Building a scalable, well-designed API is a great start, but if you want developers to use the API, you need to do much more than just release it. “If you build it, they will come” is a common misconception, as evidenced by the many companies that release APIs but do not understand why developers are not rushing to use them.
The profession of building a developer and partner ecosystem is called developer relations. Let’s define what an ecosystem is in the context of a developer platform or an API.
Very much like an ecosystem in nature, a developer ecosystem is a virtual system of members that are collaborating, depending, and sometimes competing on the same platform, technology, or API.
There are many examples of developer ecosystems, and some of the best ones are self-organizing—Google and Android have an amazing developer ecosystem and community; iOS developers flock to meetups and collaborate together; and Microsoft has a strong, multifaceted developer and partner ecosystem.
In this chapter, we discuss what composes ...