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Hire Freelance API Development Specialists

John-Paul May

Freelance API Development Specialist

United StatesToptal Member Since October 24, 2016

JP is a leader in the most complex iOS, technical 3D, realtime, and product engineering. With broad and deep experience in social, financial and gaming, he's often called on to solve difficult problems. He's created many huge successes and industry firsts for clients.

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Filipe Waitman

Freelance API Development Specialist

BrazilToptal Member Since November 8, 2015

Since 2010, Filipe has been developing with Python​ and Django/Pyramid frameworks. He is also an Agile methodologies enthusiast. In addition, he has worked as both a team technical leader and as a scrum master. At the moment, he is aiming to work in Europe but any project that challenges him and where he can work remotely is more than welcome. He communicates and collaborates well with teams of all sizes.

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Marko Mišura

Freelance API Development Specialist

CroatiaToptal Member Since November 20, 2015

Marko is a full-stack software engineer with over five years of professional experience working in various positions. He is a responsible individual with a passion for writing optimized code while keeping the client's best interests in mind. He has experience designing, developing, and maintaining software products during the entire product's lifespan. He is used to very demanding roles with high levels of responsibility and expectations.

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BV Satyaram

Freelance API Development Specialist

IndiaToptal Member Since July 15, 2016

BV is a man who embodies many roles: entrepreneur, educator, and full-stack developer. For the past eleven years, he has been working as a web developer and as a full-stack Ruby on Rails developer for more than seven years. He is also the founder and chief instructor at CodeAstra, India's first and only successful coding boot camp.

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Timothy Sherratt

Freelance API Development Specialist

United KingdomToptal Member Since May 12, 2016

Timothy has been a startup co-founder, web agency director, and engineering team lead. His interests lie in solving business problems with technology. He does most of his work in Ruby/Rails, where he has extensive experience building large, non-standard apps that scale excellently. He also has experience on the front-end building interactive user interfaces with React.js and associated tools.

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Mario J. Wunderlich

Freelance API Development Specialist

GuatemalaToptal Member Since October 28, 2016

Mario is a software engineer with over 20 years of experience and an entrepreneurial spark. He is a generalist more than a specialist with expertise in a number of fields. He loves to learn, to create, to experiment, and especially loves to work and immerse himself in interesting projects. His current focus is in full-stack web development, but he's also interested in mobile development, RESTful APIs, bots, UX, machine learning, and big data.

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Faaz Iqbal

Freelance API Development Specialist

PakistanToptal Member Since July 9, 2015

Faaz is a senior web developer with over 6 years of in-depth experience working with high-growth companies and clients from diverse industries. He has a BS in computer science and specializes in front-end development, but also has a strong background in back-end PHP development. He has served in lead roles and is able to integrate well in remote teams as well as on solo projects. Faaz keenly focuses on performance of websites and web apps.

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Jurgens du Toit

Freelance API Development Specialist

South AfricaToptal Member Since July 22, 2014

As an expert full-stack developer with a deep knowledge of the internet and web applications, Jurgens prides himself on his ability to understand client requirements and deliver code and systems to meet these requirements. He has worked on a wide range of products, including web aapplications, APIs, and integrations with companies like MasterCard and Visa.

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Davor Lovrić

Freelance API Development Specialist

CroatiaToptal Member Since October 9, 2013

Davor is an advocate of Agile methods, and he is typically involved in every project stage from planning and architecture to coding/testing. He easily transfers know-how to team peers, while thinking both strategically and out of the box.

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A Hiring Guide

Guide to Hiring a Great API Development Specialist

Toptal helps you hire the world's best freelance API management experts on demand. See why top companies and startups trust Toptal to hire top API freelance experts.

Read Hiring Guide
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... allows corporations to quickly assemble teams that have the right skills for specific projects.

Despite accelerating demand for coders, Toptal prides itself on almost Ivy League-level vetting.

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Testimonials

Tripcents wouldn't exist without Toptal. Toptal Projects enabled us to rapidly develop our foundation with a product manager, lead developer, and senior designer. In just over 60 days we went from concept to Alpha. The speed, knowledge, expertise, and flexibility is second to none. The Toptal team were as part of tripcents as any in-house team member of tripcents. They contributed and took ownership of the development just like everyone else. We will continue to use Toptal. As a start up, they are our secret weapon.

Brantley Pace, CEO & Co-Founder

Tripcents

In addition to sharp technical skills, Faruk had a great attitude and is a really exceptional communicator. He always let us know where he was with his work, thoroughly and reliably. That's not always the case, and it made working remotely considerably easier. He was an easy integration into the team.

Leif Abraham, Co-Founder

AND CO Ventures Inc

I am more than pleased with our experience with Toptal. The professional I got to work with was on the phone with me within a couple of hours. I knew after discussing my project with him that he was the candidate I wanted. I hired him immediately and he wasted no time in getting to my project, even going the extra mile by adding some great design elements that enhanced our overall look.

Paul Fenley, Director

K Dunn & Associates

The developers I was paired with were incredible -- smart, driven, and responsive. It used to be hard to find quality engineers and consultants. Now it isn't.

Ryan Rockefeller, CEO

Radeeus

Toptal understood our project needs immediately. We were matched with an exceptional freelancer from Argentina who, from Day 1, immersed himself in our industry, blended seamlessly with our team, understood our vision, and produced top-notch results. Toptal makes connecting with superior developers and programmers very easy.

Jason Kulik, Co-Founder

ProHatch

As a small company with limited resources we can't afford to make expensive mistakes. Toptal provided us with an experienced programmer who was able to hit the ground running and begin contributing immediately. It has been a great experience and one we'd repeat again in a heartbeat.

Stuart Pocknee , Principal

Site Specific Software Solutions

We used Toptal to hire a developer with extensive Amazon Web Services experience. We interviewed four candidates, one of which turned out to be a great fit for our requirements. The process was quick and effective.

Abner Guzmán Rivera, CTO and Chief Scientist

Photo Kharma

Sergio was an awesome developer to work with. Top notch, responsive, and got the work done efficiently.

Dennis Baldwin, Chief Technologist and Co-Founder

PriceBlink

Working with Marcin is a joy. He is competent, professional, flexible, and extremely quick to understand what is required and how to implement it.

André Fischer, CTO

POSTIFY

We needed a expert engineer who could start on our project immediately. Simanas exceeded our expectations with his work. Not having to interview and chase down an expert developer was an excellent time-saver and made everyone feel more comfortable with our choice to switch platforms to utilize a more robust language. Toptal made the process easy and convenient. Toptal is now the first place we look for expert-level help.

Derek Minor, Senior VP of Web Development

Networld Media Group

Toptal's developers and architects have been both very professional and easy to work with. The solution they produced was fairly priced and top quality, reducing our time to launch. Thanks again, Toptal.

Jeremy Wessels, CEO

Kognosi

We had a great experience with Toptal. They paired us with the perfect developer for our application and made the process very easy. It was also easy to extend beyond the initial time frame, and we were able to keep the same contractor throughout our project. We definitely recommend Toptal for finding high quality talent quickly and seamlessly.

Ryan Morrissey, CTO

Applied Business Technologies, LLC

I'm incredibly impressed with Toptal. Our developer communicates with me every day, and is a very powerful coder. He's a true professional and his work is just excellent. 5 stars for Toptal.

Pietro Casoar, CEO

Ronin Play Pty Ltd

Working with Toptal has been a great experience. Prior to using them, I had spent quite some time interviewing other freelancers and wasn't finding what I needed. After engaging with Toptal, they matched me up with the perfect developer in a matter of days. The developer I'm working with not only delivers quality code, but he also makes suggestions on things that I hadn't thought of. It's clear to me that Amaury knows what he is doing. Highly recommended!

George Cheng, CEO

Bulavard, Inc.

As a Toptal qualified front-end developer, I also run my own consulting practice. When clients come to me for help filling key roles on their team, Toptal is the only place I feel comfortable recommending. Toptal's entire candidate pool is the best of the best. Toptal is the best value for money I've found in nearly half a decade of professional online work.

Ethan Brooks, CTO

Langlotz Patent & Trademark Works, Inc.

In Higgle's early days, we needed the best-in-class developers, at affordable rates, in a timely fashion. Toptal delivered!

Lara Aldag, CEO

Higgle

Toptal makes finding a candidate extremely easy and gives you peace-of-mind that they have the skills to deliver. I would definitely recommend their services to anyone looking for highly-skilled developers.

Michael Gluckman, Data Manager

Mxit

Toptal’s ability to rapidly match our project with the best developers was just superb. The developers have become part of our team, and I’m amazed at the level of professional commitment each of them has demonstrated. For those looking to work remotely with the best engineers, look no further than Toptal.

Laurent Alis, Founder

Livepress

Toptal makes finding qualified engineers a breeze. We needed an experienced ASP.NET MVC architect to guide the development of our start-up app, and Toptal had three great candidates for us in less than a week. After making our selection, the engineer was online immediately and hit the ground running. It was so much faster and easier than having to discover and vet candidates ourselves.

Jeff Kelly, Co-Founder

Concerted Solutions

We needed some short-term work in Scala, and Toptal found us a great developer within 24 hours. This simply would not have been possible via any other platform.

Franco Arda, Co-Founder

WhatAdsWork.com

How to Hire API Development Specialists through Toptal

1

Talk to One of Our Industry Experts

A Toptal director of engineering will work you to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics.
2

Work With Hand-Selected Talent

Within days, we'll introduce you to the right API development specialist for your project. Average time to match is under 24 hours.
3

The Right Fit, Guaranteed

Work with your new API development specialist for a trial period (pay only if satisfied), ensuring they're the right fit before starting the engagement.

FAQs

  • How are Toptal API development specialists different?

    At Toptal, we thoroughly screen our API development specialists to ensure we only match you with talent of the highest caliber. Of the more than 100,000 people who apply to join the Toptal network each year, fewer than 3% make the cut. You'll work with engineering experts (never generalized recruiters or HR reps) to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics. The end result: expert vetted talent from our network, custom matched to fit your business needs. Start now.

  • Can I hire API development specialists in less than 48 hours through Toptal?

    Depending on availability and how fast you can progress, you could start working with an API development specialist within 48 hours of signing up. Start now.

  • What is the no-risk trial period for Toptal API development specialists?

    We make sure that each engagement between you and your API development specialist begins with a trial period of up to two weeks. This means that you have time to confirm the engagement will be successful. If you're completely satisfied with the results, we'll bill you for the time and continue the engagement for as long as you'd like. If you're not completely satisfied, you won't be billed. From there, we can either part ways, or we can provide you with another expert who may be a better fit and with whom we will begin a second, no-risk trial. Start now.

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Eight Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Hiring a Freelance API Developer

It seems APIs are everywhere nowadays. Name just about any popular web app, like Facebook and Twitter, and it will have a public API.

You know they’re important, and now it has fallen to you to figure out how to hire an API specialist to do some API development or perform some API integration services for your company. But there’s more to the world of APIs than you might think!

If you’re not sufficiently acquainted with it, you may end up hiring the wrong type of API development consultant entirely. Read on to find some easy ways to avoid this and other pitfalls during your next hiring phase.

Not Knowing What You Need

Your first line of defense against hiring pitfalls is knowing a bit more detail about what they’ll actually be doing when they work for you. You may not want to get into the technical nitty-gritty, and that’s fine.

Think about it as the difference between seeking a veterinarian and a pediatrician. You don’t have to be trained in either of their fields to understand that it’s crucial. Not knowing this beforehand is a waste of your time and theirs.

1. Not Knowing the API Type

First of all, APIs can be used to describe everything from how you can expect a web service to act down to how you can expect hardware to behave. And everything in between.

You may be developing a C++ library API, for example. If that’s the case, sifting through REST API résumés is simply putting you behind schedule.

Start by getting yourself into the right universe: OS, software, language bindings, network protocols, HTTP endpoints—these all can fall under the “API development” umbrella but are far too specialized for you to expect interchangeability.

2. Not Knowing the Work Scope

API-related work has two main roles. Producer vs. consumer, publisher vs. user, API development vs. API integration services—these are all talking about the same concept.

The minimum to know about this is that it takes far more specific experience to develop an API than to use it or integrate it with others. Someone who was architected an API can perform API integration services, but not necessarily vice-versa.

If it turns out you’re developing an API, another common hiring pitfall is not knowing how complete your API is. Greenfield API development—especially in more crucial contexts, as we’ll see below—is best left to those with more experience.

Maintaining an existing API is easy enough for a programmer who isn’t actually an API architect, as long as they are skilled enough in the tech stack. You’re risking less future rework here than on a fresh project. And with one less crucial criterion to search for, you’ll have more people to choose from who are actually quite suitable for the job at hand.

3. Not Knowing the API Scope

This pitfall applies only to API development, not API integration. There’s a fairly natural correlation here: A public API will likely require more expertise than a private, business-to-business one. Internal APIs are generally the least critical here. And the most forgiving.

But it’s a matter of assumed scale. A low-key public API may have a smaller user base than a multinational corporation’s internal API.

For example, the internal API developer for a small business may not have even experienced a public API as a user, let alone have a sense of what constitutes good architecture and best practices in that scope.

Consider how far-reaching this developer’s work will be, and hire accordingly.

4. Not Knowing the Software Stack

This is true about any development hiring. Get briefly acquainted with the list of technologies your product uses or will use. An existing developer can help with this if it’s not documented properly.

The list may be in the dozens. Find out which are the most important to have a good handle on.

If you expect your next hire to be productive quickly, you’ll want to make sure that they are already comfortable with the operating system, programming language, and major framework(s) that you need to use, if any. A Windows developer who has never touched Linux, or vice-versa, is almost guaranteed to need extra time getting running.

These few details are quite important in helping you look for a suitable candidate, but they should take only a moment to find out from your team.

Not Having the Right Type of Experience

Now that you have some clarity around who you’re looking for, how do you know if a given candidate is up for the job? Clearly, this depends a bit on the above context, and in some cases our other hiring guides can help with more specifics.

But API development hiring in almost any context will share three common pitfalls; we also offer a fourth point for those of you looking at RESTful API development in particular.

5. Never Having Seen Change Management in Action

For external API development, this is especially important.

Your API development here directly affects API integration for whoever is consuming your services. Breaking compatibility means breaking functionality that’s associated with your brand, so careful change management is crucial.

Your candidate doesn’t have to have designed a public API before, depending on your expected scale. But they should have worked with any particular one long enough to experience how they handled change.

Ask for an example and for their opinion of it:

  1. What changed?
  2. How did it affect API users?
  3. Would they do it differently?

This should give you an idea of their competence level in this (potentially key) area.

6. Poor Documentation Habits

Ask for a documentation sample. If they don’t have a sample because of NDAs, that may be OK: Ask them to describe their ideal documentation and their habits, instead. Your hiring instincts will have to help you out here.

But if they do have a sample, have any developer vet it. The one doing the vetting doesn’t even necessarily need to be familiar with the tech stack.

Ask them: Is it complete?

Also ask: Are all descriptions and examples written clearly and understandably?

If either of these come back negative, think twice. You may have a brilliant developer, but documentation is the face of your API. API consumers must be able to understand everything they need to know from it. Otherwise it’s a bit like a keyboard without labels. You may eventually figure out what each button does, but only after you’ve deleted all your wedding photos.

Actually, that metaphor doesn’t go far enough. We’ve come across projects before that had APIs with undocumented interfaces that were implemented (but went unused), and documented interfaces that weren’t implemented.

Maybe that situation would be like a keyboard where half the labeled buttons aren’t actually hooked up to anything, and there are hidden buttons somewhere that actually do what you want.

Your API users won’t appreciate that.

7. No Experience Scaling

APIs are fairly high-level. This means that optimizing them to scale makes sense closer to the beginning of project development, if possible. On a greenfield public API, you’ll want an architect with scaling experience.

If you don’t have one to help in this area, your API developer should be qualified for double duty: They should know how to plan your API in a way that lends itself to an efficient implementation and scalable operations.

This could be as simple as integrating pagination, so your API returns only a manageable amount of data for a given call. If this isn’t something they would think to do from the beginning, you might need someone with more experience.

REST APIs are one of the most popular ways of providing web service integration abilities.

8. RESTful, but Never Heard of HATEOAS

You’re likely in the RESTful API market. (If not, you can skip this point.) We’ll avoid starting a minor holy war here by taking a side, but: A RESTful API developer should at least have stumbled across HATEOAS.

They may hate it (pun intended) and never use it, but an API expert will likely at least have a mild opinion about its pros and cons.

If they don’t, it may be an indicator that their experience and exposure are not wide enough for your application. Of course, that depends on its scope, as mentioned above.

REST Today, Gone Tomorrow?

Why bother getting up to speed with all the above points, only to have it be useless knowledge tomorrow?

For one thing, API trends don’t shift nearly as fast as some areas of the Web. REST has been around since 2000, and despite the fact that companies like Paypal have deprecated their SOAP APIs in favour of REST APIs, some people still consider SOAP a valid option for greenfield projects.

The point is, researching your own API development requirements right now is a good investment in relevance as far as management-level tech knowledge goes. And some requirements, like good documentation, never change.

After taking this article’s advice, you should be in a much better position to find and hire the most effective person for your project. Success!

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