July 27: APIs instead of meetings
20 years after Jeff Bezos sent a mandate that Amazon engineers build APIs to communicate between teams, Brian Armstrong at Coinbase sent a similar memo.
APIs instead of meetings
In 2002, Jeff Bezos sent a mandate to software developers at Amazon that was “eye-bulgingly ponderous.” He instructed teams to:
Expose their data and functionality through service interfaces [such as an API*]
Design [APIs] to be externalizable. Plan to be able to expose the [APIs] to developers outside of the company. (Note: this helped lead to AWS!)
20 years later, Brain Armstrong (CEO of Coinbase) asked his software engineers to communicate “via APIs instead of meetings.”
We need all product and engineering teams to publish APIs so that other teams can benefit from what they’re building without needing to schedule a meeting.
In other words, they need to productize their services and allow other teams to use them in a self-service way.
*Note: API stands for Application Programming Interface, a connection between computers that lets them communicate with each other.
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