The Internet of Things Challenge: Building APIs That Last for Decades

For decades now, we, computer programmers, have borrowed, copied and imitated the terminology and mannerisms of civil engineers. But truth be told, “software engineering” was never really like the architecture of buildings or bridges. In the “real” architecture the cost of a mistake is sky-high: if you make a mistake — a buildings will collapse, bridges will sink. In software engineering the cost of a “mistake” was always significantly lower: the predominant philosophy taught us to “just ship it” — we can fix mistakes, later, relatively cheaply.

With the rise of the Internet of Things, potentially millions of apps and devices will use APIs that we build. Any breaking change in our API can have severe effects on millions of consumers. The cost of making an early design mistake, the cost of a sloppy architecture is rising rapidly.

Let’s talk about how to build long-lasting APIs

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