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Promoting API discoverability

This panel was moderated by John Dages, Technology Solution Director at Fusion Alliance and included (left to right): Shawn Chapla, Technology Consultant at Fusion Alliance, John Heckler, Senior Engineering Manager at Kroger, and David Imhoff, SVP of Core Software Engineering at Fifth Third Bank.

You’ve made a commitment to domain-driven design. You catalog everything you build in a curated, well-documented API portal. And yet, teams across your organization continue to waste effort building the same components. Why? You haven’t nailed API discoverability. 

Moving to an API-first organization is a long journey. Creating long-term teams around each service, getting components cataloged, and adding search features like tagging or badging is part of the process. But until you get the discoverability piece in place, you’ll continue to experience API bloat, as developers search for what they need, fail to find it, and build another one. Or a third one. Or a tenth. 

Enable API discoverability by centralizing the developer experience 

To effectively communicate API availability, particularly in a larger organization, consider going beyond the catalog. Organizing a developer portal around domains, adding documentation and a data dictionary, and making your API marketplace a place that centers the developer experience can go a long way toward good governance — and more effective use of your resources. 

Taking a wider view than just your API catalog can give your organization a more coherent pathway into composability, along with other tangentially related goals like your enterprise data organization, domain segmentation, and security. You’re not only building a framework for repeatable composition, you’re also making the developer process nearly seamless — freeing up those team members to spend their time-solving business problems and meeting concrete business goals. 

About our panelists

David Imhoff is the SVP of core software engineering at Fifth Third bank, where he drives the bank's domain service API strategy. David has 17 years of software engineering and cybersecurity experience at Fifth Third, General Electric, and Cincinnati Bell where he has built cyber detection capabilities, led large software organizations, and is currently building out the core banking replacement for Fifth Third.

David holds a BS in Information Technology from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Xavier University. He is passionate about mentoring and loves to help elevate the next generation of technology professionals. And he enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, golfing, and watching the Cincinnati Bengals.

John Heckler is a Sr. Engineering Manager at Kroger responsible for Kroger's API Program and Platform. John has over 25 years of experience in software architecture and development, over 15 years of managing development teams, and a passion for building and motivating high-performing teams.

John holds a BS in CS from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Computer Science from the University of Dayton.

Shawn Chapla is a Consultant at Fusion Alliance in the Technology Practice area, focusing on helping customers accelerate their business through API- and cloud-driven digital transformation. Prior to joining Fusion, he spent more than 40 years delivering technology solutions in the pharmaceutical, defense, and computer systems industries.

About the author

New Era Technology

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