Joining the API Academy

Meet API Academy member Erik Wilde

It has been a busy first month. I joined CA's API Academy team almost a month ago and hit the ground running. I’ve had weekly trips and have already met so many new people and learned so much that I want to take a little time to look back at how I got here.

I started out as a computer scientist. I switched topics after getting my PhD in Computer Communications from ETH Zurich and for a while worked on structured data, focusing on XML. When the Web and XML joined forces, leading to the first wave of XML Web APIs, my background in both protocol and document design was a great combination for working in this new and rapidly evolving space.

I started working at UC Berkeley in 2006 and focused on better understanding and nurturing the Web architecture space. I was excited to see how this space developed, both in terms of how businesses adopted Web technologies and how the idea of Web architecture caught on.

In 2011, I left academia to join EMC, where I helped design and build APIs across a set of products. I was in a small architecture team, which spent its time creating guidelines and discussing service design and implementation with product teams. It was a great way to get introduced to the gnarly world of reality, after spending most of my time in academia.

Leaving EMC, I went on to a short stint at Siemens. There, my mission was to promote Web architecture as a way of exposing Internet of Things (IoT) scenarios. Working on IoT provided a great opportunity to get used to the “Layered API” pattern that is now popular with microservices.

I had known Mike Amundsen for a long time, as we had crossed paths at various REST venues. I had also met Ronnie Mitra before. When I was looking for new opportunities, it was natural to reach out to Mike and Ronnie, who connected me with Matt McLarty. I was excited by the prospect of learning more about API Academy’s mission of spreading the word about Web APIs, to contribute to the constantly evolving landscape of API technologies and to engage with CA API Management teams and customers.

So far, I’ve been privileged to have jobs with a great balance of dealing with reality while having enough spare cycles to stay in touch with current developments and ongoing research. The API Academy sounded almost as if it had been created just for me and it didn’t take much time for the team and myself to figure out that we’d probably be a good fit. Once I joined, I had the feeling that this was as good a job as I could possibly find, so jumping right in and getting started as quickly as possible was a natural impulse.

After a little less than a month, it still feels like this. Just earlier this week, Mike, Ronnie and I teamed up to organize the WS-REST workshop in Lugano, Switzerland. We had a great time, and parting ways on Thursday we said “see you in New York next week” for the API360 event where all of the team will meet for the first time. This will be my first formal event as an API Academy team member and I am very much looking forward to it.

Looking ahead, it seems that we have exciting times coming. Web APIs are only getting started―businesses and people (and things!) are getting more interconnected all the time and managing all of this is a non-trivial undertaking. While I am not sure how long the term “(Web) API” will remain as popular as it is today, I am convinced that the challenges we are focusing on will remain. I am very much looking forward to working in this space by writing, talking, teaching and contributing to new technologies and standards. My first month at the API Academy was a blast and I’m sure it is only going to get better.

The Author

Erik Wilde

Lead API Technologist

An expert in protocol design and structured data, Erik Wilde consults with organizations to help them get the most out of APIs and microservices. Erik has been involved in the development of innovative technologies since the advent of the Web and is active in the IETF and W3C communities. He obtained his PhD from ETH Zurich and served as Associate Adjunct Professor at Berkeley before working at EMC, Siemens and now CA Technologies.

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