The Best API Developer Experience: What is it and How to provide it

Advertisement and marketing are an ever-changing area that all businesses have to adjust and adapt to. The advances in technology and the recent surge of digital transformation has resulted in a fast-paced market with new products exploding onto the scene every week. Word of the mouth advertising is incredibly important and can make or break your company’s reputation.

How does this tie into API products and their developer experience?

Firstly, API Developer Experience or DX means understanding how developers work with the API product and making sure that they have the best possible user experience during the entirety of your API’s life cycle. Keeping track of the developer’s experience means that you will gain a deeper understanding of what they need, how they work, the various integration points involved, and whether developers enjoy using the API.

This will allow you to tailor your API products to the developer’s preference. And this in turn will make sure that they are comfortable and confident using your API. The developers will promote your company, increasing the number of clients, and driving up your revenue.

Whether your firm provides MuleSoft services or other API products, here are a couple of ways you can improve the API Developer Experience:

Use Clear Language

The language spoken by your developers should tip you off on the language you are supposed to use. Let them know what your API does and what they can expect from it. Avoid using marketing buzzwords and overly technical jargon as this can put many developers off. Instead, be succinct and be clear.

Keep Things Simple

Make sure your API doesn’t overwhelm the developers. Trying to pack in too many things can make a mess and sometimes less is more. If your API product is too complex, potential clients will go look elsewhere for something clean and simple.

Documentation is Key 

Keep track of everything and provide all the documentation you and your developer clients will need. You also need to make sure the documentation is complete and follows the latest standards. These include how-to manuals, video tutorials, and an interactive platform that will help them understand how to use the API when they run into trouble.

Ease of Access

The API product should be easy to use and sign in to. The developer should also be able to manage the product with speed and have quick provisioning of the relevant API keys.

Clarify Code Samples

There should be a number of concise code samples available to the developer in different programming languages. You should let your developers know that the API you provide can solve problems or perform tasks in whichever programming language they are comfortable with.

Let Your Limitations Be Known

Don’t wait for the developer to realize what your API is unable to do at the last possible minute. Instead, make sure they give a clear idea about what your product can and cannot do. You can do this by giving them a free trial so that your developers can experiment with the API without any risks.

Keep Track of Their Experience

This is the most important thing that you need to do for all your developers. Mark their progress and how they felt about using your API product. Record specific details such as their onboarding time, requests per minute, response times, and errors per minute. Ask them for feedback and you can make your API better and make sure they have an even better developer experience the next time around.

Provide a Community and Support

There should be an open line of communication between your company and the developers. Create a FAQ so they know what they do when they run into problems. Keep a support group or chat available to help them in case of an emergency as this will make you look reliable.

Keeping your developers connected is a good way to boost your business as well. Keep a dedicated and safe space for developers to connect and swap ideas, either through a chat or a forum. This can also help them get in touch with others in the industry and will be good PR for your company as well.

In a Nutshell

So at the end of the day, how can you make sure developers have the best ever experience with your APIs? First, you have to make sure that your API product is functioning the way your target developers want it to. Then, you need to check whether it is easy for the developers to navigate around. Lastly, check in with them and ask them if they are satisfied with how the API works and what it can do for them. If you get these three things down, the rest is just fine-tuning the details until your API Developer Experience is borderline flawless.

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