Are You Being Transparent With Your API Infrastructure To Attract Top Talent Like Netflix Is
08 Sep 2016
I consider Netflix to be the most successful API failure ever. Even though their public is completely private, exclusively for internal and partner uses, they are still very transparent and open with how they operate and open up the code behind. The reason behind this is simple, and self-serving, but is one that I can get behind 100%--making sure they are hiring the best developer talent, that reflects the company culture.
You see always see these motivations present in the closing paragraphs of their blog posts: "If you are interested in helping us tackle this and other equally interesting challenges, come join us! We are hiring for several different roles." I've also had this discussion with Daniel Jacobson (@daniel_jacobson), the VP of Edge Engineering at Netflix (responsible for API and Playback), where he was pretty clear about preferring the type of developer who isn't afraid that the story of what their building will be public on the blog, and their code published openly to Github.
When you think about this a little, it is such an important way to set the stage when it comes to API talent searches, and for your HR operations. An API-centric company regularly publishes overviews of their architecture, with supporting stories of the challenges and triumphs along the way, as well as the open sourcing of as much of your code as possible on Github. Now, as an API-centric developer looking for my next role, I can review the history of the companies architecture, look through and even fire up and use a significant portion of the code behind this architecture--all before I sit down for my first interview. #Brilliant
The transparency that APIs can bring to the table for companies, organizations, institutions, and government agencies can come in many shapes and sizes--sometimes good, and sometimes bad. Using a public API as a developer talent honeypot is nothing new--API providers have been doing this for a while. However, there aren't many examples publicly traded companies who are sharing stories and code of their internal API operations as a way to attract, and potentially pre-qualify / filter top talent. Just one more thing to consider as you are planning your API strategy this year.