insights on evolving with economic changes & API strategies for success.

Jake Beck
April 4, 2024 | 7 min read
Adapt or fade

Podcast Interview with Matthew Reinbold

"The ability to change is paramount when it comes to the tech industry, even when it comes to something that you'd assume is rather static. Always be ready to evolve and adapt."
Matthew Quote
Mathew Reinbold
Senior API Consultant

It’s no secret that the tech industry’s been on a wild ride these past few years between a global pandemic, a great recession, and massive layoffs impacting all from the smallest tech startups to Fortune 500 enterprises.

API Consultant Matthew Reinbold’s transition from leading API governance at Postman and Capital One to consulting was driven by a desire to understand how replicable his strategies were across the industry. His unique role has given him an immense amount of clarity and an inside look into how many tech organizations are fairing amongst current economic headwinds.

In our latest episode of Livin' On the Edge podcast, I spoke with Matthew about how developer teams can arm themselves to stand the test of time and how to reframe how we’re thinking about API development projects. Check out Matthew’s valuable insights into the industry's shifting landscape and the strategies organizations can employ to thrive.

Stay Scrappy: Project-Centric Focus

​​Amid layoffs and budget constraints, organizations prioritize initiatives that promise immediate financial gains or risk reduction. With reduced budgets and smaller teams due to changing market conditions, organizations have shifted focus from long-term strategic planning to short-term, project-centric goals to stay afloat.

“Economic conditions have prompted a shift from big-picture thinking to a more tactical, project-centric approach in the tech industry. Companies are now prioritizing immediate, quantifiable results over long-term goals,” shares Matthew.

This change in focus necessitates aligning the story of your work and proven ROI with what organizational leadership needs. By understanding the shifting priorities and catering to the immediate needs of the business, tech professionals can drive impactful change and secure support for their initiatives. The easier it is to attach current tech projects to more significant company needs and demonstrate a clear line of ROI, the better.

Roles with more flexible functions, such as developer advocacy, product management, and tech evangelism, are more vulnerable to economic impact. Matthew highlights the importance of these roles in fostering innovation and community growth but also emphasizes the need for a precise alignment with business objectives. As organizations recalibrate their focus, if you find yourself in one of these roles, articulate the value you bring regarding tangible outcomes and revenue generation.

Across the board, developer team leaders need to ensure their team’s efforts align with the organization's evolving narratives. Whether reframing job roles or realigning priorities, individuals must demonstrate how their work contributes to the organization's current objectives.

The Future of the API Industry: Agility & Iteration

Now, while it may be rough out there today, there are brighter days ahead. The future of APIs lies in adaptability, resilience, iterative feedback, and improvement.

As technology evolves, individuals and organizations must embrace change, adapt their strategies, and stay agile to thrive in an increasingly dynamic environment. Matthew shared his recent experiment with the "API Futures” roundtable, aimed at exploring the vast potential and future directions of APIs in the tech industry.

Iterate Always

“I think we need to architect for changes in API development. We need more established feedback cycles and iterative improvement, as even a perfect setup on day one will likely require adjustments later,” shares Matthew.

Matthew emphasizes the importance of incorporating feedback quickly to remain agile and adaptable. By actively seeking signals and analyzing them, API developers can ensure that their work aligns with stakeholder expectations and drives meaningful outcomes as soon as possible in case a sharp pivot is needed.

“You can remain nimble by constantly seeking feedback from end-users and stakeholders, enabling them to identify flaws and make necessary adjustments promptly. Usually, this iterative approach is associated with Agile methodology. But whatever you choose to call it, it’s about fostering continuous improvement and ensuring that the final product meets the evolving needs of its users,” shares Matthew.

Remain Agile

It’s also worth noting that what may be considered perfect on day one may quickly become obsolete as market dynamics and user expectations shift. Thus, developers must design with scalability and flexibility, anticipating future changes and ensuring their solutions can adapt accordingly.

One notable example of quick adaptability cited in our conversation was the rise of ChatGPT. By integrating complex AI capabilities into a user-friendly chat window, developers have quickly made cutting-edge technology accessible to a broader audience, transcending technical barriers and driving widespread adoption.

User Centricity Still Matters

While user feedback and adaptability are essential, they don’t underscore the significance of user-centric design from the get-go. Simplicity and usability, particularly for beginner users, will still be at the forefront of great API products. By prioritizing end-user's needs, remaining agile, and avoiding unnecessary complexity, developers can create more accessible and impactful solutions to stand the test of time.

Let’s All Emerge Stronger & More Empathetic

In the end, none of us can predict where the future of the API world is genuinely headed, but we can arm ourselves with the resources and skills to remain agile, relevant, and eager to tackle whatever comes next. Navigating the complexities of the technology landscape requires a blend of strategic thinking, adaptability, and empathy.

Matthew’s insights offer valuable guidance for individuals and organizations looking to stay ahead in an ever-changing world. By embracing change, aligning with organizational objectives, and fostering collaborative efforts, we can navigate uncertain times and emerge more robust and more resilient than ever. For more insights on the Kubernetes world, APIs, and developer experience, visit our podcast. Or, sign up for Matthew’s newsletter,