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5 Skills Developers Need for API Management

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Different factors determine the success of an organization, with one of these factors being the employees in that organization.

The kind of people working in an organization, their talents, skills, and experience are very important when it comes to determining the path that an organization takes with its projects.

Similarly, an API’s success is dictated by the skills and talents of its developers as well as the people tasked with managing the API throughout its lifecycle. Developers need to make sure that they know what they are doing when working on an API and possess the right skills for the API’s success.

That notwithstanding, some developers do not possess the right API development and management skills, something that increases the chances of having their APIs failing and not meeting their expectations. So, are there skills that developers need for API management?

API developer working on software code on laptop

What is API architecture?

Before discussing the skills needed for API management, it is important to understand APIs and the API architecture. You also need to ask yourself what is API management and how it contributes to the success of the entire API architecture.

To get started, an API (Applications Programming Interface) is a computing interface that dictates the communication and exchange of data between applications. APIs dictate the calls that are made, how they are made, the responses sent, and the conventions used.

On the other hand, an API architecture can be defined as the entire process involved when developing software interfaces to expose application functionality and backend data for use in other applications. It allows developers to come up with reusable and modular applications that are essential for the functionality of microservices.

API management refers to the process involving the creation and publication of APIs, controlling their access, enforcing usage policies, analyzing collected usage statistics, checking on its performance, and nurturing the API users and its subscriber community. 

It is very crucial in the API architecture because it ensures that the APIs allowing the communication and exchange of data between applications meet their expectations and do what they are supposed to do. 

API management is, therefore, important in dictating the success of the entire API architecture.

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API management skills for developers

Scalability and the ability to plan ahead

API developers need to find ways of planning ahead to handle any changes that might affect their APIs or even changes on the APIs themselves. 

It, therefore, means that apart from development skills, they need management skills that are not only crucial in predicting changes in the requirements of their APIs but also their customers’ requirements.

Additionally, they need scalability skills to ensure that their APIs are scalable enough to adapt to the changing requirements. 

Finally, API developers need to possess the right monitoring skills to help them keep tabs on the performance of their APIs and to make sure that the APIs meet their performance expectations despite any growth in API usage.

API security

As discussed above, APIs allow applications to communicate and share data. Some of this data can be quite sensitive and API developers need to be careful when managing APIs. 

For instance, you will find a web application that has implemented an API for a payment system. This API collects sensitive personal information such as credit card details that would bring a lot of problems if they fall into the wrong hands.

For successful API management, developers need to possess skills in the best practices for web application security. They also need to pay special attention to the security of the APIs that they develop and manage.

They need to make sure that they have implemented the right security measures throughout the life of an API.

Identifying the important things and giving them priority

Developers need to know what is important when it comes to the APIs that they are managing. For instance, the business aspects of the APIs they are managing come first and they need to identify these aspects without any problems.

When managing an API, developers should ensure that the API’s consumers find it easy to use the API. They (the consumers) should not have to learn a lot of things or look for information outside the API documentation when implementing the API.

Developers also need to come up with a way of obtaining metrics on the satisfaction of the API consumers. This is important in helping them understand what they need to do to improve the API and its performance.

Understanding the business strategy of their organizations

If you ask most business leaders, they will tell you the importance of hiring developers with skills that align with the business strategy of their organizations. This plays an important role in the success of the organization’s APIs.

For effective API management, developers need to make sure that they are skilled in ways that can help their organizations define the priorities, vision, and strategy of their business. They also should come up with achievable goals for all the APIs under their watch.

Their APIs should also have a set-out plan and outcomes that aid in the running of the business and aid in achieving the goals of their organizations.

Good programming knowledge

Finally, every developer needs to have the right programming skills. This is not only important when learning how to become a software developer but also for API management. Developers need to make sure that they can handle any software framework their organizations choose to use.

They also should be able to effectively use different programming languages. This is because they might be forced to integrate different APIs written in different programming languages or even use applications that require different programming language skills.

In addition, they should not find any difficulties using different API management tools. Actually, they should be at the forefront when it comes to advising on the right API management tools for their organizations.

API management is crucial when it comes to the success of APIs. Organizations need to make sure that their developers have the right skills that help them when handling API management tasks. 

When looking for a developer for API management, you need to make sure they have some if not all of the skills discussed in this article.

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