How to Design a Good API and Why it Matters

Posted in Conferences, Companies, Science, Development on February 26, 2007

Every day around the world, software developers spend much of their time working with a variety of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Some are integral to the core platform, some provide access to widely distributed frameworks, and some are written in-house for use by a few developers. Nearly all programmers occasionally function as API designers, whether they know it or not. A well-designed API can be a great asset to the organization that wrote it and to all who use it. Good APIs increase the pleasure and productivity of the developers who use them, the quality of the software they produce, and ultimately, the corporate bottom line. Conversely, poorly written APIs are a constant thorn in the developer's side, and have been known to harm the bottom line to the point of bankruptcy. Given the importance of good API design, surprisingly little has been written on the subject. In this talk, I'll attempt to help you recognize good and bad APIs and I'll offer specific suggestions for writing good ones.

Google Tech Talks
January 24, 2007

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