Google Hangouts For Bringing Your API Developer Team Out Of Their Silo
12 Feb 2014
I did a Google Hangout with the Cashtie API development team this morning, which I thought was an interesting enough format to share with all of you. The Cashtie API team is a distributed team, between the corporate headquarters in Atlanta, Ukraine and Brazil. I’m working on ways to help Cashtie with their API strategy, and wanted to get to know the team—what better way than using Google Hangout.
While the call started with an introduction to the team, my goal was to spend some time walking through the Cashtie API with them, showing what I see, as a newbie to the developer area. Since I am a developer, I know how easy it is to be too close to the code, and you can miss some obvious things that may confuse API developers you are targeting. I shared my desktop in the Google Hangout, then walked through what I saw on the homepage, what the on-boarding process was like, and worked my way through their developer area, discussing their approach to delivering a dashboard, account settings, support, blog, and other areas of their API strategy.
Alongside this walk-through I had other browser tabs open with the developer areas of Twilio, SendGrid, Gitub, and Stripe, comparing the building blocks these API leaders employ, with the building blocks the Cashtie team used. This really helps the team understand how other APIs, who potentially have more resources, and have been at this game longer, have deployed their own developer programs.
This type of Google Hangout is something I will do regularly with the Cashtie API team (maybe others), hoping to expand their horizon when it comes to API deployment, bringing them out of their developer silo. This is one of the biggest problems I encounter with API development teams as I make my evangelist rounds--developers are often entrenched with their views and practices, because they never really are forced out of their bubble. Most developers, once you help them see a larger picture, will improve their approach to delivering their APIs, developer area, setting a much better tone for API operations.