Software developer resource service, AirPair, today announced that 17 new API providers have been added to their trusted partners network. AirPair provides line-by-line code support from leading API developers, using the ‘pair programming’ mentoring technique. The new partnerships mean that AirPair customers will have one-to-one access to some of the most highly skilled API developers working with today’s most popular APIs. Jonathon Kresner, CEO and Co-founder, talked to ProgrammableWeb about how how the service creates benefits for both API providers and developer-consumers.
“We are becoming a centralized hub where you can speak with experts,” Jonathon Kresner, CEO and Co-founder of AirPair told ProgrammableWeb prior to today’s partnership announcement. The AirPair service model is based on the agile software development technique, pair programming. In a pair programming approach, two developers work side-by-side, line-by-line, to write and error check new code.
Today, AirPair has announced that 17 new API providers are opening up access to their best developer-consumers to provide support to AirPair customers. The new API providers join 18 already participating in the program (Stripe, Evernote, Sendgrid, Twilio, Tokbox and Algolia to name a few), who represent some of the most widely used open APIs across all industries.
How the Mentorship Model Works
Say a startup wants to use PayPal’s API in their commercial product. They can use AirPair to locate a developer with a track record in successfully building applications and solutions using PayPal’s API. Through AirPair, this expert developer then works with the startup — via video chat sessions, for example — to go through the planned API integration and help ensure the code being developed is best practice and performant.
“The benefit is the speed-to-insight,” Kresner says. “Customers get to realize the full potential of the API, and find it much simpler to integrate. So the AirPair customer gets the functionality they need, and the expert developer gets a commission from the AirPair platform: they get paid for their knowledge.”
All sessions are recorded so that the AirPair customer can review the code discussions afterwards, and extra feedback is provided to help ensure API developer-consumers are on track with their projects.
Kresner sees multiple benefits for the API providers who have joined the trusted partnership network. In many cases, it is the API providers who know who are their top community evangelists, and can now use AirPair to offer these developers a new revenue stream. It is also a way for API providers to give extra kudos to the leaders in their developer community by acknowledging their expertise status.
The availability of the service may also have a multiplier effect: ideally bringing in new qualified leads of developer-consumers who will make use of the partner's API and, with adequate support, become long-term API customers. “Our plan is to give visibility to our partners, and in that way this is a lead generation for them,” confirms Kresner.
List of Partners
The new API providers involved in the service are:
- Blossom IO
PayPal’s Developer Evangelist Cristiano Betta is enthusiastic about the potential of the service:
“I wish I had something like AirPair when I was running my own startups, and I know that PayPal’s experts on AirPair will prove to be an invaluable resource to any businesses out there.”
More API providers are expected to continue coming on board.
Pair programming still faces some controversy in terms of demonstrating its' effectiveness, with some studies showing substantial cost-benefit savings while others calculated a more modest effect. One of the main concerns is the additional costs: basically, it is equivalent to having two developers working on the same project instead of one. However, these upfront development costs often have greater investment value, as the code developed under a pair programming methodology are 70-85% less prone to errors.
For API developer-consumers looking to integrate a third party API into their commercial application or solution, or into a process that will use the API integration to help them make better business decisions, having this support at the start of a new API consumption project may be a strong investment for the longer term. AirPair have documented their work with Pivotal Labs to articulate the benefits that pair programming has brought to that software development consulting company.
AirPair provides a range of mentoring and expert support services that can be used by API developer-consumers. In addition to the trusted partner network, AirPair also offers code reviews, training and specific problem-solving mentoring.
By Mark Boyd. Mark is a freelance writer focusing on how we use technology to connect and interact. He writes regularly about API business models, open data, smart cities, Quantified Self and e-commerce. He can be contacted via email, on Twitter, or on Google+.