This content is part of the Conference Coverage: Guide to DevOps Enterprise Summit 2017

Bridging the gap between well-designed APIs and DevOps best practices

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Automation is the key to running error-free operations, which means well-designed APIs that give access to tasks are among the most important DevOps best practices.

Two big conferences are taking place in San Francisco at the start of November -- namely QCon and the DevOps Enterprise Summit. And while it's impossible to be at both conferences at the same time, there is certainly enough overlap between DevOps and software development that it's easy to get speakers talking at one conference to discuss some of the issues that are more germane to the other.

When software development and DevOps practices collide

Presenting a session at QCon, entitled "Using an API Scavenger Hunt to Engage API Newbies," Ashley Roach, API and cloud evangelist at Cisco, delved heavily into the DevOps territory on how APIs, RESTful web services and microservices development have made DevOps a reality.

At first, DevOps was kind of buzzworthy, just like how containers and microservices are right now.
Ashley RoachAPI and cloud evangelist at Cisco

"At first, DevOps was kind of buzzworthy, just like how containers and microservices are right now," Roach said. "There was an era where the perception was that DevOps was just for application teams."

But as those applications teams used DevOps, quickly deployed to the cloud and showed how successful a software development initiative could be when there was greater collaboration and sharing of development and operations tasks, organizations realized that synergy was real. "Through the success of applications teams, tying the world of development and systems side of things has been illuminating to enterprises," Roach said.

How does that illumination manifest itself in day-to-day operations? "There's an increased interest in how organizations can automate tasks," Roach said. "Organizations are asking themselves, 'How do we build our infrastructure in terms of configuration management, as opposed to manually configuring things?'"

APIs, automation and DevOps best practices

In the field of DevOps, automation is key. Operations and services that can be accessed through developer-friendly APIs help to make that happen, be it provisioning new Docker instances, testing microservices or spinning up new cloud-based staging environments. "Through automation, these things can be done more quickly and without as much error, because it's all codified in the configuration."

To learn more about how the DevOps trends are changing the way APIs are developed, and how RESTful APIs are helping to automate processes that had traditionally required human interaction, listen to the full interview between TheServerSide's Cameron McKenzie and Roach.

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