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Tuesday, September 20 • 9:45am - 10:15am
Keynote: Building APIs at Scale: Moving from API Governance to API Stewardship - Mike Kistler & Mark Weitzel, Microsoft

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With over 200 services, Azure is one of the largest, most sophisticated cloud platforms. Azure’s API surface area has grown to thousands of operations, which are the basis of hundreds of SDKs covering today’s most popular programming languages. And we are growing at an ever-increasing pace as existing teams add more capability and new services come online.

This rapid growth presents significant challenges: API consistency, managing dependencies, and balancing evolution with stability across releases. We started with a “review” board, with a strict approval process. However, as teams added more APIs, and as the number of services grew, we realized we needed a better model. A model that helps teams understand developers and empathizes with their needs. A model that educates teams about API design, common patterns, and pitfalls to avoid. A model that empowers our service teams. A model that scales.

Thus, we began the practice of “API Stewardship”, where we are partners, not gate keepers. For Azure, “API governance” means following an established process, adhering to clear guidelines, and giving teams agency for their service design. This approach has yielded significant benefits; stewards are invited to engage with teams early in their design process, there is greater consistency in the API surface area, we identify and avoid breaking changes before we ship, and we are more efficient. Our stewardship model has enabled us to deliver higher quality APIs at greater scale.

During this presentation, Mark & Mike will share Azure’s journey and approach to API stewardship and governance. You’ll come away understanding the motivations for establishing an API practice at your company, who makes a good steward, and a core set of ideas for tools and processes. More importantly, we’d like to start a conversation. This is a journey--we are constantly learning and evolving our practices. We would love your thoughts and ideas so that we can all improve together. Come join us!


Mark Weitzel

Principal Architect, Azure Developer Tools
Mark is a strategic and collaborative leader who increases product value by applying innovation, creativity, and interpersonal skills to solve challenging problems and turn difficulties into opportunities. Mark has experience in all facets of software development: leading open source... Read More →
avatar for Mike Kistler

Mike Kistler

Principal Program Manager, Microsoft
Mike Kistler is a Program Manager in the Azure SDK team at Microsoft. He's been active in the HTTP / OpenAPI community since 2017 working on API Governance and SDK generation technologies, first at IBM and for the past year at Microsoft. Mike is passionate about using code generation... Read More →

Tuesday September 20, 2022 9:45am - 10:15am PDT
Salon E
  Keynote Session
  • Experience Level Any