Our APICon visit

By Stefanie Wenzel | 28.09.2017

We are really happy that we are working in a company where education is actually appreciated. So, regardless of close timelines in the projects as well as kids and husbands sitting at home waiting for their moms – we did it 😉! Long story short: we took the time to participate at API Conference 2017 (APICON) in Berlin. As APIs are our daily business, it was obvious that someone from our team will attend at this conference. And we wanted to take the chance to share our experiences – and also the challenges we are facing every day – with other participants, speakers and exhibitors. And last but of course not least, we intended to learn from the experiences of others.

Stefanie and Katja at APICON

The first day started with workshops. Stefanie visited “Testing Node.js-APIs” and Katja chose the non- JavaScript one (naturally): “API Heroes – The way to glory”. Those workshops were pretty much effective for both of us. Stefanie got the chance for a first “hands on” training with jasmine and she got a feeling of test-driven development. Katja had really interesting discussions with the speakers from “OPEN KNOWLEDGE GmbH”. Sometimes it really helps when you talk to someone with the intention to get a solution to your own challenges – and see that those people share the same problems 😉 (By the way we discussed about “API first approach” for the whole lifecycle of a Spring Boot Microservice).

The following two days were filled with diverse sessions about API Management, API Security, Domain Driven Design, Consuming and Testing APIs. We heard a lot of things that we were already used to or aware of. But nevertheless it was interesting to get a new perspective of looking to it. Are your public APIs rather measured by “Is it correctly structured” or “Can it be used without reading any documentation” (the natural developer approach 😊)? Or the main question “What is the time to ‘Hello World’ App”? Independent on the focus themes, we all had the same opinion: think twice because your APIs are the UI for developers!

One of the most entertaining sessions (from our point of view) was “RESTful APIs with OData” by Philipp Friberg (Intelligence Schweiz AG). Why? That’s easy to tell: It was the last session at the second day and everyone was waiting for the “AfterCon” beer. But Philipp was so enthusiastic and entertaining sharing his knowledge with a perfect mix of “best practice”, “works fine” and also “not nice but working” experiences that we just forgot the time. And even at the AfterCon beer session, he got not tired discussing with us about the issues regarding OData with Metadata versus Swagger.

But we also enjoyed other very good lectures, like “Web-APIs with Node.js and TypeScript” by Manuel Rauber (Thinktecture AG) or “GraphQL and Angular – forget (the) REST?” by Christian Schwendtner (PROGRAMMIERFABRIK GmbH). So our résumé for the conference is: We expected much more new information than we got – but it was definitely worth participating in APICON.