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HubSpot’s Recap of POST/CON 2024

What an amazing time in San Francisco, California, at POST/CON 2024! POST/CON is the annual Postman conference, meant to ignite enthusiasm among developers and API enthusiasts by providing an in-depth look at the latest trends and technologies in API development. As a key highlight, we're excited to spotlight the ongoing partnership between HubSpot and Postman—a collaboration that has significantly advanced API integration and developer engagement here at HubSpot!

In this post, I will share my reflections on the POST/CON conference and provide insights into my own speaking session. I will also explain how the partnership between Postman and HubSpot was formed, share highlights from other speakers, and announce a major achievement for HubSpot!

Enhancing Developer Advocacy with Postman: A HubSpot Case Study

This year, I (Hannah Seligson, senior developer advocate at HubSpot – hi! 👋) was awarded a speaker session at POST/CON, where I hosted a lightning talk, "Enhancing Developer Advocacy with Postman: A HubSpot Case Study," where I shared insightful revelations on how HubSpot has harnessed the power of Postman to revolutionize its API strategies, technical content, and improve the user experience with HubSpot’s public APIs.

I wanted to summarize some of the key points from my talk below so you can benefit from the knowledge and learn how to contribute as a HubSpot developer!

Why did HubSpot choose to leverage Postman?

At HubSpot, we recognized some key challenges that were impacting end users when it came to our APIs:

  • Getting started with HubSpot was difficult.
  • HubSpot APIs are complex.
  • We lacked up-to-date interactive API or code examples from which to learn from.

Image of developer feeling frustrated.

HubSpot provides many services, features, and tools that sometimes overwhelm our customers and the developer community. To make things easier for them, we recognized some key challenges they faced. For instance, users found navigating through HubSpot’s technical documentation challenging, and they needed help understanding where to start due to different account types, app types, resources, or simply the task they were assigned to tackle with a customer’s HubSpot account.

Moreover, we have multiple APIs built by different engineering teams internally, so no single API is built entirely the same. HubSpot APIs can interact with varying types of accounts and other APIs differently, making it challenging for users to know which API to use, which version to access, and whether they are accessing the latest version.

To improve the experience of our developers and onboard them more efficiently, we recognized the need to provide up-to-date interactive examples of our APIs, tools, and features. However, many of our tutorials and sample projects became outdated quickly due to the speed at which we ship new API updates, sunset legacy APIs, and constantly update existing APIs. This contributes to developers' steep learning curve when they want to understand how to leverage and test our APIs.

Postman for HubSpot APIs

To overcome these challenges, we chose Postman to help support HubSpot APIs and enhance technical content. First, we built a Postman workspace and integrated it with GitHub and Postman to access up-to-date API schemas and mitigate some of the complexities of our APIs. This made it easier for our developers to learn and test our APIs and reduced the risk of errors between API specifications and the Postman collection, ultimately improving the customer experience. The next step in this process is to automate the pulling of updates into Postman!

Next, we leveraged Postman’s ‘Easy Auth’ feature for a group of HubSpot APIs. We currently leverage an app that applies OAuth 2.0 to our CRM-specific services within our workspace. The objective is to improve the "time to first call" metric, which measures the time it takes for a developer to create an account, generate API credentials, and make the initial API call. This is because authentication can often be a barrier, and we wanted to reduce that for our more popular APIs so customers can quickly test them.

Below is an example of the Postman UI for a HubSpot API endpoint, where we offer authentication utilizing our app within the “Authorization” tab of the API request.

Postman authentication tab within the UI.

The community’s impact

The primary user base of any public asset or tool must be considered. Previously, Postman workspaces were designed exclusively for engineers to collaborate internally on developing, testing, and designing APIs. They were not suitable for sharing public APIs – until now.

At HubSpot, we wanted to create a public workspace for HubSpot customers to utilize and reference for technical content. To achieve this, we consulted with the HubSpot developer community to better understand their needs and perspectives when initiating building a public workspace on Postman for HubSpot’s APIs. This effort involved gathering feedback on best organizing our Postman collections and what instructions should be included in the workspace overview, a collection, and an API description.

The community's feedback and suggestions were, and continue to be, instrumental in shaping our workspace to cater to their needs. They remain a valuable resource for enhancing HubSpot's public API workspace. The public workspace not only makes HubSpot APIs more accessible but also assists developers in onboarding quickly, gaining better knowledge of our public services, and providing feedback to contribute to its growth.

The HubSpot developer community members can also create a free Postman account, which allows them to interact with HubSpot's workspace. Users can "fork" collections and APIs within a workspace, which enables them to consume HubSpot APIs without affecting other collections. Moreover, if you rely on an API, you can "watch" that specific API and receive notifications about changes to the API schema. A user-friendly interface shows the differences in the API specification, allowing you to take the necessary actions.

Whatever way you decide to contribute or comment on this effort, we encourage you to speak up!

Next steps for HubSpot APIs with Postman

Now that it’s been nearly a year into leveraging Postman with HubSpot's public APIs, we've uncovered innovative ways to refine our APIs and enhance our Postman workspace. Our next objective is to develop Postman collections that demonstrate real-world applications and use cases, seamlessly combining multiple HubSpot APIs and endpoints to perform complex or singular actions.

We invite our users to share their unique business use cases, enriching HubSpot's public workspace with innovative solutions that benefit the entire community.

Looking ahead, we also plan to leverage Postman's "flows" feature, which provides a dynamic visual representation of how HubSpot APIs operate. This powerful tool allows users to manipulate APIs and monitor the data interactions between them. With Postman Flows, we hope it will encourage our users to create more integrations with their HubSpot accounts. This visual method simplifies chaining requests, managing data, and illustrating HubSpot processes, enabling anyone to develop applications that harness the power of APIs for creating sophisticated workflows, integrations, and automation.

Our partnership with Postman goes beyond merely enhancing technical content and accessibility; it's about recognizing and seizing opportunities that benefit the developer community. APIs are designed to be utilized, and we are committed to ensuring that everyone can successfully engage with HubSpot APIs to power their innovations.

Highlights at POST/CON 2024

In addition to my session, POST/CON 2024 was packed with various workshops, keynotes, and panels catering to every aspect of API development. Here are a few highlights I enjoyed:

HubSpot was awarded "Top New API" by Postman!

In an industry where innovation and user experience are paramount, HubSpot has been honored with the prestigious “Top New API Award” at the 2024 Postman API Network Awards. This award celebrates the technical excellence of new APIs and their ability to foster a vibrant community of developers. HubSpot has set a new standard in delivering an API that not only meets expectations but exceeds them, complemented by impeccable technical documentation.

Top API Award from API Network Awards from Postman.

This recognition underscores HubSpot’s commitment to providing tools that empower developers to create, innovate, and transform the digital landscape. Their success in building an active and engaged developer community within just a year is a testament to their vision and execution in the rapidly evolving tech world.




Postman speaker session: "Speed Up Your Developer Workflows with Postman"

In an enlightening session led by Suhas Gaikwad, Senior Engineering Manager, and Giridhar Chakravarthi, Product Manager at Postman, attendees were shown how to significantly enhance developer workflows using Postman. This powerful tool is not just for API testing but is a comprehensive platform designed to accelerate development through scripting, automated tests, and visualizers.

Key features highlighted include:

Scripting and Automated Tests: Learn how to automate repetitive tasks and tests, saving time and reducing errors.

Visualizers: These tools help understand complex API responses through graphical representations, making data interpretation more intuitive.

Team Collaboration: Postman supports seamless collaboration among team members, which enhances productivity and fosters a more cohesive development environment.

Secret Manager: A standout feature, Postman’s secret manager ensures that your APIs remain secure by managing sensitive data effectively.

On stage image of speaker session, "Speed Up Your Developer Workflows with Postman".

The presentation focused on the practical applications of certain features, showing how they can simplify processes, secure API usage, and accelerate development cycles. This particular session caught my attention because working with confidential information carries risks. Postman now allows users to store all their client secrets in a secure local storage vault called Postman Vault, which is end-to-end encrypted. They also support third-party solutions like HashiCorp Vault, Azure Key Vault, and AWS Secrets Manager. This means you can easily and securely reuse sensitive data from HubSpot in your Postman collections, environments, and requests.

A conversation with Trevor Noah and Casey Newton

In a captivating conversation, Trevor Noah, a celebrated comedian and former host of The Daily Show, was interviewed by Casey Newton, co-host of the New York Times podcast Hard Fork, discussing technology in society. This discussion explored how the evolving landscape of software is reshaping our work, societal norms, and cultural frameworks.

Key insights from the conversation include:

Technology’s Role in Society: Trevor and Casey discussed the ubiquitous influence of software in modern life, from everyday conveniences to complex social dynamics.

Impact on Work: They examined how technological advancements transform traditional work environments and create new productivity and collaboration paradigms.

Cultural Shifts: The conversation also highlighted the cultural shifts driven by technology, including changes in communication, entertainment, and social interaction.

Stage view of Trevor Noah speaking with Casey Newton.

This discussion truly inspired me, particularly how Trevor Noah portrayed technology and its pioneers. Far from the often depicted ominous and perilous tech landscape, Noah presented it as a realm brimming with potential. He painted a vivid picture of technology as a dynamic field where people like you and me don't just work—we build new futures. Every project is a stepping stone, leading us from one breakthrough to the next, perpetually pushing the boundaries of what's possible. This vision of technology underscores its role in creating communities of problem-solvers united by their mission to forge paths never walked before. It's not just about solving problems; it's about coming together to imagine and realize a world we all want to live in.

You can view additional presentations from POST/CON on Postman’s YouTube channel or the POST/CON website.

Wrapping up!

My experience at POST/CON was truly unforgettable. It was exhilarating to reconnect with so many folks from Postman, with whom I work closely, and equally exciting to meet new faces in the industry. The atmosphere was electric, filled with enthusiastic discussions and shared insights. POST/CON provides a rare platform where developers can absorb wisdom directly from pioneers of leading companies like Salesforce, MasterCard, Zoom, etc.

Wrapping up this incredible event, it was an honor to accept the Top New API Award from Postman's CEO, Abhinav Asthana, on behalf of HubSpot—a testament to our team's hard work and dedication to excellence!