On APIs

What’s bizarre here is that these lines of code directly control real humans. The Uber API dispatches a human to drive from point A to point B. And the 99designs Tasks API dispatches a human to convert an image into a vector logo (black, white and color). Humans are on the verge of becoming literal cogs in a machine, completely anonymized behind an API. And the companies that control those APIs have strong incentives to drive down the cost of executing those API methods... As the software layer gets thicker, the gap between Below the API jobs and Above the API jobs widens. And economic incentives will push Above the API engineers to automate the jobs Below the API: self-driving cars and drone delivery are certainly on the way. The gap in training and social groups above and below could mean that new automation technology causes sudden, large-scale unemployment and a surge in demand for subsidized training. I hope we’re ready.

Peter Reinhardt, "Replacing Middle Management with APIs" - http://rein.pk/replacing-middle-management-with-apis/

timothywstanley@me.com