IDK Is Always The First Step To API Integration
20 Jun 2017
I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what technology does. I read press releases, pitch emails, documentation, and marketing materials trying to get an idea of what is possible. While many of the APIs I come across are intuitive, and just make sense there is still a significant portion of them that leave me scratching my head regarding what it even does.
As developers, it can be easy to think about the SDKs you will need to support API integration with your API, but I think you are making a lot of assumptions about your consumers when you focus your initial energy here. The first step in any API integration begins with IDK and not the SDK. When a potential API consumer comes across your API, the first question to be answered is: what does this API do? If the answer is I Don’t Know (IDK), we have a problem. A problem no amount of SDKs will solve, no matter how many languages you create them in.
Every API begins with an IDK. What does the Twilio API do? What does the Stripe API do? The answer to this initial question for your API cannot be IDK! As soon as I read your press release, land on the home page of your developer area, I should know what your API does in 5 seconds or less. If I walk away from our first interaction with an IDK, the chances I’ll be coming back are pretty slim. Make sure you always address the IDK, before you get to work on your SDK, for your API(s).