Web APIs — Learning lunch at Hacks/Hackers MCR

16 May 2015

hackshackers web apis lunch

We tried something different this time. Inspired by a journalist called Noah Veltman, we put on a HacksHackers Manchester “learning lunch”. We hope it will be a way for people to learn about and discuss important topics for journalism in the 21st century.

The first one was on the subject of web APIs. An API (Application Programming Interface) is a way of getting information out of a system without having to know all the details about how the system works. Everything from Twitter to Yelp to Google Spreadsheets has an API and we looked at:

  • the basics of how web APIs work
  • why you might want to use them
  • how you can use them without doing any programming
  • Popular APIs

We booked some tables at Ziferblat on Edge Street in the Northern Quarter, a venue which charges 5p a minute per person. It includes superfast Wi-Fi, unlimited free coffee, tea, soft drinks, waters, cakes, biscuits, toast, savoury snacks and cereals. It was a good session.

Here’s the slides from the talk.


Here’s a list of web APIs that don’t need authentication making them easier to mess around with.