Providing Solid Examples That API Consumers Can Learn From Like Slack App
People often learn through example. Before I’d ever consider myself a software engineer, I’d consider myself a reverse software engineer. 93% of what I know has been extracted from the work of others. Even with 7% being of my own creation, it is always heavily influenced by the work of others. People emulate what they know, what they see, and use. This is why as an API provider you should be showcasing best practices, positive examples, and healthy blueprints of what API consumers could (should) be doing.
You can see this in action with Slack’s best practice blueprints page, where they provide six blueprints of applications that API consumers should be learning from. Slack doesn’t just provide a title, description and image of example applications, it is truly a blueprint–providing diagrams, links to documentation, code samples, and other essential knowledge you will need to successfully develop an application on Slack. Providing six solid examples that anyone can reverse engineer to understand how Slack application development could (should) work.
Slack app blueprints is just one component of a pretty sophisticated getting started section offered as part of the Slack API ecosystem. I am adding application blueprint as a building block to my getting started API research, and adding it as a dimension to my API documentation & SDK research–the overlap in these areas seem like it should be strong to me. Coming across Slack app blueprints, and writing this story has reminded me that I also need to write another piece on the Slack ecosystem, and generate an outline of all the building blocks they are using in their API ecosystem, and create an updated blueprint for successful API operations that other API providers can emulate.