Home A View Into How Apple Develops APIs

A View Into How Apple Develops APIs

Apple develops world-class APIs. But how do they do it?

Here’s a bit of insight into the process Apple goes through as explained by Bertrand Serlet, Apple’s senior VP of software engineering. He’s responsible for leading Apple’s software engineering group, and reports directly to Steve Jobs.

The video is quite brief but it’s revealing in a few ways.

Apple relies on technologies that have longevity. These are tested, proven technologies. In the video, Serlet talks about Unix-based APIs developed 40 years ago, Cocoa APIs that were developed 20 years ago and OpenGL, developed 15 years ago.

Serlet also talks about Apple’s internal process for testing its APIs. Apple first launches a private API for internal use. It is iterated until there are no more internal questions. It then goes public. Feedback is critical to further refine the service so it has longevity over the span of several generations.

This is basic stuff but a good reminder for developers when building APIs for their cloud-based services.

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