API Research

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Daily API RoundUp: GitHub GraphQL, Bynder, Manheim, MoneyPot

Every day, the ProgrammableWeb team is busy, updating its three primary directories for APIs, clients (language-specific libraries or SDKs for consuming or providing APIs), and source code samples.

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Daily API RoundUp: Trip, Paydock, CycloMedia, Threat Connect

Every day, the ProgrammableWeb team is busy, updating its three primary directories for APIs, clients (language-specific libraries or SDKs for consuming or providing APIs), and source code samples.

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IFTTT Expands Platform Offering for Makers

IFTTT is opening its platform to thousands of individual developers. The new Maker tier will allow anyone who signs up to build and publish Applets by using the tools IFTTT unveiled for its partners in November 2016. Makers can build with the more than 430 service APIs that are currently on the platform.

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Teaching recursion with fractals at Lowell High School

art_simon

Mikaela Marciales, a junior at Lowell High School in San Francisco and member of the JROTC, reflects on her projects in AP computer science as equal parts expression and fun—in large part thanks to a creative AP computer science approach developed by her teacher, Art Simon.

When I’m feeling all optimistic and happy, I’ll make a really colorful, explosive program. If I’m more calm, I’ll make a more minimalistic type program.

Spark curiosity in your course design

Years ago, Art remembered that a student brought in some code he ripped out of a magazine. After they ran the code together, the student’s eyes lit up.

From there on out, Art has designed assignments for students to make work theirs, put personal touch on projects, and build things that are meaningful.

Programming is about making the computer do what you want it to do. So personalize your projects. Make them fun. Make them unique. When students can make it theirs, you tap into another kind of creative design and drive.

Rethink recursion assignments

Recursion is a critical programming concept, but it can be pretty abstract. In Mikaela’s words, her first introduction to recursion was, “Wow, this must be super complicated.”

But Art showed students fractals and prompted students to create their own. With a touch of Algebra and looking at a few lines of sample code, Mikaela jumped in to make her own Sierpinski Triangle.

triangle
See Mikaela’s project on GitHub Pages

Now Mikaela is even looking at nature differently.

Whenever I think of recursion, now I think of nature and tree rings, Mr. Simon showed us this picture of a leaf that is a leaf inside of a leaf inside of a leaf type thing. I think I’ve seen it in a lot of plants now that I think about it.

Unique projects make cheating difficult

Art encourages his students to look at similar projects on GitHub for inspiration and to ask other students for input.

Mikaela reflects on this blend of studio feedback and peer learning:

Having people that I talk to is really nice because, you can just say, “Oh, that would be really cool in your program.” And someone will tell me, “Oh yeah that would be cool in your program, too.”

mikaela asteriods 3
Mikaela built on what she’d learned in Java programming for her future assignment Asteroids.

He structures the assignments in terms of milestones, layering in a different element or feature of the project at each turn.

In Mikaela’s Asteroids game, we’re using object oriented programming techniques that build up and adds features. We get the ship working first. That’s milestone number one. We get the asteroids on the screen. That’s milestone number two. We get the ability to remove asteroids and look for collisions. That’d be milestone number three. Then we add bullets, and you got a working game.

Since everyone’s project is unique, Art isn’t concerned about dishonesty—as long as students can explain what is going on in the program, they’ve mastered the material.

People are going to create objects that explode differently and encounter collision detection differently.

A passionate start to a career in programming

Mikaela has run out of computer science courses to take at Lowell, but she participates in an after-school program called Mission Bit and plans to continue with an engineering internship this summer. And Mr. Simon’s approach to teaching has made all the difference:

I have to compliment Mr. Simon because I was a complete beginner in all of this stuff when I came into it, and he taught me everything, which is pretty cool because now I know so much.

Resources for AP Computer Science teachers


This is a post in our “Teacher Spotlight” series, where we share ways teachers use GitHub in their classrooms.

See more GitHub Education posts

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Why Twilio’s Function Strategy Is Revolutionary and Other API Providers Should Pay Attention

Today, Twilio announced Twilio Functions and while there are other very large API providers — most notably Amazon and Google — who offer serverless function capabilities as a part of their larger IaaS and PaaS portfolios, Twilio appears to be the first major API provider that, in addition to providing APIs, is also offering a serverless execution environment that’s specific to consuming them. 

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Why Twilio Function Strategy Is Revolutionary and Other API Providers Should Pay Attention

Today, Twilio announced Twilio Functions and while there are other very large API providers — most notably Amazon and Google — who offer serverless function capabilities as a part of their larger IaaS and PaaS portfolios, Twilio appears to be the first major API provider that, in addition to providing APIs, is also offering a serverless execution environment that’s specific to consuming them. 

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Twilio Announces Proxy API and Suite of Declarative APIs

Twilio has introduced the Twilio Proxy API, a new API for building private text and voice conversations between customers and mobile workers. This new API is part of the Twilio Engagement Cloud, a suite of Declarative APIs embedded with communications logic for common types of multi-channel customer engagement use cases.

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Announcing GitHub Universe early bird tickets and speaker submissions

Universe

GitHub Universe, our flagship product and community conference, is just a few months away on October 10-12 at Pier 70 in San Francisco. Secure your spot with an early bird ticket or submit a speaker proposal if you’d like to lead a session.

Be at the center of Universe

Pick up an early bird ticket

Early bird tickets are available now for $399 and include two GitHub keynotes, four featured talks, 40 breakout sessions, and after party admission. You can also extend your Universe experience with a full day of hands-on workshops hosted by GitHub’s Training Team. Early bird pricing will be available until August 1, but don’t wait—they will sell out.

Get early bird tickets

Submit a speaker proposal

We’re also calling for speakers to share ideas about tools, people, and businesses behind software during the GitHub Universe breakout sessions. There are 40 sessions and four session tracks this year following these themes:

  • Code: It’s the nuts and bolts of software. Which programming languages and frameworks are enabling you to build the next release or solve a tough technical challenge? What development environment and tools are you using to get your ideas into code? How is data and machine learning influencing what you’re building?

  • Architecture: Every technical decision comes with trade-offs. How do you plan for the future while tackling the practical technical problems you’re currently facing? Explore the how distributed systems impact your application architecture, how an API-first approach informs what features you’re building, and how to balance performance, flexibility, and complexity with service-based applications.

  • Operations: Writing software is only half the battle. Shipping new code into production takes coordination between teams and an integrated set of tools. Share your experience maintaining a scalable infrastructure, connecting continuous integration and deployment systems, and extending your development workflow to include performance, monitoring, and resiliency.

  • People: Behind every line of code is a person writing it. How do we, both as individuals and teams, impact what software we build? Discuss the value of collaboration, the practice of managing engineers, the place of mental health and wellness, and the challenges of building community.

If you have a story you’d like to share with the biggest developer community in the world, we’d love to hear from you. All levels of experience—in speaking and software—are welcome.

Submit a proposal

Experience last year’s Universe

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MuleSoft Announces Availability of Anypoint Platform on G-Cloud 9

MuleSoft, provider of a platform for building application networks, today announced the availability of Anypoint Platform on the UK government’s latest G-Cloud framework, G-Cloud 9. The framework provides UK public sector organisations with a way to buy cloud-based services as commodities to accelerate cloud adoption in a timely and cost-effective manner.