While there are a lot of talks and blogposts about APIs and the importance of an API’s Developer eXperience, most are about public API products. And while a lot of the best practices for API products are also applicable to private APIs, there are significant differences in the circumstances and trade-offs they need to make. The most important difference is probably in their budgets: as potential profit centers, API products can afford to invest a lot more money in documentation and UX driven developer portal improvements. Internal APIs rarely have that luxury.

In this talk Kristof explains the differences between public and private APIs, introduce upstream developer experience, and explain how it can improve downstream DX. Introduce experience design (a.k.a. gamification) and Innersourcing (open sourcing practices behind the firewall) and describe how they could be used on internal developer portals.

This presentation was recorded at the Austin API Summit 2018. CC-BY-ND Pronovix.



About the author

Kristof van Tomme

CEO, Co-founder

Kristof Van Tomme is an open source strategist and architect. He is the CEO and co-founder of Pronovix. He’s got a degree in bioengineering and is a regular speaker at conferences in the API, DevRel, and technical writing communities. For a few years now he’s been building bridges between the documentation and Drupal community. He is co-organiser of the London Write the Docs meetup, and cheerleader for the Amsterdam and Brussels Write the Docs meetup groups. This year he is working on a number of new initiatives to help API product owners learn from their peers (API the Docs and the API product owner masterminds).