Presentation: Using Microservices to Build an API That Lasts

Track: Sponsored Solutions Track II

Location: Pacific LMNO

Duration: 2:55pm - 3:45pm

Day of week: Monday

Level: Intermediate

Persona: Architect, CTO/CIO/Leadership, General Software, Technical Engineering Manager

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Steve Jobs once said, “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.” This is certainly true when it comes to building a simple and easy-to- use API. SparkPost used microservices to build v1 of their email API. Since launching three years ago it continues to grow in functionality and gather more developer fans. Chris shares some lessons learned and best practices for building an API that developers will love for years to come. Some topics covered include:

  • Breaking Changes Bad! API Versioning Good!
  • REST Is Best
  • API Governance
  • Getting your API ready for the big v1.0
  • Accurate Documentation & Documentation First
  • API First
  • Separating Deployment from Release
  • Using API gateway or proxy for authentication and rate limiting
  • Using community feedback to build the best email API
  • When are breaking changes OK?
  • Technical Excellence and Community Transparency
  • Listen and Respond to the Developer Community
  • Client Libraries

Speaker: Chris McFadden

VP of Engineering @Sparkpost

As the Vice President of Engineering, Chris is responsible for development and technical operations of the SparkPost cloud email delivery service, as well as development of the Momentum on-premises MTA. The Engineering team collaborates with Product, Marketing, Support, and Sales to deliver the most advanced email infrastructure available by having a deep understanding of email and customer needs, continuous delivery processes, disciplined engineering and DevOps practices, and an innovative mind-set with a focus on excellent customer experiences.

Chris joined SparkPost in 2012 as Director of Application Engineering where he served for two years, leading the team to bring Momentum Analytics and SparkPost to market. He brings more than 16 years of software and technology experience to SparkPost having previously served as Software Engineering Director with Discovery Communications for 6 years, leading development of SaaS, e-commerce, and digital media products. Chris holds a BS in Computer Science from George Mason University and a MS in Information Systems and Technology from the Johns Hopkins University.

Find Chris McFadden at

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