As enterprises embrace the value that APIs can bring to both internal and external processes, a new role in enterprise has emerged, according to a post by David Goldberg on the Apiary blog. The rise of the API designer can drive an API-first culture, but there are obstacles that stand in the way.
Firstly, the legacy infrastructure must shift away from centralised consistency towards distributed autonomy and usability. But to achieve this, legacy culture must be altered. Implementing a new, separate culture parallel to the existing one will allow an incremental shift towards API-first thinking.
With these issues addressed, it is important to focus on the vision of the business and represent that in the APIs while ensuring that there is a tight feedback loop involving the developers who will be using the APIs that are being built. With this structure in place, the API designer can begin working.
This work includes implementing best practices and patterns for modern API design and developer experience, and introducing tooling and design practices into the company. The API designer must also create documentation, tutorials, code libraries and sample code of an appropriately high standard for the enterprise.
Finally, there must be considered work with API developers to overcome the challenges of working with the legacy architecture. With enough time and support, success for the API designer in this challenging role can play a major role in the performance of the enterprise as a whole.