You hear a lot about learning to code in the tech sector. I want to invest more in people “learning to API”. Not just developers, but anyone who wants to understand how to push back a little on the digital word we’ve built for ourselves. I’m not convinced everyone should learn to code, but I am a believer that everyone should learn to API. If you use the web, you should learn to API. To help you in your job. To help you in your hobbies. To help you better understand the physical and online worlds around us. You may never actually write any code against an API, or build an application, but with the growing number of services available today that have APIs, there is no reason why you can’t be putting these APIs to work for you using the wide array of integration opportunities available to developers and non-developers.
There is nothing stopping normal everyday folks from knowing what an API in its most basic form, and understanding that they exist behind all of the desktop, web, mobile, and device applications we use each day. There is no reason average business people can’t move data, content, and media around between the services they use each day. There are plenty of low-code or no-code solutions for putting APIs to work, and there are a growing number of baked in integrations available with the common business and consumer applications we are already using. The only thing stopping people from learning to APIs is the perceived notion that programming is out of their reach, and something that they don’t have have the capacity to understanding, which is a concept perpetuated by a specific class of technological wizards who want to keep this world for our own.
It will be a regular mission of mine to craft blog posts, white papers, and tutorials that help the average business person learn to API. Working hard to reduce the complexity involved with understand what each API does, and the authentication and other aspects involved with putting an API to work. Postman provides me with an amazing opportunity to reach out beyond just the developer community, and build useful collections that help walk them through more meaningful and useful workflows that involve APIs. Shifting the conversation around who participates in the API conversation. And most importantly for me, who gets to wield the value that exists across the growing number of online platforms we are using, simply because we begin to start showing more people where the back door exists to these platforms, allowing you to bypass the normal interfaces and get at the data you desire.
I am aware that most people will not be interested. I get that most people are conditioned to be afraid of the technical details. I also am painfully experienced with the fact that many developers lash out at me when I make these claims, and work harder to on-board non-developers. Over the last nine years I have written about this concept in many different ways, and almost every time I do there are waves of developers who step up to let me know that normal people won’t care, don’t understand, and aren’t smart enough to figure this stuff out. This comes with the territory when trying to on-board folks with technology, but I”m willing to deal with it, as I have over the last nine years. I’m pretty passionate about the fact that for people to have more control in our increasingly digital we are going to have to learn to API. In this mission I’m not advocating any particular API, but I am focusing on possessions a wider awareness that APIs exist and you know how to put them to work without needing a developers. Investing in everyone learning to API.