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Design Your API: Learnings from Twitter and Stamen

Location: 2003 Level: Novice

Web 2.0 owes much of its success to APIs: protocols to create, distribute, update, and modify the valuable data that comprises the Web. Twitter’s Alex Payne and Stamen’s Michal Migurski will discuss the design of web service APIs from the dual perspectives of client and provider, outlining best practices and cautioning against worst cases.

Topics covered will include personal experiences in supporting API developer communities, RESTful architecture, data interchange formats, design trade-offs, strategies for development, surviving rapid growth, making considerations for client software, and more.

War stories will be shared, examples given, and beautiful visualizations

Photo of Alexander Payne

Alexander Payne


Alex Payne is an engineer at Twitter, a social network of individuals
sharing short status updates via the web, SMS, IM, and an extremely
popular API. Since taking on the support and development of Twitter’s
API, the service has grown to hundreds of millions of requests per
day. Alex’s background is in web application development and
information security, and his code has powered mission-critical
operations, political campaigns, and non-profit initiatives. Alex
lives and works in San Francisco.

Photo of Michal Migurski

Michal Migurski

Stamen Design

Michal Migurski is a technology director and partner in San Francisco
design firm Stamen. Michal architects the technical aspects of
Stamen’s work, moving comfortably from active participation in the
visual design process, designing database schemas and API’s, to
creating the dynamic applications and visualizations Stamen is known
for. Michal has participated in projects for clients including BMW,
MoveOn.org, Digg.com, Yahoo!, The Exploratorium, and numerous others.
Michal’s API-specific work has included URL and format design for Digg
and Pownce RESTful services and purpose-built API’s for a variety of
research and commercial projects.