I always enjoy a good conference, but I especially enjoy a conference where the things I learn can be used right away in my work. That was the case with REST Fest 2016, held this September in beautiful Greenville, SC.

Here’s a rundown of 5 key takeaways from the event that might be helpful for you as you progress along your API journey. A caveat: My focus is equally on the business of APIs as it is the technical aspects, so there’s a mix of things that I took away from the three days:

JSON formats, ease of consumption, and finding your best practice

JSON formats and new media types…

Where do you see your API program on this quadrant?

Best practices abound, but no two APIs are the same, and no two companies are on the same API journey.

At APIvista, we believe that there is a straightforward approach to prioritizing the opportunities in front of an organization and their API program, then approaching those opportunities in a deliberate way that enables the next stage of success.

One Journey

At its core, expanding the use of APIs represents a journey of technical and operational change for every organization. Sometimes this is about wrangling dozens of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms into a cohesive set of services that the organization will integrate with their…

I’m pleased to announce that our new company, APIvista, has launched! We are focused on helping enterprises leverage APIs to connect customers, partners and employees directly to their business processes — ultimately unlocking new business growth and efficiency paradigms. You can read all about us on our website, http://apivista.com — but we know there will be a lot of questions, so we’ve taken a shot at answering a few in advance:

OK, what is an API and why is it in your name?

An API is short for “Application Programming Interface”, but the term has transformed to cover a wide range of easy to implement web-based integrations that allow developers to rapidly…

To many cooks spoil the broth! (Image CC BY 2.0 kecko)

I spent the day yesterday in a “Hot House” at work. No, this didn’t have anything to do with horticulture. It’s corporate-speak for bringing a lot of people together in a room for at least a full day to promote “An environment conducive to vigorous growth or development”.

When working on a lot of enterprise programs, we often bemoan the fact that there seems to be “too many cooks in the kitchen” — and that is often the case for sure. …

As we headed into 2016, I had started a list of 100 things (“wacky ideas”) that I wanted to try for the year, which I planned narrow down to 10 to actually try, then one of which I’d seek to follow through to some kind of completion.

Then Q1 started and things got crazy as deadlines for launching the Capital One DevExchange API platform at SXSW loomed, and became not-quite-all-consuming, but all-consuming enough to pull me away from “the list”.

This morning I took a moment to look back on the list for the first time in a couple months…

“YOU RUINED MY WEEKEND!” screamed the man on the other end of the phone.

We got this kind of phone call from time to time at the store.

Someone would have come in, likely on a Thursday, and bought some part that they needed to repair their boat.

Their enjoyment of their weekend was, in fact, entirely predicated on using THAT PART to fix their boat.

Trailered boats aside, our store was relatively inland compared to where our customers boats actually were — by a couple hours drive. We were located near where they lived, not where they recreated. It made for convenient shopping, but not so convenient, uh, actually selecting the right damn…

“Go help that guy…” said Steve.

“Sir, how can I help you?” I asked.

The man poked at the knobs of the radar system and let out a slow, low whistle.

Without looking me in the eyes he asked, “What’s that one go fer?”

They always come into the store to look at the high end stuff, but the Whistling Gopher never buys.

Originally published at chrisbusse.com as part of Tales from the Boat Supply Store, an episodic memoir of @busse’s mid-90’s days in retail.

Author’s note: I originally drafted this post during the height of a social media flame war that affected identified people offline in my local community. Coming back to this draft a few months later, I’ve chosen to bring it up a level, and genericize it so that it doesn’t refer to the original incident.

A few months ago I watched the evolution of controversy, and the fallout from, a prominent local individual make an off-hand Twitter comment about a particular, well respected profession. …

Photo (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by alohaorangeneko (Flickr) https://www.flickr.com/photos/alohaorangeneko/6625446955/

I’ve always had some number of “side projects” going on — some went no further than sketches of a user interface or flow chart, some developed into commercial applications or revenue generating websites (probably by a ratio of about 500:1).

As I’ve gotten more and more into the startup space as well as corporate “Digital Product Management”, I think a shift to thinking about “side projects” as “small products” is in order.

The main pivot here is that instead of just building that crazy idea you want to build, share that crazy idea earlier in the process and get input…

Early in my professional career I was at a business networking event and got on the topic of family history with a respected professional here in the Richmond, Virginia business community (for those not from ‘round here, these kinds of conversations happen pretty frequently).

Joab King II was a 3rd great grandfather of mine

I had recently learned that some family genealogy research had uncovered the fact that I had ancestors that fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, as well as the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy. One of these Confederate soldiers was captured and served time as a prisoner in a Union POW…

chris busse

@busse on Twitter

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