Virtualization Technology News and Information
Stoplight 2020 Predictions: API Design Management

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual series exclusive.

By Marc MacLeod, CEO, Stoplight

2020 Predictions for API Design Management

While containerization and microservices are an effective solution to modern problems of scalability, they also introduce a new set of problems. A lack of cohesive design strategy can  lead to a hodgepodge of ill-fitting APIs at companies, with duplicated services, inconsistent design patterns and all the consequences that cascade from there. 

While microservices are and will remain an essential part of the modern development lifecycle, it's time to update the company culture and systems architecture to match. If companies don't adjust their development approach to meet the unique challenges of managing thousands of small decoupled APIs, containerization and microservices will never reach their full potential. 

It has become an all too common for enterprises to lack a coherent design strategy for APIs. Given the upsurge of microservices, with tens of thousands of APIs operating independently at big companies, this lack of strategy has negative consequences, including but not limited to redundant services and a lack of standardized design patterns. A new kind of organizational approach is needed, one that suits the integral role that APIs now play when it comes to large-scale application development.

2020 shows promising signs when it comes to unifying design strategies and making life easier for everyone who works with APIs.

More services and platforms aimed at making API development more consistent

2020 will see more services and platforms emerge aimed at making the API development process more consistent and robust in support of this growing development pattern. 

A new focus on network effects

Another key driver of API adoption in 2020 will be a growing prioritization among businesses to establish network effects. Take Slack's API, for instance, which has allowed hundreds of third-party software products to extend their features to Slack's chat platform. Not only has Slack's API created more avenues for new users to navigate to Slack's platform, it's effectively crowdsourced the advancement of its user experience, further entrenching its value without expending capital on R&D and new feature development. Meanwhile, third-party integrators have managed to convert countless new users to their own platforms, driving a greater overall flow of capital into the B2B software space.

A rise in API expertise and jobs

As businesses continue to realize APIs as key revenue drivers, we're also seeing a rise in the number of new jobs associated with API development and management. Titles like API Designer and API Architect, roles that didn't exist up until a few years ago, now yield thousands of search results on sites like LinkedIn and Not only is this a reflection of the investment companies are making in API development, it also indicates a rise in API expertise and specialization. In 2020, API development will continue on this path of hyper specialization, particularly as its utility extends to more industries and different kinds of organizations.

Progress Towards a Unified Pane of Glass

At Stoplight, our focus is on making API design management easier at scale, and I'm enthusiastic about the developments we see coming next year. Once API management becomes a level playing field, rather than the siloed battle it is now, tech as a whole will advance more smoothly and quickly.


About the Author

Marc MacLeod 

Marc MacLeod is the Founder and CEO of Stoplight, a company that provides a suite of products to manage every aspect of the API development process – from OpenAPI creation to API documentation, testing, and mocking. Marc began programming at an early age, and started his first profitable company at age 16. Since then, he has worked in leadership roles at several startups, and as a software engineer, API consultant and expert. He is also a Mass Challenge $50k winner and a Techstars graduate.

Published Wednesday, November 20, 2019 7:24 AM by David Marshall
There are no comments for this post.
To post a comment, you must be a registered user. Registration is free and easy! Sign up now!
<November 2019>