Monthly Archives: September 2016

Top 20 Under-30 CEOs Of 2016

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
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If your idea of a successful CEO is a portly figure with receding hairline, wrinkled forehead and a bit of graying around the temples, you won’t be far off. The average age of the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies is 58* – and more than 50% of CEOs across the world are at least in their 50s. This, however, does not indicate that success for CEOs comes only with advancing age. Here are 20 young, under-30 CEOs who have made a mark in the field of business in 2016:

  1. Jack Cator (26)

    What would you do if your school does not allow you enjoy web videos or play games online? You look for a reliable virtual private network (VPN) service, right? That was precisely the motivation that drove Cator towards building his very own VPN – hilariously named ‘Hide My Ass!’. The service was wholly owned by Privax, of which Cator was the founder CEO. In 2016, Privax was acquired by AVG Technologies for a cool $40 million. Talk about ‘inspired ideas’!

  2. David Karp (28) 

    Karp created and launched popular microblogging portal Tumblr at the ripe old age of…20. From being just another model for J.Crew, he managed to get on the fast track to professional success – and by the start of this year, his net worth had climbed northwards of $200 million. The Tumblr CEO is certainly an inspiring figure in his own right.

  3. Brian Rudolph (25)

    The man loves chickpeas – and it’s this love that led him to starting food startup Banza, together with his brother Scott (right from their own apartment too!). The company, which makes pasta with chickpeas instead of wheat (thereby making one of America’s favourite snacks more nutritious), was founded in 2014 – and it grew by a jaw-dropping 1500% last year. Now that IS some serious success!

  4. Stefanie Botelho (29)

    While in fourth grade, Stefanie started making cool finger puppets with glue, glitter and felt. During her stint at Harvard Business School, she went on to create an automated toy-recommendation machine, and is currently the owner of the Fitzroy Toys website. Through Fitzroy Toys (which operates as a B2B portal), retailers can get in touch with independent toymakers, with revenue being generated through transaction fees. For Stefanie, being creative from a young age has proved mighty rewarding!

  5. Evan Spiegel (25)

    A college dropout – Spiegel did not let the lack of formal degrees clout his vision in any way. By 23, he had made a name for himself as the enthusiastic CEO of instant messaging tool Snapchat. Spiegel even managed to ward off a $3 million buyout proposal for his company from Facebook – and that speaks highly about two things: a) the man’s confidence, and b) his financial strength.

  6. Tarun Gangwani (27)

    An IBM employee since 2013, Tarun’s was the brains behind Bluemix – the $1 billion cloud developer platform of the company. Incidentally, Bluemix is, at present, the biggest Cloud Foundry development service as well. The product development teams of IBM Cloud are headed by Gangwani – a remarkable feat considering his age and the fact that IBM Cloud is valued at a whopping $9 billion. One of the brightest among IBM’s First Wave of Designers, that’s for sure.

  7. Dan Teran (26)

    A Johns Hopkins graduate, Teran was a product designer at Prehype, before becoming the founder and CEO of Managed By Q – the office management dashboard service that gave him instant recognition among the business elite. Through 3 rounds of funding, Teran managed to raise a whopping $17.4 million for his company. A large number of offices in Chicago, New York and San Francisco feature among the clientele of Managed By Q.

  8. Maran Nelson (24)

    The former neuroscience and psychology student applied his education to good effect, while setting up Clara Labs. The company is all about creating a virtual employee with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) systems. And that’s not all Nelson has to show off in her list of achievements either. Apart from being the CEO of Clara Labs, she is the founder of Interact ATX (launched in 2013) – a service that helps young entrepreneurs connect with prospective investors.

  9. Jessica Hendricks (27) 

    Business with a humane touch, that’s what Hendricks’ jewelry company – The Brave Collection – excels in. The young CEO oversees necklaces and bracelets created by Cambodian workers – many of whom are either underprivileged and/or physically challenged. The products are sold to boutiques around the world as well as online. What’s more, 10% of the sale proceeds is set aside to counter human trafficking. Hendricks has proven herself to be a true new-age CEO.

  10. Eric Duffy (27)

    Being the CEO of online social networking software Pathgater (which facilitates on-the-job training for employees and also has a rewards scheme) is not the only claim to fame for Duffy. Before creating Pathgater, he had successfully built a water-retention design – during his time as a teacher in South Africa and China. The man is in the news in 2016, with Pathgater roping in biggies like Walmart, Twitter and Qualcomm in its clientele.

  11. Nanxi Liu (25)

    The young lady has already proved that she enjoys, and is actually a master of, multitasking. She produced a movie (‘A Place Called Hollywood’) in 2015, plays the cello, is a prominent board figure at the Lady Gaga Foundation – and is also the CEO of Enplug, a company that develops custom digital display software. A total investment of $2.5 million and a global user-base of 400+ companies tell their own story about the success of Enplug. Liu is also the head of Nanoly – a polymer that can preserves vaccines without refrigeration.

  12. Carly Strife (29)

    The co-founder of Bark & Co. has delivered quite a range of delightful services for all the pet-lovers out there. The very first, and still the primary, product of Strife’s company is BarkBox – which delivers dog toys and pet treats to owners on a monthly basis. Apart from that, Bark & Co. has several other services, like BarkShop (a subscription-free online portal for buying all types of dog accessories), BarkPost (dog news and videos) and BarkLive (official sponsor of many live dog-related events). Bark & Co. has already shipped in excess of 20 million dog products, putting Carly Strife in the top bracket of young entrepreneurs.

  13. Christian Owens (21)

    Speaking about young achievers, they don’t come much younger than Owens – who had his own company (Mac Bundle Box) when he was only 14! Cut to two years later, and he had already become a millionaire, and had launched an online pay-per-click ad company called Branchr. Following its success, Owens created Paddle, which makes software development kits (SDKs) for app developers. The key services of the SDK are analytics monitoring, payment processing and generating app feedback. Oh, and the man behind these multiple successes is a school dropout!

  14. Robert Lee (27)

    Are you familiar with ‘Little Bobby’ – a technology and security-related comic strip? Even if you aren’t, you should know about its creator, Robert Lee – one of the brightest under-30 CEOs of 2016. An eminent cyberdefense expert and a researcher/teacher at SANS Institute, Lee is the co-founder of Dragos, which monitors networked assets and provides superior industrial control system protection solutions. He is also a PhD candidate at King’s College (London). One of the biggest names in the field of cyber security at present.

  15. Daniel Fine (22)

    Fine completed his graduation from Wharton in the summer of 2015. While most young men try to pick their careers at that stage, Fine was already an established entrepreneur. He founded Glass-U – a range of fully foldable sunglasses – in 2012, and it has already been licensed to all the leading universities and sororities in the United States. What’s more, Fine’s Glass-U was an official licensee at 2014’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the Lollapalooza musical event. As a CEO, Fine is indeed doing ‘fine’!

  16. B. Byrne (25)

    A major password glitch in LinkedIn got Byrne thinking, when he was a student at Pomona College. The upshot was the creation of Clef – a secure two-factor authentication system – that does away with the traditional system of usernames and passwords. Paxful and Bitfinex are two Bitcoin exchanges out of the 120000-odd companies that have already switched over to Clef authentication. The software is a roaring success, and so is its CEO.

  17. Harli Jordean (13)

    All hail the youngest CEO in the world – Harli Jordean, the man (or should we say kid?) behind Land Of Marbles, an online ecommerce portal for buying marbles. The business was launched when Harli was all of 8 years old, and it is a classic example of the fact that exclusivity is the single-most important factor for business success. Marbles are fairly commonplace items – but they were not being offered like the way Land Of Marbles does – and therein lies its secret to popularity. Well played, little Harli!

  18. Ian Crosby (29)

    No one likes accounting and bookkeeping, right? In 2010, Crosby took his stand to make things easier for startup owners, with his Bench service – which combines human workforce and powerful software to create financial statements and reports, prepare tax planning solutions and manage expense tracking. Crosby is also a member of TechStars in 2012, and he believes that, in a decade’s time the outlook towards accounting will change among people.

  19. Andrew Flachner (27)

    RealScout, the company that Flachner founded in 2012, accounted for as much as 15% of the total volume of real estate transactions in San Francisco, in November 2015. That should give you a fair idea of how rapidly the home search platform service for professional real estate agents has grown within a short span of time. Prior to entering the big league with RealScout, Flachner had cofounded a real estate syndication agency as well as a health food vending machine firm. Plenty of experience for a man who is yet to hit 30!

  20. Noah Kraft (28)

    At this year’s Annual Telluride Film Festival, a biographical boxing flick – called ‘Bleed For This’ – had its world premiere. One of the producers of the film is Noah Kraft – better known as the co-founder of Doppler Labs (started in 2013). The mobile app for Doppler looks to change music-listening on wearable devices totally. Kraft believes that curating a user’s audio environment by a small percentage can help him/her enjoy a better listening experience, and avoid hearing problems. The sound-processing earbuds of Doppler Labs have been a huge hit – with more than 20000 units being reported sold at the end of January 2016. Clearly, this music-lover knows his product well.


Alan Schaaf (28) – the founder of mobile-first image-sharing site Imgur, and Scott Clark (29) – the CEO of website/app optimization software company SigOpt are two other names that should feature in any ‘top under-30 CEOs’ list. Pete Cashmore, now at the age of 30, is another young achiever – having founded Mashable at the age of 19. Experience matters when you take the plunge to become a CEO – but these people, with their vision, drive and sheer ambition – have proved that success can come at a young age too.



*source –>

15 API Industry Trends To Watch Out For In 2017

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
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From looking up addresses on Google Maps, to pulling up the shopping cart on e-commerce portals – APIs are being used everywhere. According to a recent report, 40+ new APIs are created and added every week – a fair indication of the rate at which the global ‘API economy’ is growing. We will here take a look at some fascinating trends and statistics from the API industry to watch out for in 2017:

  1. A ‘new’ technology

    APIs have been around for some time now, but it has been only in the last 2-3 years that software and app developers have started to extensively use them. Nearly 52% of all API providers started their service in the last 5 years, with 20% being launched in the last 2 years. Older API providers (those that were started 6 or more years back) make up around 42% of the total market. It’s an evolving market, and new resources are coming in thick and fast.

  2. Security – the double edged sword

    There is a general notion among general API consumers as well as application developers that APIs enhance security threats. 4 out of every 10 users feel that probable security breaches are the topmost risks of using APIs – and they wish to see these issues resolved at the earliest. On the other hand, it is digital security that many developers (24%) feel will drive the global API industry forward in the coming years. Not surprisingly 40.4% of technology providers are already focused on testing API security.

  3. How are API tools chosen?

    While selecting an API tool for a backend-as-a-service (BaaS) tool, script and resource reusability is the single biggest point of concern among developers. For almost 56% respondents, reusability is the number one factor while deciding whether to use an API tool or not. Around 36% pinpoint user-friendliness as the biggest ‘must-have’ feature in an API service (33.6% users focus particularly on the ease of implementation). In contrast, only 18% app makers list ‘the learning curve’ of a tool as their biggest concern. Clearly, users are ready to take up the challenge of learning – if an API tool is reusable and is easy to use.

  4. On the mobile platform

    The importance of the smartphone platform is growing steadily, and the trend is expected to further pick up pace in 2017. Among all API providers worldwide, a tick under 64% already support the mobile platform. More interestingly, mobile technology is believed to be the key driver of the API economy over the next couple of years (52% API users feel so). Almost 75% providers offer both internal as well as external API solutions.

Note: Internet of Things (IoT) is mentioned by 22% of the survey respondents as the ‘next big thing’ in the API industry. Connectivity, clearly, is a white-hot topic at present in the tech domain.

  1. Why are APIs used? 

    It’s pretty much established that backend APIs are much in demand now, but what exactly drives this demand? According to survey results, the most important purpose of APIs is better interoperability between teams and tools/systems. Boosting product/service functionality is the second most common reason for using APIs. 42% users apply APIs to shorten the total software or mobile app development cycles, while 38% people rely on APIs to bring down development expenses. API tools are also widely used for social integrations, as direct marketing channels, and for collaborating with external organizations.

  2. Agile vs waterfall

    With the advent and burgeoning popularity of APIs, agile development has emerged as the runaway leader, as far as software delivery methods are concerned (almost 76% of organizations prefer this method). In comparison, the traditional ‘Waterfall’ strategy is still followed by a measly 24% companies. In fact, delivery models like Continuous Integration (39%), Continuous Delivery (28%) and even DevOps (25%) have pulled ahead of ‘Waterfall’ in this race.Incremental and lean software delivery models (with 17% and 11% share respectively) rank further down the list.

  3. Supported platforms

    While API-usage for making mobile apps is growing at a fast clip, it is not yet the biggest platform served by APIs. That position would go to Web, which is served by as many as 86% of all APIs. Mobile occupies the second spot, and is followed by Desktop – with nearly 41% of the total API-share. As already mentioned, 1 out of every 5 APIs already support the Internet of Things (IoT). Both mobile and IoT are expected to get more API-coverage in 2017 and beyond.

Note: Automation scripts are supported by approximately 39% of APIs.

  1. A ‘successful API’ is one that delivers…

    Performance. Irrespective of which industry it is being used, 74% people listed performance as the most important characteristic of an application programming interface. The availability or uptime of APIs – with 50% votes – are a distant second, and is followed by the total count of API calls. APIs that promptly log and resolves issues are marked by 35% consumers as ‘successful’. Monetization, subscriber count, and retention are other, less important, factors.

  2. Focus on quality and issue resolution

    When faced with quality issues, 33% of consumers promptly shift to another API provider. To prevent this and bolster user-retention levels, API providers are placing prime importance on quality management issues. On average, organizations use as many as 4 separate tools for API testing. 55.8% of all user-complaints are resolved within a maximum of 7 days, with 10% of quality issues being addressed within 24 hours.

Note: According to mobile app developers, performing the ‘root cause analysis’ is the biggest challenge while trying to resolve API issues.

    10. Risks posed by poor API quality

There are several reasons why API providers are so concerned about API performance and quality issues. In a survey conducted among 1300 respondents, 43% stated that sub-standard APIs lead to loss of customers, while 36% expressed their concern about their company’s brand image taking a hit. Missing project deadlines is yet another problem caused by poor APIs (for ecommerce sites, this is equivalent to missing SLAs). For APIs whose performance is not up to the mark, more testing/troubleshooting is required – and according to 34.5% of the respondents, this was the biggest problem. 18% felt that sticking with a buggy API can lead to loss of contracts and even legal compliance hassles.

    11. Industries using APIs –

The use of APIs is no longer restricted to only the technology domain, although tech (with 11% share) remains the biggest API-using sector. Banking, with 9% share, is next – followed by Engineering and Healthcare (both have 8% share in the total API-pie). Telecommunications, education, retail, consultancy and insurance are some of the other fields where the use of APIs is relatively high. Many of these industries are not traditionally ‘tech-oriented’ – but APIs are being adopted in them nonetheless.

Note: The private sector has, from the start, been by far the bigger user of API tools and BaaS solutions. The public sector is playing the catch-up game, and reported a 4% API-use in 2016. It is expected that this figure would go up over the next few quarters.

    12. Main challenges for API providers 

The demand for higher delivery speeds is rising among customers – and that poses the number one challenge for API providers (testers, developers and operations). Managing the widely swinging expectations of stakeholders is another big challenge, as is the loopholes in the integration between tools and systems. The sheer complexity of API tools, together with the lack of internal knowledge, constitute another major roadblock. Budget issues and non-availability of required technology can also pose problems for API providers.

         13. Tools used for API testing

71% of all organizations perform ‘functional testing’ – making it by far the most common API testing method. Load testing or Performance testing is done by more than 60% companies, more than 55% users do Unit testing at the code level. Nearly 5 out of 10 respondents reported that they perform monitoring tests as well. Security testing and standard API Management solutions are also used for testing APIs fairly commonly.

Note: Service virtualization tools are applied by 24% organizations for API testing.

         14. Formal documentation is important 

A detailed, formal API documentation process is essential and high-priority, feels 46% of developers who create custom software and apps. A further 29% also identify the importance of documentation, but does not accord the same level of priority to the task. Only 10% users opine that a formal documentation procedure is not required. Proper documentation makes the overall API projects a lot more systematic – and that’s precisely why organizations are increasingly leaning towards it.

        15. Finding the problem. Fixing the problem.

Apart from identifying the root cause of API bugs, providers face several other common problems while trying to fix issues. 1 out of every 4 API providers struggle to employ the correct personnel (individual or team) to fix the reported issues, while designing an effective fix is a challenge for 24% respondents. Many providers face difficulties while isolating the problematic API as well. Fixing problems, obviously, require both time and resources – and constraints can crop up on those fronts too.

Whatever way you look at it, there is no denying that the API industry is on an upward surge globally. While the volume of APIs accessible on ProgrammableWeb has spiralled, due emphasis is being put on the quality factor as well. All eyes are now on 2017, which should witness further growth and proliferation of the API technology across sectors.



Swagger API Framework – 12 Things You Need To Know

Hussain Fakhruddin
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Hussain Fakhruddin

Hussain Fakhruddin is the founder/CEO of Teknowledge mobile apps company. He heads a large team of app developers, and has overseen the creation of nearly 600 applications. Apart from app development, his interests include reading, traveling and online blogging.
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Since its release in 2011, the Swagger API framework has rapidly grown in popularity among mobile app developers. The framework supports practically all popular programming languages as well as deployment environments, enhancing its usability. According to users, Swagger represents an improvement over both the manual API data maintenance method, as well as Web Application Description Languages (WADL). In September 2014, Swagger 2.0 was launched – and at present, it is easily the largest available repository for APIs in the world. Let us here take a look at some interesting things to know about the Swagger API framework:


  1. What exactly is Swagger? 

    Swagger is a huge collection of tools (integrated as an ecosystem), which is arranged around a formal specification. The specification represents a standard of REST (representational state transfer) APIs. The tools, on the other hand, include coding libraries (low level), commercial API management frameworks, and user interface solutions. In a nutshell, Swagger provides a language-independent interface for REST APIs, which is both human-readable and machine-readable.

  2. Why is Swagger preferred by developers? 

    Most apps have to be connected to a web-supported cloud backend, and for that, developers need to use APIs extensively. Swagger offers a convenient way for coders to document these APIs. It is easily a better option than having to manually maintain API information on either a HTML page or a text document (which won’t be machine-readable either). Web Application Description Languages (WADL), on the other hand, lose out on the human-readability front. Swagger can be understood by human users as well as machines – and not surprisingly, software and app developers from across the world use it for API data maintenance.

  3. Is Swagger open-source? 

    Swagger has been a completely open-source API framework from the very outset. It serves as a detailed representation of RESTful APIs (although all the RESTful rules are not followed), is easily discoverable, and also generates client-side SDKs. The highly interactive documentation also makes Swagger all the more developer-friendly.

  4. How can you start using Swagger? 

    There are two alternative approaches for that. App developers can either go for the so-called ‘bottom-up’ approach, where Swagger definitions have to be created – either manually or with the help of node.js or JAX-RS, or any of the other frameworks that are supported. The ‘top down’ approach involves creation of the same Swagger definition with the help of the Swagger Editor. For server-side implementation, the resources within Swagger Codegen have to be used. Both methods are fairly simple – and the final choice depends on what any particular app maker is comfortable with.

  5. How to migrate from Swagger 1.x to Swagger 2.0? 

    Swagger 2.0 has a lot of handy new features for developers (more on that later). All that coders, who are already using Swagger 1.2 (or any of the other older versions), need to do is use the Swagger Converter to migrate to the latest version of the framework. While converting code specs, either the ‘swagger-spec-converter’ or the ‘swagger-tools’ command line tool has to be used. Keep in mind that, unlike Swagger 1.x (which has two separate files), Swagger 2.0 has a single file.

  6. How is build and deployment managed in Swagger? 

    Swagger 1.5 introduced the io.swagger package. All the artifacts used in Swagger can be found in Maven Central – and for build and deployment, the API framework uses Apache Maven. Systems like Gradle and Ivy (apart from, of course, Maven) can handle the Maven dependencies inside the Swagger tool. In Swagger-Core, ‘io.swagger’ remains the groupID name, for all the dependencies.

Note: In JAX-RS, three artifacts are used by Swagger. These are ‘swagger-jersey-jaxrs’, ‘swagger-jaxrs’ and ‘swagger-jersey2-jaxrs’ (on version 2.0).

  1. What is the Swagger Editor? 

    Those who make mobile apps and use Swagger can edit/review API specifications within the browser itself, in the Swagger Editor. In addition, the Editor also allows users to view documentations on a real-time basis. Code generations and other commonly used Swagger toolings can be used with the Swagger JSON descriptions. Swagger Editor supports the YAML data serialization language (please note that it is not a markup language).

  2. What’s there for API Consumers? 

    The ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’ approaches for getting started on Swagger were for API Providers. Let’s turn our attentions towards the other set of users – the API Consumers. For them, the API framework has the online Swagger UI – that uses Swagger Codegen to create selected client libraries. APIs can be explored with Swagger UI as well. Integrating with APIs that have Swagger definitions is a common requirement, and this functionality is of help regarding that.

  3. What are the steps to integrate Swagger documentation in your app? 

    For seamless integration of Swagger documents in an application, developers have to follow three steps. First, all the Swagger dependencies have to be added in the project. Manual addition of dependencies is necessary for projects that do not support Maven dependencies. Next, Swagger has to be linked up with the actual application configuration (JAX-RS). Once that is done, both /swagger.yaml and /swagger.json will become accessible. Finally, the Swagger framework has to be configured and initialized.

Note: Implementation can be for RESTEasy 2.x, Jersey 1.x and 2.x, or Mule projects.

        10. What’s new in Swagger 2.0? 

Path-level parameter declaration, vendor extensions (with metadata) and smarter operations grouping feature among the most important additions in Swagger 2.0. Software and app developers have the option of adding License Object and/or Contact Object to the Info object, as well as describe Headers within responses. The second iteration of Swagger also supports API First development methodology, driven by node.js REST API environments (this feature has been added by Apigee). The format has been made compatible with JSON and YAML, for greater user-convenience. Well over 30 tools support the Swagger 2.0 framework – Swagger Parser, Swagger-JS, Swagger Validator, Swagger-UI, Swagger Codegen and Swagger-Core being some of them.

Note: Swagger is now more commonly referred to as the Open API Specification. It was given to the Open API Initiative (OAI) in January 2016.

        11. Why should developers use Swagger? 

We have already mentioned that Swagger is the largest API network at present. It does away with the need for accessing source codes, network traffic monitoring and other documentations, when developers are trying to find and understand the REST API interface service. Uncertainties and risks of errors become minimal when Swagger is correctly implemented in a project – since the need for implementation logic is almost nil, while interacting with remote service. Both commercial vendors and open-source projects are served by Swagger.

      12. What is the Restlet Studio for API definitions all about?

Restlet, another founding member of OAI, offers Restlet Studio – a user-friendly visual editor that makes the task of authoring API contracts easier than ever before. It stores all the Swagger API definitions, generates the required skeleton code, and comes with a built-in API definition translator (for different API formats). With the visual editing feature, app developers need not learn everything about all the Swagger syntax either – a tour of the UI serves the purpose.

The open-source Swagger specification is present under ASL 2.0, and it is a definitive guide on how responses, paths, parameters, and all other things should be correctly defined. Some of the biggest names in the tech domain – from PayPal and Microsoft, to Intuit and Apigee – use the Swagger service for their RESTful APIs. With plenty of supported tools and loads of useful resources, Swagger is absolutely a must-have API framework for mobile developers.