Should API training be restricted to developers only?

APIs are not just a technology solution that require training for developers, they drive many aspects of the business strategy. In fact, companies are using APIs to extend their core product offerings through partner integrations and even complete products and services.

So, why are most API training workshops focused only on developers and not the full product team?

Do Entire Product Teams Want API Training?

As we started to build out our first API training workshop, we wanted to ensure that every role within a software development team was included: developers, QA, product owners, ScrumMasters, and business executives. We believed that teams would benefit from being able to understand APIs and speak the same language. We thought that if everyone on the team understood the basics of modern web API principles and design, that teams would be able to work together to accelerate the creation of new internal, partner, and public APIs. Based on recent feedback, our focus on cross-team training was the right decision.

Over the last few months, we have been putting this course to work for a variety of development teams across the country. We have been teaching teams the fundamentals of HTTP and REST. We have been demonstrating the value of a great API design. We have been engaging students in interactive API modeling and design exercises meant to help every team member understand the process and value of great API design. The results have been eye-opening.

The Result of Cross-Training Teams on API Fundamentals

The result has been feedback like the following:

  • Executives who are able to leverage API initiatives to offer strategic partner integrations and new revenue opportunties
  • Product owners who can now work with customers and internal stakeholders to better prioritize API consumer needs
  • ScrumMasters who are able to optimize team planning and integrate API modeling and design sessions to improve their team’s effectiveness and their overall contribution to the resulting business value
  • Mobile Developers, Web Developers, Technical Writers, and QA teams are able to collaborate and integrate faster, reducing the API time-to-market

Whether you are building an API-as-a-Product or simply adding an API to an existing product, a modern web API is more than just a technology. It requires every team members to understand, discuss, and improve the API products for the business. Note that it doesn’t require everyone on the team to be able to implement APIs, only to be able to converse about them to ensure the right business value is created.

The Entire Team Should Be Trained in API Design Fundamentals

So, no matter if you are building a web API simply to solve an integration problem, or plan to build an API product, ensure that your entire team is trained on how to model, design, build, and support your API program. Doing so will ensure your API provides, and continues to provide, business value for you, your integration partners, and your customers.

Want to learn more about our latest workshop?
Review our course overview and then contact us to schedule a conversation about how we can help your team accelerate your API program.