Celebrate Your Developers: a Lesson From Mobypicture

Adam DuVander
Mar. 09 2010, 01:47PM EST

If you're looking to run a successful developer program, you should probably pay attention to Mathys van Abbe. He's the founder of Mobypicture, which has just celebrated its 500th developer (our Mobypicture API profile).

Mobypicture isn't exactly a household name and 500 isn't a huge number, so you might not be impressed. But that's still a major accomplishment for any API. That's 500 individuals who have taken valuable time to connect their applications to Mobypicture. Part of the reason has to be the great service van Abbe has built (see the fun video below), but the simple act of celebrating his developers has to have played a big role.

Mathys van AbbeA look through the Mobypicture news section of van Abbe's blog shows an attentive founder. He posts updates several times per month, often highlighting the work of a Mobypictures developer or user.

It probably helps that van Abbe is himself a developer and a big fan of APIs. He calls them the web developer's LEGO:

The API basically lets you do everything that you can do in the online user interface of a site or service, but do it with your own software. This means you can built things on top of other features, databases and tools, like you can with LEGO.

So, we're celebrating Mathys van Abbe, because he's celebrating developers.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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