Opportunities For Non-Programmers To Put APIs To Work For Them Is Picking Up Speed This Year17 Jul 2015
A core aspect of my mission as the API Evangelist is to help bring awareness amongst "the normals" of what an API is, as just how ubiquitous they are becoming. While I am excited about the potential of APIs in the hands of the developers, I am increasingly optimistic about the potential of APIs in the hands of non-developers. I think what developers have done with APIs is just the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to the API opportunity.
What developers do with APIs is just one step forward in the evolution of software development and information technology, where APIs in the hands of the average citizen and business person has the potential to actually democratize digital resources--something you hear API developers and providers trumpet. The average individual and business person tend to be much closer to actual problems that need to be solved, rather than just looking to develop an app that reflects a developer's own interests.
I've longed talked about the potential around API reciprocity providers like IFTTT and Zapier, and how they provide valuable services that help the average Internet citizen manage their online, businesses and personal lives. Another similar area of growth in the API space that is fast growing is around using APIs for deploying APIs, as well as being employed as an API client. This is something that is significantly picking up speed with the help of API service providers like Restlet APISpark, and Blockspring.
Using Restlet's APISpark platform, anyone can deploy an API from a Google Spreadsheet, and using Blockspring any user can put the growing number of public and private APIs to work, in the environment that is most familiar to them--the spreadsheet. I'm working with Blockspring to define Swagger definitions for the best public APIs available today, which will significantly increase the momentum around API usage, amongst non-developers.
Think about what the web was like when only developers were using it way back in the day, and what it is like now with EVERYONE using it. Now think about what has happened during the last 10 years with only developers using APIs, now think about the opportunity when EVERYONE is using APIs.