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Iddo Gino, RapidAPI: “APIs have become fundamental components in modern application development”

As the demand for applications grows, developers turn to APIs to make the app-building process more efficient.

It is safe to say that over the last couple of years, digital transformation has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. These days, one can hardly imagine what it would be like without online shopping or being able to take care of various errands from the comfort of their own home. The increase in application use puts immense pressure on developers. However, our guest today believes that most of the development challenges can be removed with the help of APIs.

To talk about the ins and outs of application development, the team at Cybernews caught up with Iddo Gino, the CEO of RapidAPI – a company making it easier for developers to connect, manage and create APIs.

How did the idea of RapidAPI originate? What has the journey been like since your launch in 2015?

The idea for RapidAPI came about during the hackathons I created while I was in high school. I quickly realized the power of APIs to help participants in the hackathons create amazing apps faster, and initially built RapidAPI, a repository of APIs in a GitHub repo, to help them more rapidly build their applications. This project grew into a company, and the repo became the world’s largest API hub it is today. RapidAPI Hub is used by millions of developers to find, connect to, and manage their APIs and is built to cultivate developer-led adoption. These millions of developers then shared RapidAPI within their teams, creating pockets of RapidAPI adoption in every large company.

Can you tell us a little bit about your API Hub? What are its key features?

RapidAPI is the world’s largest developer experience platform where over 3 million developers discover and connect to APIs, and where the largest companies find, connect to, and manage their internal & external APIs. Larger organizations use a private, customizable version of RapidAPI Hub that is deployed behind the firewall – creating a centralized repository of internal APIs and providing a governance layer for API activity in the organization. RapidAPI supports any API type, including REST, SOAP, GraphQL, and Kafka, and provides an optimized developer experience across the development lifecycle with native integrations to tools such as RapidAPI Client and RapidAPI Testing. Over 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies have teams leveraging RapidAPI already.

What vulnerabilities surrounding APIs do you find the most concerning nowadays?

As companies build out their API strategy and include provisions around API security, one aspect often overlooked is data privacy and security. The advantages that an API strategy brings regarding rapid development and deployment of solutions may be quickly wiped out if data is misused, unsecured, and/or lost. Understanding the data lineage is also essential as data privacy laws gain traction, not only in Europe with the GDPR but in the U.S. as well. With the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), very much like GDPR, organizations need to be able to tell consumers where their data is located, how it’s secured, how it’s being used, and whether or not it is being used for the delivery of the service that was agreed upon.

As organizations task developers with developing APIs that help generate more revenue for the business, cracks in the process can emerge. Attention needs to be paid to how your organization’s APIs are integrating with other cloud providers.

How do you think the recent global events altered your field of work?

As a company, we have the privilege of empowering millions of developers to keep developing the next generation of software. APIs have become fundamental components in modern application development, and a core architectural tenet for digital transformation efforts as organizations look for solutions for creating applications more rapidly. Although the demand for applications is on the rise, the number of developers available in the market will remain fixed in the foreseeable future, creating a huge developer gap. With fewer developers, there is more reliance on APIs. In fact, in 2022 alone, RapidAPI’s recent developer survey indicates that 68.4% of developers are expecting to use even more APIs in 2022 than in previous years.

Another societal gap that has become more prevalent in the push for digitalization is that customers have come to expect a level of integration and automation between the software and services they consume. As an example, when you make an online purchase, you expect that every online store will offer Apple Pay. When booking a reservation on your favorite airline, you expect that vaccine and COVID requirements will be part of your booking experience. Consumers expect software to work more tightly together – forcing developers to use a lot more APIs.

In your opinion, which industries should be especially attentive when it comes to application security?

Every company in every industry should be equally concerned about application security, however, there are certain industries that have more complex regulatory requirements (healthcare, etc.) that necessitate additional layers of compliance and governance.

What are the best practices companies should follow when developing and when launching software?

  1. Work in a “spiral” – start with an MVP and iterate continuously (expanding outwards)
  2. Premature optimization is the source of all evil
  3. “Oscam Razor” The simpler architecture usually wins
  4. Don’t reinvent the wheel – use tooling / open source / APIs where possible
  5. Think in composable pieces – everything is an API

Why do you think companies often hesitate to try out new and innovative solutions that would enhance their business operations?

Resistance to change is common because implementing new solutions requires putting in the time and effort to learn and properly utilize software that can move the business forward. From onboarding to training to the investment itself, the change can feel overwhelming. But, if vetted thoroughly, the ROI can be well worth the short-term hurdles.

What does the future hold for RapidAPI?

We’ll be using our new round of funding to continue building out more API functionality to enhance the development lifecycle. RapidAPI is working on building a connected developer experience for developers by creating a platform and developer tools that enable developers to use RapidAPI across their entire API journey from creation to collaboration to monetization. We are continuing to add the tools and capabilities that will allow all developers, whether an individual or part of a larger enterprise organization, to use APIs to accelerate software development, create APIs to share functionality and data between different systems, and expose APIs as products to customers and partners to drive new revenue streams and business relationships.

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