Surviving Other People's APIs
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Surviving Other People's APIs

Working with some API can feel like an dangerous expidition into an ancient tomb full of booby traps and archaic instructions. Let's dodge all the pits of spikes and get to the treasure.

About the Book

How can you build the best web/mobile/client-side application, when the APIs you need to work with are poorly documented, struggle with sketchy performance, or generally make you feel like you're on a dangerous expidition into an ancient tomb, with hidden booby traps, doors operated by archaic runes, where one wrong move triggers swinging battering rambs to wreck your day into a wall of spikes.

This whole premise of an API client-server relationship is inherently fraught with danger, because going over the network for anything can lead to unexpected errors, unexpected change, connection problems... hell a rat could have chewed through a cable. This book aims to help you not just react to these problems, but ideally prempt them and build an application that laughs in the face of danger.

Just like with Build APIs You Won’t Hate, this book will take a non-academic, easy-to-read approach to some pretty complex topics around HTTP interactions, versioning, client-caching, state management, differences between how you interact with RPC, REST and GraphQL, using JSON Schema for local validation, and all sorts of other awesome stuff that nobody ever bothered to mention to you.

About the Authors

Phil Sturgeon
Phil Sturgeon

Since 2010 I've worked as a freelancer, consultant, API lead, and CTO for several API-centric technology startups. Working as an internal API consultant for WeWork gave me a lot to write about, where I used my experience of things going horribly horribly wrong to help educate developers, define standards for API design and architecture, and implementing full API design lifecycles so we weren't all just building nonsense and hoping it was useful.

Trying to get loads of different questionably built APIs tidied up, playing nicely, and working quickly was a constant source of learning for me and everyone involved. I took a lot of that learning to Stoplight, and helped plan, build, and manage most of your favourite OpenAPI tools.

When I'm not banging on about APIs I'm riding, racing, or crashing various bikes, or saving the plant through Protect Earth, an environmental charity I co-founded in 2020. We create brand new woodlands, restore and extend ancient woodlands, and run around with machetes getting rid of invasive species.

Mike Bifulco
Mike Bifulco

Mike Bifulco lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is the CTO and co-founder of Craftwork (YC S23).

Mike is a developer advocate, writer, podcaster and serial startup founder, and has worked for companies like Google, Stripe, Microsoft, and Gymnasium.

He is also cofounder of APIs You Won't Hate, a community for API Developers on the web.

💌 Tiny Improvements is mike's a weekly newsletter for startup founders, indiehackers, and product builders - you can dinf it at

Causes Supported

Protect Earth

We plant trees, wildflowers, and remove invasives to tackle the climate/biodiversity crises, and literally everyone can get involved! Registered charity 1192453

Protect Earth create, restores, and protects woodlands all over the UK. We plant tens of thousands of trees every year on low quality farmland, schools, wedding venues, council land, road verges, golf courses, or anywhere else that makes sense. Increasingly Protect Earth is securing its own land, restoring an ancient temporate rainforest in Cornwall, and creating a brand new temperate rainforest in Wales.

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