Understanding APIs - Application Programming Interfaces

Cole Mercer
A free video tutorial from Cole Mercer
Head of Academy @ Semrush | Ex- Lead PM @ SoundCloud
4.6 instructor rating • 5 courses • 172,878 students

Learn more from the full course

Become a Product Manager | Learn the Skills & Get the Job

The most complete course available on Product Management. 13+ hours of videos, activities, interviews, & more

12:52:00 of on-demand video • Updated December 2021

  • Understand the varying role of a Product Manager through different types and sizes of companies
  • Decide which type of Product Manager best fits one's goals and personality
  • Understand the Product Lifecycle and how it applies to every product
  • Understand the modern Product Development Process that both Fortune 500s and Startups adhere to
  • Know how to identify ideas worth pursuing and dedicating resources to
  • Understand how to get at the root of customer pain points
  • Understand and communicate customer pain by type and frequency
  • Assess the core problem of a product
  • Find and compare competitors and competing products
  • Differentiate between Direct, Indirect, Substitute, and Potential competitors
  • Understand the process of Customer Development and how it relates to being a Product Manager
  • How to find potential interviewees for product interviews, user tests, and exploratory interviews
  • How to structure and run a customer interview
  • How to model interview questions correctly while avoiding bias
  • Navigate the four different types of customer interviews
  • Find potential interviewees both internally and externally
  • Write emails that will get users and potential customers to respond
  • Build user personas based on both qualitative and quantitative data
  • Understand the difference between a wireframe, a mockup, and a prototype
  • Sketch out a wireframe with just a pen and paper
  • Use Balsamiq to create wireframes at an intermediate level
  • Use a sketch system called POP for digitizing product sketches
  • Create specs for epics and user stories
  • Properly apply acceptance criteria
  • Run a variety of MVP experiments, such as pitch experiments, redirects, shadow buttons, and more
  • Correctly evaluate which product metrics to track and which to ignore
  • Apply the AARRR framework to your product
  • Apply the HEART framework to your product
  • Track your metrics using a variety of software
  • Create a product and feature roadmap
  • Create a product backlog and properly prioritize features
  • Calculate team velocity and build estimations for product delivery
  • Understand the difference between Agile and Waterfall development
  • Understand the difference between two popular Agile frames: Scrum and Kanban
  • Learn software development concepts like APIs, mobile development, Front End, Back End, MySQL, programming frameworks, and more
  • Communicate effectively with all the stakeholders of a product
  • Communicate effectively with engineers in a way they will appreciate and understand
  • Communicate effectively with designers by focusing on the things they care about most
  • Communicate effectively with executives and higher-ups
  • Understand the role of technology in modern Startups and Fortune 500s
  • Understand the basics of "The Cloud" and Servers vs. Clients
  • Understand the basics of front-end vs. back-end technology, tech stacks, and how they integrate together
  • Understand the basics of APIs, what they do, what they look like, and how your team might use them
  • Understand how to obtain relevant experience to set up for a transition to Product Management
  • Build a portfolio that will assist in a hiring application
  • How to self-brand online and build a following pre-hire
  • What to look for in Product Management jobs and what to ignore
  • How to apply insider tips and tricks to getting hired as a Product Manager
  • Craft a resume that appeals to a hiring manager for Product Management placement
  • Ace the Product Manager interview
  • Excel beyond getting hired
English [Auto] Hello, my friends, so welcome back. And we're going to talk here about API's look in your work as a product manager and in many other roles in the technology industry, you're going to hear this term API a lot. Usually you're going to hear some engineers talking about it and sometimes they'll be like, Oh, well, we can't do that because the API doesn't allow us. So let's demystify that. What is an API? API stands for application programming interface. The easiest way to explain it is that it's the messenger that takes requests and tells the system what you want to do. Then it returns what you requested the information back to you. Let's make it even more simple. Imagine you're at a restaurant and you're looking at the menu and the kitchen has some delicious food, probably some barbecue. If it were me and I'm like, I want that barbecue, but I need a way to get that food from the kitchen because they've got to make it for me, and then they've got to send me the food. So I going to request it. They're going to make it, send it. And what I need in this case, like the missing link here is a waiter. The waiter comes to me and says, hello. How many pounds of barbecue would you like? Cool. And I'm like 10 or 15 pounds. And then he goes back to the kitchen and gets me 15 pounds of barbecue, brings it back to my fat self. So he's done. All of this is translating to kitchen language and bringing me the food. And that waiter is like an API. Also, in this case, the kitchen was a database database full of delicious barbecue in our example. OK, so there's two types of APIs. I know it seems like it's getting more complex by a promise is not that hard. There's a public API and a private API. Public APIs are provided by companies to allow products or services to get data from their system. A great example of this would be on a travel search website like Kayak.com, where you can search for a flight across different airlines for the cheapest price. Kayak takes what you type in about what dates you want to travel, and then using the public API of every single airline, or at least most of them, it returns to you the prices and availability for all of the trips. As you guys, Kayak does not have the information on all airlines at all times and all flights, but they contact the airline's databases through the API. They did this because the APIs for the airlines are public, which means that they let anyone like a developer like kayak and engineers. They're just dial in and get that data and provide some services based on it. Why? Because now they're making more money because of Kayak does a good job marketing. People are going to come there and they're going to search for flights and they're going to buy more stuff from the airlines. So a lot of tech companies out there have public APIs to encourage developers to build products using their information. Here you can see a documentation page for Twitter's public API. All right, so what's a private API? Now these are APIs that are available only to the developers inside of a company to get information from different internal systems. It's example time again at Facebook, there's probably a database that holds the pictures and another database that holds the messages, and there's probably a lot of databases for a lot of different things at Facebook. So if a developer on one team, let's say this developer doesn't work on the photos team or the pictures team, but they want to code a new feature and they need access to the pictures database somewhere inside of Facebook's servers. Then they will write what is called an API call in their code, and they will write this API call to what is called an API end point. The database then sends back the pictures that they requested. By the way, this API endpoint is just a fancy way of saying access window or something like that. It's an address that allows developers to get a certain type of data. And sometimes the endpoints have limitations to prevent problems like maybe they will say, OK, you can only send 100 requests per minute because if you go above that, it's going to overload our systems and things will crash and things blow up. Anyways, they don't worry about that. I just wanted to let you know that that exists. All right. I told you that was not very hard, but we're going to recap anyways. Basically, APIs are just ways that developers can write code to other systems and get data from them. There are two major types of APIs, public APIs and private APIs. Public ones are available to anybody, including you if you're a programmer and then private APIs are available only to people inside of that company, which means not you unless you work at that company prior one, I hope you'll learn some stuff here. I'm going to see it in the next lecture.