How to Find the Right API for the Job
The Postman Student Programs team often hears from student community members who are wondering how to find APIs that are a good fit for their projects. That’s why we teamed up with Postman Senior Developer Advocate Ian Douglas to host a livestream on finding the right API for the job. We also put together this blog post as a helpful guide that recaps the key tips we talked about with Ian. Read on to learn more.
Understand the “what” and “why” of your project
Before you can find the right API for the job, you must first know the requirements, goals, and purpose of your project. This requires you to ask some initial questions, such as, “Why am I building this project, and what kind of API will I need?”
An example answer to the question above is, “I want to build my own app that tells me the weather using forecast data.” This answer helps you choose the right API because it identifies what you want your project to do (tell the weather), what type of data you want to use (forecast data), and what type of API you’ll need (a weather API). Asking yourself the “what” and the “why” of your project will help you narrow down your search so you can more easily select an appropriate API.
Search for APIs that are free and beginner-friendly
When starting your search, try to look for APIs that are free, beginner-friendly, and well-documented. For example, Twitter’s API v2 collection offers official documentation that is maintained by the Twitter team, as well as a quickstart guide. You can sign up for free and get basic access to Twitter’s developer platform, with the option to get more access through paid tiers.
You can also find a great collection of APIs in the public REST APIs workspace, which stores beginner-friendly APIs that are recommended by Postman. These REST APIs do not require authentication, and many are free to use and include a direct link in the documentation.
Explore Postman‘s Public API Network
Even if you’ve followed the other steps we’ve discussed, it’s still easy to feel lost when looking for the right API. This problem is solved by Postman’s Public API Network, which is the world’s largest network of APIs, workspaces, and collections. It is open to the entire API community, and it currently connects over 20 million developers who are building and consuming APIs. It includes over 2,000 public APIs to choose from, and enables you to find APIs for beginners, search APIs by category, and explore APIs that are currently spotlighted. Many of the teams and companies that are building cutting-edge APIs and technologies have public workspaces you can explore, as well.
Learn more—and get certified
You can learn more about how to find the right API for your project by watching our full livestream video with Ian Douglas. We also have a Youtube playlist, where you can find any past Postman Student Program livestreams you might have missed.
If you’d like to keep learning about APIs and Postman, you can get certified as a Postman Student Expert. Everyone who completes the certification program will receive a digital badge, which they can add to their resume and LinkedIn profile. You can sign up for the training as an individual, or invite your professor to sign up for the Postman Classroom Program, which will enable them to share the curriculum with your whole class and monitor student progress. Additionally, educators in the Postman Classroom Program receive access to other Postman resources, such as a free Postman plan for education.
We encourage all students to join our Postman Student Community Discord for support, fun community events, livestreams, and giveaways. Feel free to reach out to us with any Student Program-related questions by email at [email protected]