API Design Through the Lens of Photography

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 from 4:45 – 5:30pm in B302/303


To be successful in photography and API design, you must first understand the constraints of the medium, both technical and non-technical. Learning how to work within constraints and finding your own style are critical to being a successful photographer and API designer.


Photography is all about understanding and working within a wide variety of constraints. Mechanical and electrical systems interact to create limitations for photographers. Yet these constraints have led to endless creativity.

API design is a lot like photography. There are often dozens of interrelated constraints that API designers must adhere to, which can seem daunting at first. But like photography, understanding and embracing these constraints leads to great design.

This talk will teach you how to find your API’s “voice”, the underlying philosophy that makes an API consistent and easy to use, all viewed through the lens of photography.


API design, constraints, design philosophy

Speaking experience

I have been speaking at conferences for about two years now. Here are a few select talks I've given:

Robots Conf 2014: "Electronic Fundamentals Survey":https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ90Gj1lR5E

JS.LA June 2015: "Successfully Hacking in Your Spare Time":https://vimeo.com/131993092

JSConf EU 2015: "The Risks and Rewards of Getting Involved, and How to Do It":https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcPCAYpgB7k

I have not given this talk yet, but I will be giving it at Self.Conference in May.


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