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Word to API providers: Make it simple for developers

Paul Krill | Oct. 15, 2015
The I Love APIs conference offered plenty of advice on how to draw developers' interest in APIs

At Pearson, which offers online education, the company started its first successful API program in 2010, said Allen Rodgers, program director. Its current API program, called Learning Studio, enables users to take online courses. Clients integrate various back-end systems to create a holistic view for a student, he said. He suggested providers start small. “The big thing here is it’s much easier to add functionality than remove functionality.”

Providers, he stressed, must offer a compelling value proposition and remain flexible. “What this all comes down to is you kind of get one chance,” he said. If developers don’t understand actual terms and sample code and sample applications are not provided, they are not likely to come back, Rodgers said. “You have to treat your API as a product.”

 

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