While APIs make it simple to share data back and forth between applications, the process of managing APIs can be anything but simple. A developer working with hundreds of different APIs over the course of their work can get bogged down trying to test, implement, and manage it all, turning what is supposed to be something straightforward into another layer of complexity.
Building API integrations is complex, but Postman makes it easy to create an API service. With Postman, developers can simplify every step of building and managing APIs — from development and testing to collaboration and support — so that more people can design APIs with simplicity, usability and consistency.
In our most recent episode of our podcast, Decoded, we spoke with Arlemi Turpault, developer advocate at Postman, to learn more about how Postman started and how it grew to become one of the most popular API management tools today.
From Side Hustle to Unicorn Startup
According to Turpault, Postman began as a side project for the company’s now-CEO to make it easier for him to debug APIs. Over the next six years, the tool turned from a side project to a fast-growing startup with employees around the world. As Turpault explained:
“The main challenge at the time was that it’s always fine when you’re coding your own API — you know how it works — but when you talk about integration and using other people’s APIs, finding good API documentation, or documentation in general, is hard.”
Postman grew from a simple, open source tool to a Chrome Web Store app to one of the most important platforms used within the developer ecosystem today. By simplifying the entire API process, Postman makes APIs not only easier for developers to work with, but more accessible for all.
"Postman was first designed for developers and API producers, but then we turned to how we can make it easier for people to consume these APIs. That’s when we turned into creating an API network where you can publish your APIs and people can consume.”
Turpault said. This makes APIs more discoverable and usable by both developers and business team members alike.
Turpault says that what made Postman different from other API testing tools in its early days was its focus on simplicity. For example, Postman enabled API documentation to be easily referenced and added to, while also allowing developers to easily access APIs from multiple providers and integrate them together.
From there, the company turned to making the API process more collaborative, with API libraries that let teams share APIs and documentation to improve access and speed to market.
“We have 14 million users at the moment. Our goal is 100 million. That means we need to cater to more than developers. All these other people will want to use APIs; every service has an API. If you’re in marketing, for example, you want to use YouTube or Twitter APIs. Everything is based on top of APIs, so that’s something we want to cater to.”
By making it simple for non-developers to incorporate APIs into their work, departments across the organization can use APIs to create valuable services and make data-driven decisions.
Spreading the Word
As a developer advocate, Turpault spends his time sharing the possibilities of APIs. He and his colleagues regularly livestream sessions to show viewers how they can create interesting things using APIs. In one recent session, they used the GameStop stock news to explore how to collect APIs like the Reddit API to scrape news and sentiment analysis. He explained:
“We try to find a topic and go at it during the lifestream so that every developer watching can see what you can do for something like this. We start from zero and just go, ‘Oh, what will I do?’ We go library scraping and build it on the go in about an hour. We get a lot of interaction and engagement from that because we let people tell us what we need to do as well. It’s not just a webinar where we show you how it’s done; it’s more like we create with you.”
Check out this week’s Decoded podcast to hear the full interview with Arlemi Turpault and learn more about Postman’s rapid rise and future potential. Listen now, and subscribe to future episodes today.