Many newbie developers get into API development mainly because it is part of their learning process. However, API development is complex and while there are many books and online videos about design principles and best practices the best method of learning is from the experiences of other developers. That said you can’t just resort to watching a Udemy or YouTube video, but rather it needs to be one that’s stimulating and easy to understand. That said below are a couple of pointers which should help you find the right API tutorial.
Choose Your Development Language
Are you familiar with Java development? Even though it isn’t a huge prerequisite but it still is an important one. Most people find that developing a REST-API using Java is easier and so for the most part tutorials will focus on this language. That said if you don’t know Java and have no intentions of putting in the effort to learn it then Stoplight.io can help with API development. But there are other languages in which APIs can be developed, but they aren’t easy.
Work Through Example Videos
Even though watching a tutorial will give you an excellent idea as to how development works you’re not going to learn anything until the examples are used. You need to work on the examples yourself. Many websites have example code which you can play around with, and it would also be worth exploring open source platforms like Github. These will help you walk through the process of creating a simple API.
Practice API Documentation
Now documentation is a big part of API development. Even if you’re just learning how a particular API works you also need to learn how to document it. APIs need to be well documented because in the wild they are as good as their documentation. Except for Facebook, there isn’t a poorly documented API which is successful. So, documentation is up to you, and it pays to start early as its easier to complete along with the API. However, familiarize yourself with documentation best practices. There are documentation tutorials which go over how to properly document a commercial or public use API. The documentation isn’t difficult but is tedious.
YouTube is one source of API development tutorials but isn’t the best option as anyone can upload a tutorial there. Most are also not as good as they should be and so it will confuse more than explain. Also, if the tutorial is trying to sell you something like a service or a book they will not teach you anything. Even an hour-long tutorial is a waste of time.
Udemy is a better place to find tutorials. These tutorials on creating and documenting APIs are professionally made by professional developers. Find the highest rated tutorial and watch that. The more experience the person has, the more you can trust that the tutorial will deliver value.
API Development Can be Easy
API development is complex depending on the route you take. However, it can be easier if you have some background of development and software design. Furthermore, you can assure yourself of it being easier by breaking down what you learn into parts which are spread over several weeks. Learning API development whether it be REST or SOAP also requires an understanding of the right tools. However, once you are able to develop quality APIs, it isn’t just good for your career but is also a great way to spread the word about a business. For many developers, API development is the source of their financial wellbeing.