Akita: Application Programming Interfaces with Jean Yang

An application programming interface, API for short, is the connector between 2 applications. For example, a user interface that needs user data will call an endpoint, like a special URL, with request parameters and receive the data back if the request is valid. Modern applications rely on APIs to send data back and forth to each other and save, edit, delete, or retrieve data in databases. The number of APIs used in a single application is growing due to the increase of micro-services and distributed architectures. Understanding how your applications use APIs can increase their efficiency and stability and make debugging easier. 

The company Akita observes the structure of programs to visualize, map, and manage API behavior. By monitoring the APIs in your applications, Akita can catch code changes that may break production applications. While this work is normally labor-intensive, Akita automates it by analyzing the API traffic. They check the observed behaviors against intended specs and contracts to provide clear oversight on all activity. This information can then be generated into maps that help you document and version your APIs across your entire service ecosystem. 

In this episode we talk with Jean Yang, Founder and CEO of Akita Software. Jean was previously an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a postdoctoral researcher and Harvard Medical School before that. We discuss modern APIs, their role in applications, and how Akita Software makes understanding and building APIs easier for developers.

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