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Tech Lead Journal

101 EpisodesProduced by Henry SuryawirawanWebsite

Great technical leadership requires more than just great coding skills. It requires a variety of other skills that are not well-defined, and they are not something that we can fully learn in any school or book. Hear from experienced technical leaders sharing their journey and philosophy for building… read more


#64 - Principles for Designing Successful Web APIs - James Higginbotham

“API design centers on effective communication, not just between developers, but also communication that combines product thinking, business, and technology all in one."

James Higginbotham is the author of “Principles of Web API Design” and an executive API consultant. In this episode, James explained why it is extremely important to design APIs properly and shared the five key important principles of API design taken from his book. James also recommended the API Design-First approach–a rapid & lightweight outcome-based API design process–to design and deliver APIs successfully, including the ADDR process and establishing API boundaries (in relation to DDD). Towards the end, James shared some recommendation for API testing strategies and also some anti-patterns that we should avoid.

Listen out for:

  • Career Journey - [00:05:00]
  • Principles of Web API Design Book - [00:06:46]
  • Importance of Designing API Properly - [00:08:17]
  • Principle 1: API Should Never be Designed in Isolation - [00:13:13]
  • Principle 2: Outcome-Based Focus - [00:15:10]
  • Principle 3: Design Elements That Matches the Needs - [00:17:44]
  • Principle 4: API Documentation as UI for Developers - [00:22:53]
  • Principle 5: APIs are Forever - [00:27:52]
  • API Design First Approach - [00:31:43]
  • ADDR Process - [00:34:43]
  • API Boundaries and DDD - [00:38:56]
  • Testing APIs - [00:43:51]
  • 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:47:44]


James Higginbotham’s Bio
James Higginbotham is a software developer and architect with over 25 years of experience in developing and deploying apps and APIs. He guides enterprises through their digital transformation journey, ensuring alignment between business and technology through product-based thinking to deliver a great customer experience. James engages with teams and organizations to help them align their business, product, and technology strategies into a more composable and modular enterprise platform. James also delivers workshops that help cross-functional teams to apply an API design-first approach using his ADDR process. His work experience includes banking, commercial insurance, hospitality, and the airline industry where he helped a startup airline off the ground – literally.

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