Hello world and welcome back! While working through some example code tutorials a few days ago, I ran across some interesting articles on APIs and their transformative role in the highly digital economy. I thought I’d use this space to briefly discuss the need for API’s across organizations and why they’ve become so crucial for growth. I’m sure many of you are familiar with the term, but felt it to be a good topic to revisit, especially in relation to business strategy.
In short, an API (Application Programming Interface) creates a ‘portal’ that allows for applications to communicate and interact with one another in a safe and secure way. The API’s themselves rely on some sort of proprietary underlying data contained by the provider, but allows (through abstraction) a number of methods and protocols to interact with this data and build on top of it. An analogous example would be two parties who have separate pieces of information calling one another to get the information - if they dial the right number and ask for something in the correct manner, the other party will provide the specific information requested.
Some of the more common examples in modern applications include the Google Maps API, Facebook Login API, as well as the Stripe API (Payment processing).
The primary reason that companies choose to invest in creating and maintaining these API’s is twofold - in addition to improving the overall robustness of their platform, they also create opportunities for monetization (see links above - this works as a business in itself!). The company controls the accessibility and security of their data, but allows for external developers to easily build novel solutions through just a few simple lines of code.
If you’ve heard of or been to a Hackathon, you’ve likely seen numerous sponsors and affiliates who give out prizes (and sometimes interviews) to winning teams who best utilize their API’s. This 'free’ marketing is crucial in growing the brand and introducing new features to a passionate and influential crowd.
There is obviously no way to cover the depths of API’s and their endless applications, but there are some awesome resources online if interested.
On to Round 3! Will keep my thoughts short:
What Im Reading
The CEO of Automattic on Holding “Auditions” to Build a Strong Team. Really interesting approach to hiring and fit.
The CEO of Automattic on Holding “Auditions” to Build a Strong Team
Reprint: R1404A Mullenweg founded Automattic, the company behind WordPress, in 2005, and began hiring in the traditional way: using résumé screening, reference checks, and interviews. He focused on the experience candidates had and paid special attention to what other start-ups they’d worked for. He and his colleagues invested a lot of energy in the process and believed that they were being as rigorous as they could. But when some hires didn’t work out, they began to examine their approach in light of Automattic’s unconventional philosophy: Work where you want and when you want; you’ll be measured by outputs, not by time spent at a desk in an office. They realized that being well-spoken or charming in an interview often had little bearing on how a candidate would perform the job in question. So they introduced tryouts. After an initial screening, promising candidates are required to work with the company for three to eight weeks (with pay), performing real tasks that are closely related to the jobs they’re applying for, and working alongside the people who will be their colleagues if they’re hired. They can size up the company as it evaluates and provides feedback to them, benefiting all concerned.
Tool I'm Using
Magnet. I’ve been using this tool since early college and it has changed the way I work - would very strongly recommend.
Who I'm Watching
Shin Lim. He is spectacular. No one specific video but check him out on Youtube.
What I'm Listening to
Silhouette by Kyo. Piano and a drop :)