API Basics

3 Skills Developers Need for an API-Driven World

Trying to stand out from the crowd when looking for a software developer job can be a daunting task. The key is to not only add new skills to your repertoire but ensure that those skills are on the cutting edge in today’s highly interconnected digital world. So, what is the key to development bliss?

The foundation for how most software is built today and technology that is transforming the way we interact with the world are APIs (Application Program Interfaces). At its simplest form, an API serves as a gateway into an application, allowing other applications and services to connect, interact and exchange data.

The connectivity and integration enabled by APIs mean it has become essential for modern digital businesses across industries like banking and telecommunications, and even in social and community-oriented projects – Roatan Marine Park and Caritas Internationalis are a few of the many organizations using APIs and mobile apps to accommodate and complement our increasingly digital lives.

From a developer’s perspective, APIs are a key component in enabling software developers to tap into other existing applications and web services – such as Google Maps or Yelp – and leverage their functionality.

The developers that make it in modern-day engineering organizations aren’t those who demonstrate expertise in a single programming language or have multiple years of experience in building rigid enterprise software. Rather, today’s API-driven companies are looking for flexible and dynamic engineers who can push the envelope and drive innovation across technology stacks.

Although developing in today’s API-driven world is now easier than ever, thanks to tools like Axway’s API Builder, there are still a few general skills we recommend for aspiring software developers:

1 – Design for an Increasingly Connected World

With the explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile devices, and the adoption of the cloud that create an interconnected web of tools, applications, and microservices, developers need to design with multiple interfaces and platforms in mind.

For example, connected cars and their infotainment and telematics systems are a new use case in today’s connected landscape. To keep up with these trends, developers should build upon their ability to take a solution vision and create efficient and well-designed APIs that breathe life into that vision. In addition to understanding APIs, developers who want to succeed in an interconnected world must have a solid grasp of big data analytics, security, mobile, and cloud.

2 – Understand the Advantages of Cross-Platform Applications

Cross-platform apps are increasing in popularity by allowing developers to develop and maintain one code base. Organizations choose cross-platform apps to cater to a diverse customer base and to be efficient while keeping up with customer and business demands. By using tools like AMPLIFY Titanium SDK, enterprises around the world are developing cross-platform apps available for iOS, Android, and Windows mobile devices.

A key benefit of building cross-platform apps with Titanium is that developers can leverage their JavaScript web development skills, making it easier to start strongly. Developers take advantage of the performance characteristics of native device features and the ease of development with a single programming language. Read more on cross-platform app development using Titanium here: Supporting Multiple Platforms in a Single Codebase.

3 – Learn the Lingo: Be Fluent in Multiple Coding Languages and Cloud Platforms

As previously mentioned, today’s interconnected world encompasses a myriad of technologies like cloud, mobile, IoT, and the web. In order to excel in developing applications in any of these areas, it will require experience with multiple coding languages and paradigms. Whether it’s Java, Python, JavaScript, or Node.js, this level of flexibility empowers a developer to think outside of the box and attack problems in new and innovative ways.

Knowledge of different storage services, security features, and automation tools makes developers full-stack developers and nimble enough to apply the best technology needed for the job. By gaining this level of proficiency across many software products and tools, developers can maintain a competitive edge and serve as a valuable asset for different companies.

Closing Remarks: It Starts With a Solid Foundation

Whether it’s a mobile application, smart home device interface, or an enterprise mobile application, the need for quality developers has never been stronger. Of course, there is more to being a rock star developer than these three elements. But developing these core skills should serve as a solid foundation to build upon and put you on track to a long and productive career as a developer in an API-driven, interconnected world.

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