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Discussion on: APIs for dummies. Let's discuss!

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Ross Bates

Hi Ana - one approach to consider is not talking about a specific programming language, but instead provide examples of how APIs and data integration are changing industries that 10 years ago nobody would consider hi-tech.

Retail, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Insurance - these are all examples of older industries that are hiring an increasing number of software engineers and completely changing the way they collect data, interface with customers, and connect with partners/suppliers. There are lots of API/Integration examples you can dive into that people will relate to. You can start with the "Every company is a software company" line, then provide examples around what that means.

Since you mention the audience is non-technical, you probably won't want to show them examples of actual code, however you can still get into the technology by discussing enablers of this transformation like sensors, wireless, open source, and the cloud.

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Ana Chiritescu Author

Hi Ross! Thanks for your comment.
I very much like your suggestion of taking examples of older industries that are now going through the digital transformation and get into technology by covering today's transformation enablers! :)
Do you have good talks/articles on the topic that you would like to recommend?

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Ross Bates

Hi Ana - here is a panel from GitHub Universe 2015 that could be a good starting point:

youtube.com/watch?v=MVwj6DQM-PY

It's a long video and I wouldn't necessarily be looking to it as inspiration for how to structure your talk. What it does contain that will be useful are very specific examples of how companies like Ford, GE, John Deere, and Target are using sensors, mobile, data, and API's to transform their businesses.

I could see taking these examples and building a presentation that tells a before and after story about how these industries have been transformed. You could also get into more detail around the nuts and bolts of APIs without getting too technical. Perhaps provide examples showing how sensors talking to gateways/interfaces, how that data ends up operational and analytic data stores. All of this ties back to your original premise that software/IT is changing everything.

Feel free to post your slides/outline before your talk if you'd like feedback on them.

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Ana Chiritescu Author

Thanks a million, Ross! Will do!