Modern CTOs must capitalize on today’s global connectedness if they wish to succeed, according to Minda Zetlin’s recent interview with Mulesoft CTO Uri Sarid for The Enterprisers Project. According to Sarid, one of the most important steps in this process is treating outside developers like end-users, taking their needs and practices into account, and creating APIs right from the start.
An important factor in this is specifying which tasks your software will handle and which tasks you are opening up to third-party developers. The decision to “build or buy” must be made early on and carried out with the CMO and the rest of the executive team involved. This allows you to strip away peripheral features and offer only the basic functions, which reduces development time.
With more freedom to create on top of what you have already built, developers are more likely to get involved. The idea of doing less but offering more also gives users the power to decide which features are more important and should be incorporated next — all of this adds value to everybody involved.
To make your API more attractive to developers, it must be accessible. It needs to be easy to extend and embed, with real-world examples of its applications and comprehensive SDKs for ease of use. This follows the open source idea that when everybody works together, everybody benefits.
This leaves CTOs with the responsibility to keep up to date with trending technologies, industries, and ideas and to know when to follow the crowd. However, they will also need to know when to step out of the crowd and differentiate their company by doing things differently.