What Makes an API Tutorial Good?

Good API Tutorial

Newbie developers need to learn many things, and one of them has to be API development. There are many books, videos and paid tutorials that promise to teach newbie developers how to make their own APIs. However, what distinguishes the good from the bad or even the best? How do you know if a YouTube tutorial is any better than one on Udemy which charges you $20? Also, does it teach you how to use a REST API design and planning tool?

api tutorial

Choose Your Development Language

Have you any experience developing with Java? I admit it isn’t a colossal prerequisite but since most APIs are heavily dependent on the internet and that means browsers knowing Java gives you a huge edge over the competition. Also, that means developing a REST API is a lot simpler when you’re using Java. So, if you don’t know Java, now would be an excellent time to learn.

 

Work on Examples

Many people think that watching a video is good enough for them. That video has perhaps allowed them to master REST API development when in fact they are barely scratching the surface. The key to learning any API development is to work through a set of examples, mess with it as much as you can. Also try tinkering with opensource APIs, many of which can be found on Github. Also, moving forward we’d advise joining an opensource community so you can learn while lending a helping hand on API development projects.

 

Document and Explain

Even for someone who is just learning the ropes knowing how an API works is critical but equally important is documenting it. Every API ever developed needs to be documented, and it’s not just because it helps the developer but also people who decided to use the API. Practicing documentation is a huge part of learning how to develop an API which many people overlook and pay for dearly in the long term.

Make sure that you understand documentation best practices before moving forward. Then make sure that your documentation meets those best practices in every possible way.

 

Only Trust Industry Gurus

You should only learn API development from the very best. If a YouTuber is a known expert, then listen and learn from them. However, why would an expert put in hundreds of hours to create a tutorial for free?  That’s right most won’t because it takes time and effort. Those that do will charge for it. That’s why you should stick with known sources of great tutorials online like Udemy.

 

Take Your Time

There is nothing particularly easy or difficult about API development. However, the right approach is to always learn by taking your time. Even if you have a job with kids, a few hours a day practising with a good tutorial is all you need to become good at API development. That’s something we’ve learned from our years of experience as developers.

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Author: lamsheep 24

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