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PRO WORKSHOP (API): Transition to API First - A Product-led Approach


Joe Furbee
SAS, Developer Advocate and Developers Community Manager

As a developer advocate at SAS, I serve as a liaison between the developer community and SAS technologies. I oversees developer.sas.com, which provides resources for developers on SAS and open source, and write blogs on programming and SAS administration tips. Recently, I was recognized by WhiteSource software in their list of Top 20 developer advocates to follow in 2020. I am passionate about chronicling my journey as I expand my own knowledge-base of SAS and open source integration.


In this session I’ll cover our newly defined and implemented product-led software development lifecycle, centered on API first design. The process has one end-goal in mind: improve our customer's experience with our software and APIs. That is, build our software with end users in mind. Easy to say, more difficult to enact.

Planning is great, but action and implementation must follow. We have created an API first development CI/CD automated pipeline, following design-first industry standards and tooling. We’ve moved away from the siloed dev → test → doc → deploy methodology. The workflow involves multiple teams from the outset. Development, designing, testing, and documentation all have their part to play, with product management coordinating, leading, and owning the entire process.

While I can’t go into details of each step of the workflow, I’ll provide enough conceptual and technical insight to get an idea of what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and the tools we’re using. I’ll also cover how we’ve worked with our design team to educate the various product teams through design workshops. Finally, I’ll touch on some mid-stream adjustments, lessons learned, and outline the next steps in our journey.