What’s an API? Real World Examples

Now that I’m actively interviewing with companies, I’m learning more about tech to build on top of the knowledge I learned at Flatiron. Two companies I’m interviewing with— Plaid and ICIMS, views their API as a product. Plaid, specifically, sells their API to other SaaS companies in order to connect users with their bank account information. Plaid did all the dirty work of connecting digitally to different banks so companies like Venmo doesn’t have to worry about relationship management with the bank or bank security, they can trust that Plaid has that handled. Therefore Venmo can focus on the front-end and the user experience of the app. Prior to interviews I never though of APIs and being products themselves, and can be used as infrastructure for many different apps.

ICIMS on the other hand, is a software company that sells software for managing recruiting, on boarding, and offer management. ICIMS also has a product called Unifi, which is a platform as a service where clients can shop around for other software companies that will help with payroll, resume storage, and recruitment. When new companies want to be added to this marketplace, they must connect to the API that ICIMS built for Unifi. It’s innovative to perceive an API has a market place and not just as an endpoint to data.

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