Claim Your Territory with New APIs by Building Code Samples
15 Apr 2011We are witnessing some tremendous growth in the number of new Web APIs. ProgrammableWeb, for example, added 1000 new APIs to its directory over the last year.
Many of these APIs are brand new and have very few code samples or libraries to go with them.
These new APIs represent a huge opportunity for developers to stake a claim within these communities -- to build their portfolios and their resumes.
Recently Google released their Google Cloud Print Services Interface. The only thing available was some documentation describing the handful of API endpoints for managing printers and print jobs.
I went to work trying to understand Google's vision of cloud printing, and I wrote a simple PHP class for working with Google Cloud Print. I published on Github and Google Code and blogged about my work.
By creating a PHP class for Google Cloud Print I established myself as an early mover in the space, and I attracted attention to my work. Even Google noticed and someone from Google contacted me.
Since Google Cloud Print was so new, and they are actively encouraging community participation, there was an opportunity for me establish a presence.
Many API providers are taking a similiar community-driven approach to building their API code samples and libraries. Within these communities, there are windows of opportunities for developers to claim their territory, get a little of the spotlight, while building their portfolios and resumes along the way.