Building an API Platform Team requires more than hiring talented employees. You have to hire the right people, give them the best tools, and create a culture of success.
Below, we detail what you need to do to build an API Platform Team that helps your company grow for years.
An API is a powerful tool that lets developers access the data and functionality of another application, helping them work much more efficiently.
With APIs, you can interact with other companies, tools, or even your other applications with no coding required.
You need an API Platform Team if you want your company to grow and thrive.
Otherwise, your developers will waste a lot of time manually finding the APIs they need, integrating them into the code base, and then testing that everything works.
This process will happen over and over, slowing productivity considerably.
Creating this type of team has the benefit of streamlining your entire process.
With much of the work accounted for, your team members focus on writing extra features or improving existing ones—instead of spending countless hours integrating with other applications or tools.
As with any other team, you need to define what each member of your API Platform Team will handle. A lack of clearly defined roles and responsibilities can lead to confusion and reduced efficiency throughout the entire process.
Here are some roles you may need to consider when building your team:
The Product Manager creates the product roadmap and communicates with stakeholders and other teams to keep everyone on task.
They need to have a thorough understanding of your company's business model and current products or services.
The Technical/Solution Architect ensures that the APIs you use are scalable and efficient.
They consider current technology and future technologies to make sure everything will be compatible for a long time.
The Technical/Solution Architect also communicates with other teams, such as your Operations Team or Customer Support Team, so they know what features need development from which APIs.
A Business Analyst works closely with Product Managers to turn their ideas into accurate requirements specifications, user stories, and more.
The Business Analyst ensures that all requirements meet business goals by communicating back and forth between stakeholders and the rest of the API Platform Team members when necessary.
This person needs to understand how different users consume data or interact with each API to create the best user experience possible.
A Developer will develop and integrate APIs into the code base for use by customers or other members of your company.
Developers need to be technically savvy, but they must also understand the business goals of your company.
A Support/Operations member ensures all APIs are up and running as they should be.
They monitor performance, response time, and other critical factors to keep your API Platform healthy.
The support team needs to know how to quickly troubleshoot any issues so no one has a negative experience using an API or product built on top of it.
The Dev Relations role is a more recent addition to the API Platform Team.
This person or group takes a step further with APIs, focusing on community engagement, developer experiences, and product management.
The Dev Relations team member also solicits feedback and creates demos, ensuring users understand each part of an API and what data types or formats it uses.
Sometimes, they assist people interacting with APIs from other companies—often with resources that make their jobs easier.
Writers and editors may not necessarily be on the API team, but they will work closely with them.
They create documentation for internal or external use, write blog posts about new features or events, help create user stories, and handle other necessary tasks that keep your company running smoothly.
A Project Manager can help your API team stay on task and meet deadlines.
This person keeps communication open and efficient to make the development process go smoothly.
They also track all progress individual API team members make, so there are no surprises when it comes time for deliverables or launch dates.
The Tester checks and makes sure that all requirements meet business goals.
They test to make sure things work as expected, without breaking existing functionality or introducing errors into the system.
The Tester also communicates with developers and product managers.
Hence, they know when their API works correctly and what they can improve in future versions of your API Platform.
The ideal API Platform Team is a multi-disciplinary, cross-functional group responsible for building and maintaining APIs at scale.
This includes setting up the architecture, designing documentation, testing the system's quality as it grows over time, and answering questions from developers using their platform.
We hope this guide helps you keep in mind what positions not to miss when aiming to establish a team dealing with API Platform.
More in-depth reading in this regard is needed in order to understand what you need prior to starting your project.
Adservio specializes in digital empowerment for business growth and technical coaching for building API Platform Teams.
If your business needs assistance on building an API Platform Team, contact us for more information and learn how we can help you.