[Q&A] Catching Up with Bill Doerrfeld, Editor-in-Chief of Nordic API at Austin API Summit

[Q&A] Catching Up with Bill Doerrfeld, Editor-in-Chief of Nordic API at Austin API Summit

Nordic APIs is well known in the API space for its online publication which covers a wide range of topics related to building and launching a successful API program.

This month, Nordic APIs hosted their first conference in the US, the Austin API Summit in Austin, Texas. SmartBear was a proud sponsor of the event, which included three days of API workshops and talks on building success in the API ecosystem.

At the event, I had the chance to catch up with Bill Doerrfeld, Editor-in-Chief of Nordic APIs, to learn more about what went into planning the conference, lessons he’s learned, and trends he’s observed in the API space.

You can watch and read our full conversation below:

Thanks for organizing this great event Bill! What is it like organizing and putting together a conference like this?

Oh, it's great. There are a lot of moving parts organizing any sort of conference, from just filtering and accepting speakers, finding the right venue, to working with catering, but we've made it all happen! Thankfully, we have a really great team behind Nordic APIs who helped put this conference together. Everything is going smoothly.

Is there a particular theme for this conference? Are there trends or insights you can share?

I think the world of APIs is complex and diverse, but it still has some pretty niched interest groups and practioners. We’re talking about may different things in this conference, like the strategy behind the platform, and various technological trends as it relates to APIs.

We're also seeing a lot of themes around treating an API as products. We’ve heard this before, but this year more than in the past, and I think that's because there are more and more people being elevated into that role of an API product manager. It's a nuanced role that didn't really exist five years ago, but now that people are introducing this role, they need to understand the best practices associated with it, so it makes sense that we're seeing it come up.

APIs touch on so many different aspects of the digital platform ecosystem of a company so having an API product manager seems pretty obvious, but it's kind of crazy to think that companies are only recently starting to invest in that role. Any other insights that you learned so far?

I've learned more about what a service mesh looks like for a large enterprise. There's this really cool presentation from Eyal Sivan, Senior Director, Enterprise Architecture at CIBC, and he's talking about how their bank is becoming extremely agile, and how they are modeling after how software companies operate. I think we're going to see more and more of that from not only banks but other brick and mortar institutions. And I'm excited for some other presentations!

That was my follow-up question (laughs). What are some of the sessions you’re looking forward to?

I'm looking forward to a specific presentation by Jonathan Peck from Algorithmia, talking about how we can design microservices with a machine-learning perspective. I'm excited to learn more about that, but I'm excited for some other presentations on topics like API monitoring. I think we have some more developer experience-oriented talks coming up, as well. So, yeah, trying to take notes. I'm going to publish a wrap up post as well.

(Note: You can find Bill’s Austin API Summit Recap article on the Nordic APIs Blog.)

Monitoring is something which I'm also starting to actively follow just because I think more people are getting aware of that.

Yeah, I think so, as well.

Awesome, well thank you again and thanks for organizing a great event!

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