API Badging and Credentialing To Demonstrate Skills

I have a number of APIs that I've successfully integrated with, and an even greater number that I've just played around with, pulling data, seeing what is possible. If you have spent the time learning what an API does, and gotten familiar with the interface, that is worth something. If you've successfully integrated with an API, understand its ins and outs, have code in production that depends on that API—that is worth a lot.

With all of this experience in working with APIs, how do you demonstrate it? We are seeing freelance agencies emerge that are focused on delivering developer talent that companies can put to use when building web and mobile apps using APIs—how will they demonstrate an individuals skills when it comes to a variety of APIs?

At some point we are going to need some sort of badging or credentialing system to help us demonstrate the mad API skills we all possess. I'm not talking badges in terms of check-ins or game levels, I’m talking it terms of demonstrated project experience on specific APIs. How much of an API interface have I hacked on? Do I have production experience with an API, if so how much?

There needs to be a central badge authority, using an open technology like Mozilla Open Badges, and each API provider can work to establish various levels of badging. There will probably be a lot of meaningless badges that will emerge, but I think if we work at it, we can establish some real ways to measure and demonstrate API talent.

Right now I have a lot of API related experience, but no real way demonstrate this to any company or individual, beyond my blog, Twitter, Github and my charming personality. It would be cool if we could establish a badging and credential system that would work for quantifying all the amazing talent in the API sector and make sure it is put to good use.