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Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF
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Why Your API Sucks - #BAPI SF

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At Mashery's Business of API's Conference we shared data from our survey of developer pain to let API providers know where they could do better, and to sound a call to action for all the providers out …

At Mashery's Business of API's Conference we shared data from our survey of developer pain to let API providers know where they could do better, and to sound a call to action for all the providers out there to start working together

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  • - Cofounder of YourTrove, the last content API you’ll ever need\n- Here to tell you why your API sucks.\n- But first, a little background\n
  • - Wanted to prove the value in Trove with data\n- No data except ranty blog posts\n- Reached out to dev community\n- 3 simple multiple choice questions, several long form answers, all anonymous\n- The reaction to our survey surprised us\n- And wow, did developers use the outlet to vent\n- So much so, that the Press picked up on the responses\n\n
  • - Started from a post on Programmable Web.\n- Facebook, facebook, facebook!\n- Even made the top technology article on Google News.\n- But I’m not here to toot my horn\n- The truth is...\n
  • - All this Facebook crap was the least interesting thing to come out of this survey\n- And you all know about FB’s issues\n- That’s not why we’re here.\n- What’s the real take away from the survey?\nRaise your hand if you’re from Twilio, Apigee, or Mashery: GTFO, this isn’t for you.\n- It’s not just Facebook\n\n
  • - No matter how awesome you think your API is\n- No matter how much your developers tell you they love it\n- Your API Sucks\n- For one simple reason:\n
  • - Devs aren’t just using your API\n- You’re part of a suite\n\n
  • - We asked where developer headaches came from\n- They weren’t shy in telling us\n- We’re not playing nice as an ecosystem\n- We’re creating more pain for developers\n- Your interpretation doesn’t matter if no one else builds things the same way!\n\n
  • - This response really stands out.\n- So much so that it begs reading off the slide\n- You know what? This begs reading a second time...\n
  • Show of hands...\n\nWho wants this guy’s money?\n
  • -We’re all leaving money and happy developers on the table\n- because we’re all doing things differently\n\n- Let’s start with how we’re individually sucking\n
  • - Apigee, Mashery, Twilio, and Foursquare all get honorable mentions here.\n- YOU didn’t.\n- Documentation is key and we all need to do a lot better\n
  • - These are all frequent complaints\n- Lots of ranty blog posts about each\n- Everyone rolls their own solution\n\n
  • - Together, we make things even worse\n\n- One of these quotes is so important I had to repeat it from a previous slide.\n
  • - Not only don’t we play well with each other\n- We assume everyone else’ll be perfect\n- Which leads to cascading problems\n\n- FB photo != Flickr photo != Picasa photo, etc\n\n
  • - We asked where developer headaches came from\n- They weren’t shy in telling us\n- We’re not playing nice as an ecosystem\n- We’re creating more pain for developers\n- Your interpretation doesn’t matter if no one else builds things the same way!\n\n
  • - And horror stories\n- And yes, *lots* of Facebook. And twitter.\n\n- (shout) ARE YOU ON THIS SLIDE?\n- Raise your hands if you are!\n- HOPE YOU’RE LISTENING!\n- This is why you’re losing business!\n
  • - That all feels daunting\n- But we don’t have that far to go\n
  • - It’s as simple as getting a dialogue going\n- Amongst not just “the right people”\n- But everyone who cares\n- Our developer communities and each other!\n
  • - And we need to understand we all only play\n- one of many roles in the community\n- We can’t all dictate everything\n
  • - If we have this talk\n- Standards can evolve\n- Not that we’ll all adopt them\n- But devs can clearly know who the outliers are\n- As opposed to everyone being an outlier\n
  • - Talk of its own\n- But worthwhile and important\n- A contract with each other\n- So everyone knows what to expect\n
  • - This doesn’t work if we let people commit and then not follow through\n
  • - By approaching this as an ecosystem\n- With all the right stakeholders in the conversation\n- We can all turbocharge our businesses and API consumption\n- While leaving developers happier and more engaged\n- We can all win!\n- One final thought:\n
  • Remember, for 98% of you, your business is what is BEHIND your API, not the API.\n- So let’s clean up all these API disparities so devs can get to through to your business without friction or frustration\n
  • - Cofounder of YourTrove, the last content API you’ll ever need\n- Here to tell you why your API sucks.\n- But first, a little background\n
  • Transcript

    • 1. Why Your API Sucks Business of APIs Conference, SF, 10/4/2011 An API developer survey opens Pandora’s Box http://bit.ly/trove-survey-results Seth Blank, Founder www.yourtrove.com s@yourtrove.com @AntiFreeze10/4/2011 1
    • 2. We did a survey on API Pain It made some waves You can view it here: http://bit.ly/trove-survey-results10/4/2011 2
    • 3. “Facebook Wins ‘Worst API’ in Developer Survey”- TechCrunch “Developers relate a tale of woe with Facebooks API” - The Inquirer “Developer survey finds Facebook has the worst API” - ZD Net 10/4/2011 3
    • 4. Booooring It’s no real secret that Facebook’s API is widely loathed10/4/2011 4
    • 5. Developers Hate Your API “Every integration is its own [expletive-deleted] adventure.”10/4/2011 5
    • 6. APIs don’t live in a vacuum10/4/2011 6
    • 7. “different idiosyncrasies, ie rate limiting, terms of service, data format, old documentation etc.” “REST vs. XML-RPC vs. SOAP, JSON vs. XML vs. Random POST data. Every API seems to be different” “REST uses the HTTP spec, but few API providers actually follow the spec properly.”10/4/2011 7
    • 8. “Guarantee me that any API yousupport will exist in its current form (bugs and all!) for at least 12months, and I will give you so much fucking money.”10/4/2011 8
    • 9. “Guarantee me that any API you support will exist in its current form(bugs and all!) for at least 12 months, and I will give you so much fucking10/4/2011 9
    • 10. Where else are you losing Developer’s $$$?!10/4/2011 10
    • 11. Your Documentation Sucks“poor documentation” mentioned 41 times “lack of good examples + sandboxes” “Documentation and examples. Give me those, keep them up to date and I’m happy.” 10/4/2011 11
    • 12. Your Error Handling and Test Environments Suck “error handling” a frequent complaint “Complete lack of test environments.” “The ones that you can’t test from a localhost suck”10/4/2011 12
    • 13. We suck more together Inconsistent standards, libraries, and documentation “REST vs. XML-RPC vs. SOAP, JSON vs. XML vs. Random POST data. Every API seems to be different” “Change is good, but change when it breaks existing 3rd party API’s is a nightmare.”10/4/2011 13
    • 14. We suck more together“Random 3rd party outages that take you out aswell” Error Codes differ between services. On bad Auth, Some 404, others 401. And some 500. This is hell on devs. “Different data formats from different services for essentially the same data.” 10/4/2011 14
    • 15. And there’s so much other confusionAuthentication vs. Authorization Oh do developers hate OAuth (users, too!) Actually getting through to stakeholders (that’s YOU) Rate limiting and billing10/4/2011 15
    • 16. “Paypal. Sweet god, fuck paypal.” “OMFG Salesforce “Digg is basically a giant API sucks. That is example of ‘this is how to not all” do it’.” “Affiliate + API — “Netsuite SOAPs almost no one does it documentation is, umm… right.” completely fucking incorrect” “We’re still working on “Too many to relate.” it.” 10/4/2011 16
    • 17. So let’s solve this. Together.10/4/2011 17
    • 18. More frequent and open communications We’re not in a vacuum!10/4/2011 18
    • 19. Humbleness You might be awesome, but together we make a shitty team10/4/2011 19
    • 20. Standards and best practices10/4/2011 20
    • 21. Developer Bill of Rights What can they expect from ALL of us?10/4/2011 21
    • 22. Hold our own accountable10/4/2011 22
    • 23. Recap We’re not in this alone We need to start thinking like team players Cooperation amongst ourselves makes developers’ lives easier Which means better adoption, retention, and revenue We all get to win10/4/2011 23
    • 24. Your Business is NOT your API. It is what that API provides access to. So fix your API and the ecosystem around it!10/4/2011 24
    • 25. Thank you #BAPI! http://bit.ly/trove-survey-results Seth Blank, Founder www.yourtrove.com s@yourtrove.com @AntiFreeze10/4/2011 25

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