API-Centric Development in Non-API Company

Badoo is a dating site without public API. How come we have several full-time API designers? Bureaucracy. When the size of development team increases in an explosive fashion there has to be something that keeps the company from actually exploding. In our case that was the API documentation and subsequently formed API architect team. We started by just cataloging API requests and responses format. Think Swagger. Then we started documenting the most tricky interactions using examples and prose. Then we thought less tricky parts are also worth mentioning. A year passes — and now we have a unified catalogue of all the features in our own and our partner’s products with a detailed description of how they interact and work. This documentation simplifies the development for server, web and mobile developers. We always know how everything works in our product. And adding new features is now easy because of templates and the ability to fully comprehend how everything existing works. As a result the company grows instead of exploding. In my talk I’ll cover our journey to mobile architect teams and API documentation and try to highlight the best things about our process that you might be able to reuse in your company.

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