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An introduction to APIs


About this course

Whether you're a fledgling software developer or just someone working on a non-technical aspect of an application or website that connects with other systems, you've come to the right place to learn how APIs work at a high level.

In this course, we walk you through what it takes for companies to link their systems together. We start off easy, defining some of the tech lingo you may have heard before, but didn't fully understand. From there, each lesson introduces something new, slowly building up to the point where you are confident about what an API is and, if you're brave enough, could actually take a stab at using one.

Who is this course for?

If you are a non-technical person, you should feel right at home with the lesson structure. For software developers, the first lesson or two may feel like a mandatory new employee orientation, but stick with it—you'll get your fill of useful information, too.


Originally published in April 2014, the most recent update was in January 2024.

Written by Brian Cooksey. Edited by Bryan Landers and Danny Schreiber, with contributions from Bryce Emley.

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