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Building API Products

Building API Products

Samuel James

October 18, 2021

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  1. 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
  2. API has continued to gather popularity, grew by 100% in

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

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

    to consume and integrates with some APIs. ▪ Some APIs don't live up to expectations. 7
  5. 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
  6. ▪ Why do you want to build an API product?

    ▪ What problem will it solve? ▪ How will it help me achieve my goals? 14
  7. “how quickly developers can get up to speed and start

    enjoying success using your API” 18
  8. ➔ 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?
  9. “Great API products are designed with rigorous customer focus, a

    deep understanding of the customers, their needs and desires” 20
  10. 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
  11. You won't get the first version of your APIs right.

    Some lessons can't be learned through customer interviews only. 23
  12. 24

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

    exploring or evaluating a third party APIs?
  14. • Who are you creating for? • What are they

    trying to achieve? • Why are you creating this?
  15. Instead of focusing on CRUD, focus on goals and the

    sequence of actions required to achieve them.
  16. 39 Is the API service delivering on the strategic goals?

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