For those who missed API World, it was held as an in-person event in San Jose on Oct. 25-27 and a virtual conference on Nov. 1-3. The conference itself was notable because of its clear focus on developers. I’m fairly new to this neck of the woods, but the vibe at the API World was friendly, informative, and packed with people sharing ideas and information.
Symbl.ai had an outstanding presence at the conference as well. The booth was jam-packed with people looking to see all the capabilities the Symbl.ai Platform offers. We had two speaking sessions given by Steven Baxter and myself, gave away an awesome 3D Printer for a raffle prize, co-sponsored a happy hour with Moesif, and made a lot of great connections along the way.
Session: Using Inspiration to Drive a Great API Experience in AI/ML Products
If you missed Steven Baxter’s session on Using Inspiration to Drive a Great API Experience in AI/ML Products, it was an excellent talk that delved into how important it is to connect the developer to the APIs on your platform. The real takeaway from the talk was that the APIs we publish determine what is possible from that system. Those APIs should make the developer intuitively realize all that is possible out of your platform.
It was a fantastic talk with an inspirational message about how we should all create APIs for others to use. Unfortunately, Steven’s talk wasn’t recorded, but if you are interested in taking a look at Steven’s slides, you can find them here.
Session: Enabling Untapped Use Cases in ML/AI
My session over API World’s virtual conference entitled Enabling Untapped Use Cases in ML/AI focused on how important it is to make APIs accessible. APIs are the cornerstone for how everyone accesses these systems regardless of whether those resources are cloud compute or a microservice on a Kubernetes cluster.
If you want to take a look at my session recording, you can view it below:
The main upshot for my talk was that the way we make those APIs accessible is via Software Development Kits (SDKs), and those SDKs truly define which ecosystems access your platform. To put it bluntly, it’s highly unlikely that an individual will know all your API’s internal workings to build an SDK for them. As we know with humans, language can make or break access for entire groups of individuals. Obviously, it should follow that if there is a need, an SDK should be made available; however, sometimes the availability in that language will create a demand you didn’t realize was out there.
You can check out my slides here.
My API World Project: Open Virtual Assistant
To truly realize the message of my talk, I wanted to build something practical, something real-world, and something that would ultimately benefit the Symbl.ai community. Thus, I created a Go SDK for the Symbl.ai Platform. The message: If you build it, they will come.
Experienced software engineers know that someone is always going to do something extraordinary. Most of the time, those individuals are pushing the boundaries on platforms, tools, SDKs, etc. It wasn’t enough to create an SDK. In fact, SDKs can easily be created especially if those SDKs are horrible and don’t meet the needs of their users. It happens all the time.
So, how do I prove that this Go SDK is of any value? The answer is pretty simple… consume the SDK and find out. That’s why I created the Open Virtual Assistant framework which allows anyone to create a virtual assistant in Go.
This happens to align with my message for my talk. Creating a Go SDK and then creating an Open Virtual Assistant project proves that you can now land runnable code or binaries on memory-constrained platforms, edge devices, scalable systems like Kubernetes, etc. You can effectively make your own “open” Alexa.
Bringing API World to a Close
API World was a great conference filled with numerous innovative presentations and great conversations. There was a lot done to support all of the efforts for API World on all fronts. It turns out that the Go SDK does in fact have some legs as it’s off and running with a good number of individuals using it. To mark this occasion, version v0.1.2 of the Go SDK for Symbl.ai was just released. As always, drop us a line and provide some feedback. Until next time!