To develop code and arrange programs, developers use multiple skills they’ve learned through training and experience. Application programming interface (API) development skills are essential in app development across multiple devices, databases and servers. Understanding what skills are necessary for API design can help you grow as a web developer. In this article, we discuss the importance of developing API skills and explore a list of important skills for API development.
Why are API development skills important?
API development skills are important because they allow software developers to connect and integrate a variety of programs and systems. In other words, API programming is the gateway intermediary that allows different apps, programs, browsers and extensions to communicate and work together to accomplish different feature goals. For example, a program extension and a browser can work together through API connections to give a user extended features while on the internet, such as translating languages or implementing visual changes, such as a dark mode. Modern programming uses extensive API connections to improve connectivity across different devices, apps and programs.
7 API development skills
Some API development skills that can be useful for many roles in the web development industry include:
1. API design
Understanding how to design API connections between multiple devices can help develop API skills. Both mobile and desktop application developers can benefit from learning API design techniques for each system in order to expand their skills and diversify their capabilities. With API design skills, developers can create interconnected tools, applications and micro-servers across multiple platforms for increased interaction and connectivity.
For example, a software developer can use API design to translate and connect mobile phone operating systems to the media software in vehicles. This can allow users to make calls, answer text messages and change music choices safely while traveling.
2. Cross-platform development
Cross-platform development for applications allows developers to use a single code base across multiple product uses. For example, a cross-platform video game, when developed properly, can sell on multiple platforms without needing extra coding work. Organizations invest in cross-platform capabilities for their applications to reach diverse customer platforms while fulfilling sufficient demand. To help companies achieve these goals, web developers who understand API development can learn to create efficient API programs.
3. Multiple coding languages
Understanding multiple programming languages can also train developers to program for diverse technological needs and customer demands. If a programmer understands different programming languages, they may develop the API skills necessary to build different storage services, automation tools and security features for a server or database.
4. Front-end development
While not all front-end development features API development, understanding how to create an application from the beginning may aid comprehension of API development principles. Many programming standards in modern industries focus on product compatibility during front-end development. Programmers with experience in front-end development may develop their API programming skills more quickly by learning the basic needs of program compatibility.
For example, designing a program for mobile and desktop devices may not require full API compatibility. However, learning to develop software compatibility can help programmers quickly learn the skills necessary for future API developments.
5. API orchestration
Effective API programs create more than cross-platform experiences. They also work with other API programs in an API orchestration process. Programmers who understand API orchestration can develop multiple API code lines at once and make them work together. They can also create API code that works well with other, previously existing lines of API code. Because API orchestration allows developers to create easily adjustable code, recruiters for programming positions may consider API orchestration a valuable addition to a resume.
6. Integration knowledge
Service-oriented architecture (SOA), or integration, can help API developers provide server compatibility with multiple programs and services. Organizations with API specialists who understand integration and differing technology requirements can help develop back-end systems for multiple clients with diversified needs. By understanding integration, programmers can further understand API development and the needs it can fulfill.
Creating API systems helps organizations manage and transfer data through multiple systems and servers. For example, if a company has an API expert who understands integration, they might create a server that manages multiple platforms across different countries, fulfilling needs such as censoring data for country law restrictions or upholding data transfer speed standards.
7. Tool proficiency
There are many tools that can help web developers increase their proficiency in API development. Program editors, database managers and testing tools can help programmers begin large-scale projects and thoroughly test compatibility possibilities. Some of these tools include:
J2EE: J2EE is an extension or plug-in testing tool. Programmers use J2EE to test the compatibility of applications while using different extensions, such as browsers.
TortoiseSVN: TortoiseSVN is a Windows testing tool that helps programmers test products throughout the various stages of development. Programmers can use it to compare different product versions to each other, solve regression issues and make progress in software projects.
MySQL: MySQL is a database adjustment tool programmers use to configure servers, test compatibility and backup database data.
Apache JMeter: Apache JMeter allows programmers to test software, regardless of base code. It can process many programming languages and test behavior outputs and performance limits.
REST: REST is a programming tool that encourages programmers to test architectural style and compatibility with existing web-based services. Programmers can use this tool to test their applications with existing websites in order to document API behavior.
XML: XML editing tools allow programmers to test and develop XML programs. Because many programs may use XML, understanding XML tools and XML itself can help programmers further test compatibility between different programs and develop API skills.
PHP: Programmers use PHP to manage dynamic content, track programming sessions, configure databases and build websites. They can use PHP editing tools with MySQL to test database compatibility and build API skills.
Symfony2: A more streamlined version of PHP, Symfony2 focuses on program architecture and helps programmers update program frameworks. Programmers use Symfony2 to build web applications and test compatibility with existing applications and other websites.
Yii: Yii is a PHP editing tool that allows software developers to build large-scale web applications. Programmers use Yii to test and develop programs efficiently in the front-end building process.
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