From APIStrat to ASC: A New Chapter in API Community Building

Way back in 2012, Kin Lane and I had the whacky idea of starting a vendor neutral API Conference. At the time, there were some early vendor events and they clearly had their own value, but there was nothing that enabled the whole space to gather neutrally. So APIStrat was born and after a trial by fire (ok by storm: Superstorm Sandy!) in 2012, the first event finally happened in early 2013 in New York.

The event felt like a revelation to me. It was amazing to see how much diverse thinking was out there and it was humbling to see people get together to hash out the ins-and-outs of arcane corners of API best practice. Along with other fledgling conferences that also started up around then including APIDays, Rest Fest, Nordic APIs and new ones like API City, these events have helped shape the discourse. They continue to make people reflect, share knowledge and have launched more than a few API tech Startups! The event never does much more than set the stage, it’s the actors who make it come to life so it’s been a privilege to have ring-side seats at many of them!

APIStrat grew from strength to strength over the years conferences roamed from San Francisco to Austin, Berlin, Amsterdam, Boston and Chicago. Each had its own flavour and new take on what was important. The event ultimately became part of the Open API Initiative at the Linux foundation with two events in Portland (2017) and Nashville (2018) – both of which produced their own great memories!

As with any endeavor however, there comes time for change!

As we planned for the future, we realized that API technologies, community and other things were changing. Further, there are other events doing a phenomenal job at covering the broad technology spectrum around APIs. From APIDays at the large global scale down to smaller, more specific events like RestFest. These events and those in between will no doubt grow from strength to strength and we hope to continue to see many APIStrat attendees there!

For APIStrat however, we felt it was time to morph and change. To take on a new mission. So the Open API Initiative is very excited to announce the API Specification Conference (ASC) which also has the easier to remember URL!

A new conference for 2019 with some new things to learn!

ASC builds on all the same community principles as APIStrat did but it is different in two major ways:

  1. It is focused much more on specifications and standards for APIs: how they are defined, described, documented, on how tooling applies, on how APIs and clients interoperate and ultimately also on how different specification/standards approaches can complement each other.
  2. The event also aims to be more discussion oriented with longer sessions that offer more time for debate. With segments that enable discussion on the evolution of some of the specifications/standards in use and more hands-on experience sessions.

The aim of both of these changes is really to try to advance the state of the art of the technology specifications API use and make it easier for API owners, API consumers and tool vendors to work together. There’s no doubt that the ASC Conference won’t be the only place where such conversations can be had but … we hope that by creating such a forum, the state of the advance can advance just that little bit more quickly!

The call for talks and session for ASC is open NOW (and you have a little less than four weeks!) and tickets are already available (grab the early bird).

We hope you’ll come and join the new event series, meet old friends, contribute, benefit and above all help make the event what you would like it to be!

I’d like to end with a huge shout out especially to Kin. No thanks can possibly be big enough here but, without Kin, APIStrat never would have come into being. It turned into an amazing ride. It also would not have been possible without the help of many hundreds of people, sponsors, speakers and thousands of attendees either. Right from Vanessa Ramos who helped Kin and I on event one, through many of the 3scale crew, then the Linux Foundation team and a huge number of others. There were so many amazing people along the way!

Now we’re looking forward to seeing you all in Vancouver in October! In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some photos from events gone by:

Boy … everybody looks young 🙂

See the Flickr all time gallery here:

See you at!

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