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API-FIRST, FACTORISING & THE LAZY PROGRAMMER


My first university degree I attempted was a Bachelor of Electronics and Communications Engineering at the then named Western Australian Institute of Technology (WAIT) now renamed Curtin University. It was flipping hard core. Lots of differential equations, complex chemistry and semiconductor physics and just about anything the lecturers could think of to muck with your brain. After 2 years of this torture I switched to Computer Science. It was like someone took off the shackles. I later graduated with flying colours.

As a professional programmer, I loved well documented, pre-packaged, re-usable components - in the old days they were called class libraries. Before then, I remember writing my own C++ code, complete with a mouse timer, a database cursor, a list and a scroll bar on windows 3.1 - for the non programmers out there, I made my own car parts to build a car. Nuts. It all took a long time and really annoyed me and my boss.

I have always been a lazy programmer. When the Rogue Wave class library for windows came along, I was in heaven. Rogue Wave came with a prebuilt set of code for the reusable things like scroll bars, pop ups and the like. My productivity increased 3x. I could take a proper lunch break and see my kid after work before she went to bed ... and a got a promotion!


A very good colleague and friend of mine agreed with me that I was lazy, but not necessarily just from my motivation of time saving, it was more to do with the joy I received from factorizing (thanks Tim!)

API-First founders and I have this in common. We like to factorize out a specific service that has the following properties:

  • Saves time - don’t reinvent the wheel

  • Quality - it just works

  • Scale - takes advantage of elastic properties of modern cloud platforms

  • Cost effective - builds a model whereby an economy of scale can be reached immediately by its users

  • Enables new combinations of APIs and complete new categories of business.

So if you want to create value, get a promotion, or are just plain lazy, think in factors. And of you’re a founder, consider the above and start an API-First company.

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