Few thought of the needs of the people who build and manage developer programs when we started working with developer communities back in 2000. But with “apps” now on the lips of every smartphone buyer—and every executive trying create a sustainable advantage—we thought it odd that more than ten years later there wasn’t a way for people creating and managing developer efforts to learn from one another and get objective information to help them make their efforts more successful.
As result, after talking with colleagues and clients who are deeply involved with developer programs around the world, we decided to create Developer Think Tank.
Here are a few of the reasons why we believe that developers and developer programs will only get more important:
- The types of companies launching developer programs continue to expand far beyond what we’ve seen even in the recent past. This is especially true of companies that face tremendous pressure from the web, ranging from The New York Times to Best Buy. In these cases and many more, the decision to make an API available and to engage with developers was a major strategic initiative with senior level support in the organization.
- The number of APIs is growing exponentially. John Musser (@johnmusser), founder of Programmable Web (@programmableweb), summarized the exponential growth of APIs in a recent presentation:
- The use of APIs is extraordinary, with the most popular receiving billions of a calls per day (Twitter, Google, and Facebook), and many others receiving billions of call per month (including Netflix and ebay). If you’re working with one of these companies, you’re probably using their API. If you’re competing with them, you’re probably working to improve the attractiveness of your API and of your developer program.
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About the Author: Issues and insights from developer program leaders.