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Hot Chicken and APIs at APIStrat

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For those who have not heard of APIStrat, it is an API conference, focused on the strategy side of APIs, hence its name “API Strategy & Practice”. It is ran by the Linux Foundation and they host an event in different parts of the US each year, this year being Nashville, Tennessee and last year being Portland, Oregon.

 

hotchicken.jpgNashville is known for one major activity: eating hot chicken. Was I able to survive going to Nashville trying to skip this activity? I probably wouldn’t hear the end of it. I’m a recovering vegetarian and back to eating meat, so I didn’t let my carnivore community member friends down. Hot chicken was a keyword I definitely heard throughout the conference, aside from APIs. Could the burning sensation I have in my stomach be from deeply missing the APIStrat community, the cause from too much hot chicken, or a combination of both?

 Photo credit: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/254804/chef-johns-nashville-hot-chicken/

 

Although there wasn't hot chicken at last years event, I still enjoyed Portland and having the opportunity to present there. This year I joined their (large and talented) committee team reviewing CFPs. See Kin Lane’s post.

 

Although the event went from Sept 24th - Sept 26th, and it’s only been two days, the conference is still fresh in my mind. When you run into a community that close, it’s hard to forget. When I say “close”, I mean everyone takes the time to get to know others, the event feels very inclusive, and a lot of community members are ecstatic to be running into others they know. Being able to continue conversations with community members via dinner and drinks after the conference makes it even more memorable.

 

This years event had 7 keynote speakers, all being very high end and noteworthy people in the industry. I was able to meet more than a dozen people in the API community that I’ve only talked to or seen on Twitter, and be able to see them face to face. The experience is always greater to meet someone and put a picture to a face!

 

One of my colleagues, Krishan Veer, at Cisco DevNet was invited to present a workshop at this event. He presented on “Secure APIs Development Workshop”. He’s from the Seattle area and also presents at my Seattle APIs Meetup that I host monthly.

 

I really liked the way APIStrat sets up their sessions, having multiple brief keynotes in the morning, closing it off with one final keynote at the end of the event. Sessions and keynotes should always be brief. As a frequent attendee at events, after 30 minutes my eyes naturally start wandering, no matter how interesting the content is. Some people aren’t made to sit for long periods at a time (looking at screens do not count). I sure can’t!

 

One of my favorite things at events is to talk to sponsors. If it’s a brief conversation, I probably won’t remember much about their product. (This is why smaller events are better for sponsors as they can leave a memory to attendees, rather than only having time to talk to each person less than a minute). The sponsors were pretty fun to speak to. Not only do I learn more and more about what their product does and why they are there, I get to learn about the “why’s” and their love for the community. The few sponsors that stood out to me and were VERY amiable were Postman, APIFortress, and Microsoft. Specifically the people that were at the booth. They were all great though! I enjoyed speaking to everyone!

 

If I had to list the presenters that were the well renowned individuals that flew from afar to present here, I’d end up listing them all. A few talks included a Keynote about the future of OpenAPI Specs, the History of the Future of APIs, Tech Humanism, Cell-Based Architecture, and sessions about Microservices, developer tools at scale, more about OpenAPI, Swagger, API Design, product strategy, GraphQL, API culture, API Documentation, SDK generation, and the list goes on!

 

So where is APIStrat off to next? I’m sure you can follow their adventures from their social media accounts. Let’s hope Seattle next, as that’s where I’m based. *hint hint!*.

 

Let’s call it “APIStrat: Bringing Hot Chicken and APIs to Seattle”

 

apistrat.jpg

 

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