API Craft SF Meetup at Sift Science

Emmanuel ParaskakisApril 16, 2015

Last Thursday, Sift Science was gracious enough to host API Craft San Francisco. API Craft SF is a meetup group I organize that focuses on bringing together API practitioners that care about their craft: architects, designers, developers, testers, technical writers and evangelists.

This was our 10th event, and we invited Andrei Savu, Product Developer at Cloudera (@andreisavu) and Mehdi Medjaoui, Founder, OAuth.io and Webshell.io (@medjawii) to be our speakers. About 80 members RSVPd and Docusign was our sponsor for food and drink.

Andrei kicked off with his talk on APIs and Underlying protocols. His talked centered on three ideas:

  1. Don’t practice fashion-driven development. In other words, silver bullets are bad for you; your technology choice is orthogonal to the problem you are trying to solve.
  2. Acknowledge the limitations of the network: reliability (or lack thereof), latency, bandwidth limitations, and security issues.
  3. Your API is as good as your client library: be proactive if you want adoption

He also talked about what we can expect for APIs with the adoption of HTTP/2:

  • Low cost batch operations
  • Lower latency
  • Compatibility with next generation CDNs

The downside to this is more complex clients.


Andrei Savu speaks at API Craft SF

Mehdi followed with a topic that he’s an expert on: OAuth 2.0 implementations in the real-world. The first half of the presentation consisted of a short history of OAuth and showcasing different OAuth implementations from well-known APIs. What particularly impressed me was the fact that all the implementations were different and none of them seemed to adhere exactly to the spec! He then proceeded to propose solutions and related a tongue-in-cheek story whereby, as an April Fool’s joke, he posted an announcement for OAuth 3.0 and got a tremendous amount of interest from people who though it was a real story 🙂


Mehdi Medjaoui at API Craft SF

From my perspective as an organizer, I had the opportunity to broadcast the event using Periscope. The ease of use of the app was remarkable and it literally enables broadcasting at the tap of a button! However there were downsides as well:

  • I managed to broadcast video in portrait mode, unrotated (!); there seemed to be no way to fix this
  • The link to the video has since expired, so I can’t post it here (I do have a copy of the video on the device)
  • There’s no web interface for me to go and tag or otherwise describe the video.

I’d like to thank the folks at Sift – Kai, Emily, Jason, Micah, Jacob and many others – for being super-organized and for making the event possible.

See you at a future API Craft Meetup!

**This is a guest post by API Craft SF Meetup organizer, Emmanuel Paraskakis.**