The Zapier Engineering Blog

A blog about hacking, development workflow automation, and how to get things done with less work.

Best Practices Building a CLI Tool for Your Service

Adam DuVander / February 16, 2017

To some, the command line is a relic of computing’s past. But as a developer tool, the command line is essential. Managing local processes and source control are often done through Command Line Interfaces (CLIs). In recent years, another kind of CLI has become popular, and it extends beyond...

Why We No Longer Recommend Static Webhooks

Adam DuVander / February 9, 2017

At Zapier, we love webhooks, because they provide near-instant access to data. When enabled with webhooks, applications can send notifications when data you care about changes. As you can imagine, immediate access to updates makes users incredibly happy. So why would we no longer recommend something that makes users happy...

Node JS Frameworks for REST APIs

Adam DuVander / February 2, 2017

Node JS remains a popular programming language used at companies of all sizes and types: From startups to large enterprises, you’ll find Node’s server-side JavaScript at play. As such, it’s also become a common choice for building APIs. While you don’t need a framework to support...

The Best Tools for Working with API Requests

Adam DuVander / January 26, 2017

Imagine yourself as an explorer, braving high sea or rough terrain to discover new routes. Along the way you’ll meet many people, most of whom won’t speak your language. An interpreter would be crucial to your trip, making it possible to communicate and navigate unfamiliar territory.

When building...

The Perfect Integration-ready API

Ben Peter / January 19, 2017

You’ve probably seen software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies boast about integrations with other services. And for good reason–users love to connect their apps together. Behind the scenes, APIs and a little code make it possible to exchange data between services. Sometimes these integrations increase signups and often they’ll decrease churn...

8 Great Examples of Developer Documentation

Adam DuVander / January 12, 2017

You just received an email from an angry developer. Something is wrong in your documentation, and the developer just spent hours figuring it out. Now it's your turn to update the documentation and figure out how to avoid those issues in the future. But how?

It’s hard to...

3 Ways to Make Your API Responses Flexible

Adam DuVander / January 5, 2017

Flexible wrench for flexible API -- photo by Creative Tools

Most APIs deliver their responses the exact same way to every client. That’s by design; developers need to know what to expect.

There are plenty of circumstances where what’s returned is not quite what a developer wants, though. Some APIs provide flexibility in the types and amount of...

Plan Your GitHub Streak and Make Code a Habit

Adam DuVander / December 29, 2016

Around four years ago, a college student named Ryan Seys received a challenge from a friend. It was not your typical collegiate dare. Ryan’s friend instead suggested they both attempt to commit public code to GitHub for 30 days straight. The friend just made it a week, but Ryan...

How to Attend Conferences as an Introvert

Adam DuVander / December 22, 2016

How many introverted programmers does it take to tell a light bulb joke? One. It does not have to be a group activity, and the other can check for off-by-one errors.

In addition to being witty, this programming joke also represents the classic stereotype of the introverted programmer. It might...

Add Webhooks to Your API the Right Way

Adam DuVander / December 15, 2016

In the last 10 years, APIs have gone from nice-to-have to must-have, certainly for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. At the same time, users today are more impatient and expect more instant and interconnected apps. To answer user needs, developers are now adding webhooks to their APIs. Webhooks are the mechanism through...