API Community meet-up

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719, The Garage, GDS

The White Chapel Building

10 Whitechapel High Street


E1 8QS

United Kingdom

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Event description


This is our fourth cross-government event, bringing together those of you involved in API development. If you are thinking about, starting out, or actively developing Web APIs, this is a group people with which you can share ideas and discuss technologies. Our events are focussed on helping us learn from each other and move towards common government API standards. We cover all topics related to APIs, although generally with a tech focus.

This next event will be held at GDS and will be geared towards: API Platforms, accessibility, launching/planning an API, delivering an API strategy, API management, managing performance, and new guidance/standards for GraphQL and naming APIs.

Anyone from central or local government is welcome to attend. Please register with your government email address and remember to bring your government ID with you.


10:00 - 10:05 - Rosalie Marshall, GDS, Welcome, intro & update on API Standards work

An update on the API Standards work and an introduction to the rest of the day. Rosalie is Lead Technology Advisor at GDS focussed on APIs, data sharing and interoperability.

10:05 - 10:10 - Owen Vaciannia, GDS, Introducing the API Ecocyle Planning board

Time to reflect on the API practices of your department. Owen is a delivery manager at GDS. He will introduce the board for you to comment on during the course of the day.

10:10 - 10:30 - Richard Pope, the Harvard Kennedy School, Government platforms around the world

Different countries are approaching the idea of government as a platform in different ways. This talk will give examples of open APIs and registers from different countries, and explore the conditions that are needed for government platforms to emerge.

Richard is a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government working to document how digital platforms will change government and society. He has worked as a leader, technologist and designer in the fields of government, consumer rights and civic technology.

10:30 - 10:50 - Adam Locker and Sid Kalita, FSA, Lessons learnt from building and delivering open data APIs

The Food Standards Agency’s Food Hygiene Ratings API is one of the most mature open data APIs in government. We learned a lot from this API, and want to talk about those lessons and how we’re applying them to new APIs and services we are developing and how APIs fit with our role as an industry regulator.

Adam is the FSA’s Data Architect and leads on the Agency’s efforts to improve the effective collection, maintenance and usage of data in order to make sure food is safe and what it says it is. Sid Kalita is currently working with the Food Standards Agency as the Data Innovation Lead. Sid has previously worked with organisations such as the Government Digital Service, HM Revenue and Customs and JP Morgan.

10:50 -11:10 - Rashmi Shetty, Hackney, Shaping an API strategy to meet user needs

No user ever asked for an API. So why is Hackney developing an API platform? Rashmi will explain how Hackney has been developing REST APIs to support the migration from monolithic business applications to modern, user-centred digital services.

Rashmi is the API Platform Product Owner at the London Borough of Hackney. She’s responsible for a team of 14 developers, including 3 apprentices working to the standards in the Hackney API Playbook.

11:10 - 11:20 - BREAK

11:20 - 11.40 - Rob Chambers, ONS, Delivering APIs from a product management perspective

I share my experiences as someone new to building APIs and where things seem to differ from my previous experience working on UI/web products. For some of these things, I think I would have a better approach for next time. With some there is more to learn!

Rob is Product manager for the Office for National Statistics website and API.

11.40 - 13:00 - 2 x 30 mins Unconference Sessions (with 20 mins for planning)

Owen Vaciannia and Kam Nijjar from GDS will be organising these sessions. Both Own and Kam are delivery managers at GDS.

Please have a think about what you want to discuss during the unconference session. Feel free to share ideas beforehand with the API Google Group, using the contact link on this Eventbrite, or reaching out to Rosalie over twitter.

13:00 - 14:00 - LUNCH

14:00 - 14.20 - Richard D, NCSC, Experiences reviewing APIs and common security pitfalls

As the NCSC's internal Penetration Testing team and overseers of the CHECK Scheme, we've seen our fair share of security assessments of web services within our own organisation and the rest of the public sector. In this session, we'll take a look at how the technologies behind these are changing and driving the transition from 'monolothic' to 'microservices'. We'll also explore some of the common mistakes that have accompanied this along the way.

Richard has been a penetration tester for NCSC (and formerly CESG) for 7 years, where he helps to make the UK a safer place one security assessment at a time. His main interests lie in web application security, Containers, Cloud and anything 'DevSecOpsy'. He also acts as the NCSC's technical liaison for the CHECK scheme examinations, which provide quality standards for penetration testing within the public sector.

14.20 - 14.40 - Sarah Turner and Melanie Evans, HMRC, Accessible 3rd party tax software: Development and Choice

Working in conjunction with the software industry to ensure 3rd party tax software is available for all. Where we are and what we still have to do.

Sarah and Melanie are relative newcomers to HMRC (and the Civil Service). Melanie spent most of her career in the private sector and now leads the DRM (Digital Relationship Management) services team. Sarah is the Senior Digital Relationship Manager at HMRC and works alongside well-known software developers to deliver API led products and cloud solutions that use HMRC APIs. She is currently focussing on measuring the accessibility of these products and ensuring a diverse variety of products for HMRC’s end users

14.40 - 15:00 - Howard Rees and Alex Le Peltier, DVSA, Implementing cloud based APIs for a mobile workforce

DVSA have a large mobile workforce who need access to information from various systems in order to complete their daily work. This talk gives an understanding of how we developed and deployed cloud based APIs, that enabled a mobile application providing our staff with all the information they need in the palm of their hand.

Howard Rees has 24 years development experience working at the DVSA, currently Tech Lead for serverless API development based in Swansea. Alex Le Peltier has 6 years development experience working at the DVSA, currently Tech Lead of the DevOps team based in Swansea.

15:00 - 15:20 - Teresa D'Andrea and Shan Gu (joining remotely), Canada’s Office of the Chief Information Officer, Launching a cross-government API Store

Waiting on summary and bio.

15:20 - 15:30 - BREAK

15:30 - 15:45 - Lee Pope, DCMS, Guidance on establishing data sharing agreements

The DCMS Data Policy and Governance team have been working with a range of colleagues across government and the wider public sector to encourage uptake of the information sharing provisions within Part 5 of the Digital Economy Act (DEA). An important aspect of this work is to provide support and guidance for practitioners on developing and finalising information sharing agreements (ISAs) under the relevant powers. The data policy and governance team within DCMS have worked with the DCMS data protection team and the Information Commissioner’s Office to develop a walk through document. This acts as a step by step guide on what information is required in an ISA as well as signposting to other useful pieces of guidance.

Lee joined the DCMS Data Policy and Governance team in May 2018. He had the lead role in supporting Ministers to secure Parliamentary approval to make the information sharing powers in Part 5 of the Digital Economy Act fully operational. Since the powers became live, Lee has focused on implementation and roll out of the powers, working with the various policy leads across Government

15:45 - 16:00 - Jon Glassman, Update on the OpenAPI 3 challenge

An update on the proposal recommending government departments use the OpenAPI 3 API specification, covering both the benefits and limitations to the specification.

Jon Glassman is a Technical Writer at GDS, writing and managing user-focused technical documentation for multiple teams within GDS.

16:00 - 16:30 - Wrap up, agreeing next steps

More details on our next event in Leeds in partnership with the NHS are now live.

You can find out how we manage your registration data and our full Privacy Notice.

Date and Time


719, The Garage, GDS

The White Chapel Building

10 Whitechapel High Street


E1 8QS

United Kingdom

View Map

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