Glitch Is Where You Will Learn The Essential Human Side Of Operating Your API
14 Nov 2017
The biggest deficiency I see in the world of APIs is an ability to understand the human side of what we are all doing. The space is dominated by men, and people who have an understanding of, and deep belief in technology, over that of humans. The biggest problems APIs face across their life cycle is humans, and increasingly one of the biggest threats to humans is an API (ie. Twitter API automation & harassment, IoT device exploitation, Facebook advertising, etc.) APIs encounter human friction because their creators didn’t anticipate the human portion of the equation, and APIs often get used against humans because their creators again didn’t anticipate human nature, and how people might use their technology for doing harmful things.
I rarely see folks in the API sector focusing on the human side of the equation, but I am pleasantly surprised to see a constant drumbeat coming out of Glitch, “the friendly community where you’ll build the app of your dreams.” Glitch is a platform where API consumers can remix apps that use APIs, and API providers can engage with API consumers who are building and remixing interesting things. Glitch has been on my list to write about more, and is something I’ll be using, and focusing more time on in future posts, but I wanted to just highlight how much focus is spent on the human side of the API world over at Glitch.
Take a look at the articles coming out of the Glitch blog, Dev Rel success requires an ongoing connection to a community of peers, and Dev Rel must be supported with ongoing investment in professional development–all part of the ongoing stories around a Developer Bill of Rights, which Glitch has been very vocal about, emphasizing the importance of the human aspects of doing APIs and building applications. Which is the first startup I’ve seen come along that is investing so much energy into discussing what really makes all of this actually work.
The core of Glitch is all about building apps. Which is the same core objective of API providers. However, as you begin to spend time there, you begin to learn a lot more about developer relations (dev rel), and the focus on applications just becomes part of the conversation. They do a great job to identify the human elements of building applications, and delivering meaningful things for not just humans, but humans at large organizations. There is talk of working with marketing and sales, and helping developers and API providers not forget about the little meaningful details that can make or break your API efforts. I’m going to spend some time building an app on Glitch, and remix using some of what is already there. I found I’ve learned a lot on their blog, and I am interested in learning more about what they are bringing to the community.