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LIVIN' ON THE EDGE PODCAST
Ep. 5

S3, EP5: The Secrets of API Design and Development with API Intersection’s Jason Harmon

About

Welcome to our latest podcast episode, "The Secrets of API Design and Development with API Intersection’s Jason Harmon." In this insightful discussion, Jason Harmon, a visionary in platform engineering, delves into the crucial aspects of strategic platform design. As we navigate the pivotal year of 2024, Jason emphasizes the importance of intentional and well-thought-out platform architecture. He advises against the common rush into development, advocating instead for a meticulous approach to understanding and assembling the various components of platform engineering. This episode is a must-listen for those looking to achieve streamlined development processes and superior tooling in their API design journey. Join us as we uncover the secrets with Jason Harmon.

Episode Guests

Jason Harmon
CTO at Stoplight
Our host (with the help of his avian co-host, Charo) brings over a decade of industry-recognized REST API experience to discuss topics around API design, governance, identity/auth versioning, and more. As Chief Technology Officer of Stoplight, Jason Harmon oversees our world-class engineering team seeking to solve the software industry's API design problems, and he also oversees product, security, and IT.

Key Highlights of "The Secrets of API Design and Development with Jason Harmon"

  1. Democratization through Good Platform Design: Jason underlines the importance of well-designed APIs and platform architecture in democratizing development, enabling rapid product building even with smaller engineering teams.
  2. Iterative Improvement in API Management: Emphasizing the value of continuous iteration, Jason advises on refining API design through collaborative efforts across multiple disciplines, including designers, product managers, tech writers, and engineers.
  3. Growth Mindset in API Design – Design-First Approach: Shifting focus to API design and development, Jason warns against viewing APIs as a quick fix for growth. He advocates for a design-first methodology, emphasizing careful planning and involvement of all stakeholders in the early stages to minimize tech debt and ensure a comprehensive development process.
  4. The Risk of 'Code-First' Approaches: Highlighting the pitfalls of defaulting to familiar code-first methods, Jason points out that starting with API design improves the overall developer experience and helps in reducing future technical issues.
  5. Caution with No/Low-Code Tools in API Design: While acknowledging the utility of no/low-code tools for prototyping and democratizing product development, Jason cautions against relying on them as complete substitutes for traditional development, emphasizing the irreplaceable value of multidisciplinary team collaboration.
  6. The Evolving Role of AI in API Development: Jason discusses the growing significance of AI in API design, particularly in documentation and boilerplate content generation, but stresses that AI is not a panacea for all technical challenges and that human involvement remains crucial.
  7. Holistic Approach to API Management and Development: The podcast wraps up with a consensus on the importance of a multidisciplinary understanding and collaborative efforts from the design phase for successful API development.

For more in-depth insights and discussions on Kubernetes, APIs, and developer experience, tune into our podcast at Ambassador Labs Podcasts.

Transcript



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