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Building API Products

Building API Products


Samuel James

October 18, 2021

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  1. Building API Products 1 @samueljabiodun

  2. James Samuel ▪ ~8 years of experience making software run

    ▪ Tech Lead @Tier Mobility ▪ Technical Content Creator ▪ Creator of HubOfML Newsletter ▪ AWS Community Builder 2 @samueljabiodun @abiodunjames
  3. API is eating the world

  4. None
  5. API has continued to gather popularity, grew by 100% in

    2020 Postman: State of the API Report 5
  6. ▪ Offers APIs to open up services e.g Twitter, Facebook,

    Salesforce, etc ▪ API-first companies e.g Stripe, Contentful, Twilio, Algolia etc 6
  7. ▪ Certain API products struggle to attract users. ▪ Hard

    to consume and integrates with some APIs. ▪ Some APIs don't live up to expectations. 7
  8. 8 Postman Report 2020: Obstacles to consuming APIs

  9. How do you create APIs developers love to use? 9

  10. Good APIs are: ❏ Easy Learn ❏ Easy to use

    ❏ Hard not-easy to misuse ❏ Easy to read and maintain clients that use them ❏ Easy to evolve 10
  11. Good API products make life easy 11

  12. How do you make life easy?

  13. Understand the “Why” and “How” 13

  14. ▪ Why do you want to build an API product?

    ▪ What problem will it solve? ▪ How will it help me achieve my goals? 14
  15. Example Goal: Drive usage and monetize internal services 15

  16. The goal isn't always obvious …Ask 16

  17. Design Matters 17

  18. “how quickly developers can get up to speed and start

    enjoying success using your API” 18
  19. ➔ Vocabularies: Are your words, terms easy to understand for

    your users? ➔ Styles: What protocols are you supporting, Rest or GraphQL? ➔ Naturalness & Consistency: ◆ Do your users have to change their usual ways of solving their problems significantly? ◆ Did you follow established standards and conventions? ◆ What level of familiarity will you provide? Are you APIs similar to what your users may have used in the past?
  20. “Great API products are designed with rigorous customer focus, a

    deep understanding of the customers, their needs and desires” 20
  21. How to approach API Design ▪ Identify your users &

    the activities they want to get done. ▪ Break down the activities they want to get down. ▪ Create APIs prototypes and validate with a use-case. ▪ Build clients that use the prototypes. ▪ Validate & re-iterate. 21
  22. API Design is a continuous process 22

  23. You won't get the first version of your APIs right.

    Some lessons can't be learned through customer interviews only. 23
  24. 24

  25. Affordance is that property of an object which shows users

    the actions they can take.
  26. None
  27. Get Good at Documentation 27

  28. What's one of the first things you look at when

    exploring or evaluating a third party APIs?
  29. • Evaluation • Integration • Debugging

  30. Evaluation

  31. Integration/Getting Started

  32. Troubleshooting

  33. If you’re providing only one type of documentation, you’re undeserving

    your users. 33
  34. • Who are you creating for? • What are they

    trying to achieve? • Why are you creating this?
  35. Get Development Right 35

  36. Instead of focusing on CRUD, focus on goals and the

    sequence of actions required to achieve them.
  37. • Scalability • Maintainability • Security • Reliability • Performance

    • Testing
  38. 38 Your APIs should hide complexities and not expose them

  39. 39 Is the API service delivering on the strategic goals?

    Is the API service quality enough to support the strategic goals? Track Effectiveness
  40. 40 Questions?