By Jesse Drake
IT staff from the University of Utah and Brigham Young University met on March 6 at 102 Tower for a day-long Application Programming Interface (API) symposium. The inaugural event centered around building better software for higher education.
Members of UIT's University Support Services (USS) – software engineers, the User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) group, a PeopleSoft specialist, and Product Management team member – were joined by members of UIT's Identity and Access Management and Middle Tier Infrastructure groups. BYU's contingent included software engineers with expertise in WSO2 API management, Azure Event Hubs, and information security, among other disciplines.
The symposium was the brainchild of Reza Sarijlou, software engineer on USS’s Finance, Faculty and Research Team. He coordinated the event with Brent Moore, BYU’s director of software architecture, with support from UIT's Alijana Kahriman, Jason Moeller and Paul Richardson.
"We had a lot of positive results at the end," Sarijlou said. "Since this was not a formal conference, and we did not have formal papers on topics presented, we had to come up with a way that was both organized and agile at the same time."
Attendees wrote down various questions and insights, which were then sorted and prioritized, and provided the basis for smaller group discussions. Sarijlou said attendees shared about how their respective universities are handling software architecture, particularly how BYU is using the WSO2 API Manager, and what they are doing in the security space around API and web applications.
"BYU is particularly open to the idea of making their source code open for others to use," he said.
Sarijlou said that he would like to organize a similar API symposium in the future, possibly to include other universities from around Utah.