Develop API Community and Empower Your Developers

A couple of weeks ago I was writing about tools you should offer with your Application Programming Interface (API). I was putting together some thoughts on ways a vendor could improve their API developer experience. I have several deployments with their API under my belt and felt I had some advice to offer.

We have had a few major problems with outages and errors with the vendor's API. Howver most of our problems as an API consumner has been around:
  • Lack of community
  • Lack of documentation or quality documentation
  • No example code, snippets, or SDK
  • Poor support via email, forums
I felt like we were operating in a vaccuum. The vendor's API has some really great features, but without the proper developer community and support the overall experience was unpleasant. Unfortunately this experience out weighs the value brought by using the API.

It is important to build a healthy community for your developers to exist in. I see many relationships between managing a team of developers and managing an ecosystem of developers around your API. You have to provide them with the tools to be successful.

If your developers are successful in deploying your Application Programming Interface (API) , they can become evangelists for your products, services, API, tools and your overall API ecosystem. Its worth the investment.

Photo Credit: Typo3