Paul Gebheim: Basically, we are all old web developers. In order to help us think for mobile, our iPhone guy said, "I'm going to teach a class and show you all how to program iPhone apps." We all were like, "Sweet, it's going to be awesome," but we had to come up with ideas for what to make. One of the ideas that our sysadmin, Jesse House, came up with was about an app that lets you put pins on a map wherever you drink a beer. The more you drink beer, the faster you fill up the map. In two days, one of our architects, Michael, went from knowing nothing about how to make an iPhone app to creating the original app called, "Beer Map," now renamed, "Beer Hunt."Read More
API Economist: How did you become the API Evangelist?
Kin Lane: I was the VP of Technology at an events management company, WebEvents Global, leading their technology and architecture. I ran all SAP events, including Sapphire for two years. I was also involved with TechEd and a lot of the North American events. I was brought on to move them out of the data center and be more elastic in the cloud, and meet the demands of the global events. I moved it into the Amazon Cloud and re-architected the whole system using APIs and Amazon APIs. I loved APIs. But I wanted to do something else. I started studying the API space. I quickly realized that there are a lot of technical pundits in this space. But no one was keeping eye on the business of APIs, the myriad of tools it takes to be successful, nor approaches to evangelism and marketing to developers and the whole politics of APIs. So I launched API Evangelist and just started studying this space. Three years later I'm still doing it.Read More
API Economist: What challenges was PayPal facing with its developers?
James Barrese: I'll be frank. As an organization, we had not been listening like we should have. We were growing so quickly and dealing with some parts of the business that we didn't pay as much attention as we should have. That's changed. So, in the last year, David Marcus has been named as president. He came through our acquisition of Zong. He's a great technologist and a great entrepreneur. I was named as CTO in the last year as well. What we're doing is we're driving a renaissance at PayPal and essentially going back to our innovative roots. And right away we saw we really needed to listen to our developers.
API Economist: How long have you been developing code, and what was it that got you interested?
David Walsh: That's a good question. I was sitting in my keyboarding class freshman year of high school, and my friend nudged me. He said, "Hey, check out this website.” It was a GeoCities website about Pulp Fiction. I said, "Oh, man. Whose is that?" He replied, "It's mine." I was totally blown away that you didn't need to be this big genius developer to create even a basic web page. That summer I totally nerded out and learned everything I could. I think I was 14 years old then, and I've been in love with web development ever since. I spent a ton of time back then using view source to see how people did things, and 15 years later I'm doing the same thing every day. So that is basically how I got into web development.Read More
API Economist: I heard this quote, “Not having an API today is like not having a web site circa mid-90s.” Do you agree or disagree with this and why?
Byron Sebastian: No, I don't agree with it, I think it is a small minded way of thinking about the Internet and our industry.
APIs are a worthy technique used by developers to exchange data and data processing tasks. Right now APIs appear to be a critical part of the information revolution, one of the most important transformations in the history of civilization.
So I wouldn't compare APIs to building websites in the 90s, I'd compare APIs to the wheel, or the library, or mass production. It's both as big as those concepts and, once in your consciousness, as obvious (as "duh") as them.