Building Developer Communities

This is a cross post from PaymentsAPI.com. I rarely cross post…but this presentation is important to watch and something I will be discussing in the next several posts.

If the Messages From The Edge series is about translating, and communicating, the requirements of the software development community…then, perhaps, you will allow me a bit of leeway in interpretation in this post.

What does it truly “mean” when someone states they have developed an “API strategy”? What do you actually desire from exploring Open APIs for Payments?

In some situations it is a “me too” response to industry trends. In others, there is a desire to enable innovation through partnership with the software development community.

But the “API” is solely the tool that is leveraged…the purpose, and desire, is to build a community of developers who desire to leverage the tool.

Every month (or two), IP Commerce hosts an API Meetup with our partners at Apigee. This event gathers developers, business folk, service providers, API providers, API tool companies, etc. to discuss API and Platform topics that the community finds interesting. Subsequently, we post video and content at www.APIMeetup.com to ensure the widest possible audience is able to benefit from these conversations.

In the most recent session, Abraham Williams (a hacker advocate) gave an extremely interesting talk entitled Please Feed the Unicorns.

The video and slides, below, provide a concrete, honest, and practical guide on engaging with and scaling a developer community.

I encourage you to monitor the API Meetup property. Understanding the perspectives of the most important consumer of the API, the software community, ensures that your API strategy moves beyond the “me too” stage and into a productive, growth component of your future business.

Answerly from API Meetup on Vimeo.

March 30, 2011

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