Working as a developer isn’t easy, but it shouldn’t be impossible, either. When clients make outrageous demands or project timelines get tight, APIs help developers deliver impressive results while saving time. Creators of APIs take time to optimize their creations as much as possible. This leads to better results than developers could accomplish on their own with limited resources, experience, and time.
Every niche of software development includes a few specific APIs most developers in those fields should already know. However, an API meant to help high-level financial analysis probably won’t help a frontend developer creating a new website for a freelance photographer.
Some APIs are worth knowing no matter what your specialty, though. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, keep these top APIs for developers in mind:
Video content is all the rage, and for good reason. Visitors to your site love content they don’t have to read themselves. Hosting videos on your own server is rarely a good idea, though, so YouTube’s API makes it easy for anyone to add video players to a website. You can even play with different customization settings or import data to give your video content that best-in-class look without hours of effort.
After remote work took over the world in 2020, Slack conversations became more common than voice conversations, at least for some. Slack’s API offers a host of helpful features to developers. Build a Slackbot, automate workflows, or integrate your own app into Slack easily and quickly. If your team needs to use niche tools or functions regularly, create your own slash commands to make collaboration simple.
Dolby.io, an API platform coming out of Dolby, offers two different APIs for developers: the Interactivity APIs and the Media Processing APIs. The Interactivity APIs enable developers to add hi-definition video and crystal clear spatial audio to any application. This technology is especially popular in telehealth, collaboration, live events, support, and eLearning applications. The Media Processing APIs eliminate manual processing of audio by automatically improving audio quality, and offering detailed audio insights that describe the quality, scenes, and sounds within your media content.
Twitter is one of the biggest platforms for conversations in the world. With so many people saying things, engaging on Twitter can benefit your business, political organization, or anyone else with a website. All social media platforms have their own APIs, but Twitter’s API is easier to get into than most others.
Smartphones made the internet mobile. The mobile internet allows for people to find location-specific data on a variety of topics. The Google Maps API can help you do almost everything related to location development, like delivering location-based search results or creating paths for users. Google Maps includes many smaller APIs under one umbrella. Therefore, you should consider which ones would best suit your needs.
Anyone who cares about website traffic should be familiar with the Google Analytics APIs. Integrating Google Analytics into your site allows you to track and understand visitor behavior. This in turn allows you to optimize your site for conversions. It can also help you understand your growth rates and identify your best traffic sources. Even if you aren’t selling anything on your site, integrating Google Analytics is a great way to learn more about who your visitors are their needs.
IBM Watson helps developers enjoy the power of AI without the headache of creating one from scratch. Use the IBM Watson API to explore natural language processing, or if you have more visual goals, try Watson’s visual ID tools. You likely can’t beat the machine at trivia, so why not let it work for you instead?
Storage and retrieval speed are essential for any application with users. The more files you have, the more flexible and reliable you need your storage solution to be. Amazon S3 has all manner of helpful features, including cost-effective classes, easy controls, helpful analytics, and a ton of third-party support. No matter what you build, if it stores files, Amazon S3 can help you build it better.
In 2021, Stripe dominates the payment processing landscape because of its simplicity. The Stripe API is helpful and intuitive, the documentation is accessible, and the product holds up to high security standards necessary for financial transactions. Once you get familiar with the API, you can automate communications as well to save even more time.
Depending on your industry, these are only a few of the APIs you should know, but they’re a great start for developers of all types. Take some time to explore new ways to automate your workflows or offer better features for your customers. The more you learn and grow, the more opportunities you will find to expand your capabilities.