Developer engagement presents a unique set of challenges for any organization. Developers are a demanding and scrupulous audience who are instrumental to the success of any API initiative, yet attracting and retaining them can be an allusive proposition. Even the best-designed APIs can fail to gain traction with developers. With an estimated 100,000 private APIs and over 10,000 open APIs in the market, it’s only going to get more difficult for companies to attract the best developers to their API.
But it’s not just about making developers happy; this is a two-way street. Companies succeed with their developers succeed. Many of the most iconic and fastest-growing brands of the last half-decade owe their most recent wave of achievement, in part, to developers who helped proliferate their content across new distribution channels. The majority of API platform value for a business is driven by internal developer adoption of private, or closed, APIs. Although private APIs are solely consumed inside an organization, the API program still depends on internal developers to achieve success.
Reaching and incentivizing developers to engage with a company’s API requires a multi-pronged approach:
- Host hackathons that empower developers to be successful
- Implement best practices in attracting internal developers to use your API
- Provide rich developer tools to save developers time and provide insight
- Be transparent in the terms and conditions related to your API