Navigating the Murky Waters of API Changes: Insights from Aidan Cunniffe

Jason Harmon CTO
by Jason Harmon CTO on February 9, 2024 2 min read

In episode 68 of API Intersection, API Automation and Preventing Breaking Changes, we dove into the labyrinth of API management and the challenges of handling changes without breaking the flow. I had the pleasure of chatting with Aidan Cunniffe, Chief Executive Officer at Optic, who shared some incredible insights into the world of API observability.

The Broken API Blues: A Common Melody

How many times have you encountered the dreaded “breaking changes” scenario in your API journey? Trust me; it’s a tale as old as time in the tech world. APIs are the backbone of modern software, connecting systems, enabling data exchange, and facilitating innovation. But, oh boy, when they break, chaos ensues!

Aidan walked us through the intricacies of detecting breaking changes early in the development process. We explored the pitfalls of relying solely on runtime environments for API observability and the importance of catching issues way before they hit production.

Why Should You Care?

If you’re knee-deep in API development or just getting your feet wet, this episode is your compass through the API wilderness. Here’s why it matters:

  • Preventing API Heartbreak: Breaking changes are like heartbreaks—painful, disruptive, and, if not handled properly, they can haunt you for a long time. Aidan’s insights guide us on how to avoid these pitfalls.
  • Shift Left, Stay Right: The tech world is chanting “shift left,” emphasizing catching issues early in the development cycle. Aiden reinforces this mantra, emphasizing the significance of identifying and rectifying API changes before they wreak havoc.
  • API Governance Unveiled: We unpack the concept of API governance—setting rules, ensuring consistency, and automating the detection of potential issues. Aiden shares how tools like Optic can be your trusty sidekick in this governance journey.

The Takeaway: Your API’s Journey Begins Early

As Aidan and I explored the nuances of API management, it became clear that the key to a robust API lies in early detection and prevention. The days of discovering issues in production are behind us—welcome to the era of proactive API management.

So, whether you’re a seasoned API architect or just embarking on your API adventure, give this episode a listen. Aidan’s insights are invaluable, and they might just save you from the headache of broken APIs.

As always, happy coding, and may your APIs be ever in your favor!

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