api Tag Archives - General Assembly Blog

TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon 2014

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One of the most anticipated tech conferences of the year, TechCrunch Disrupt brings together the greatest minds in tech. At this year’s conference, a group of GA Web Development Immersive alumni took home an award for Best CrunchBase App at Disrupt NY Hackathon. Teammates Kevin McAlear, Tahira Adaya, Kirsten Doyne, Ilias Tsangaris, and Zack Stayman came together to develop their skills and have a “fun, nerdy weekend with friends.”

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Getting Your API to Play Well With Others

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Steven Weiss is a web developer, technology enthusiast, and recent Web Development Immersive graduate.  His former life was spent as a sound engineer for NPR and various voice over studios.  When not coding, he is likely cooking and/or eating. In this blog, Steve takes us through the process of creating his app, On The Side, in our WDI course. This post originally appeared on Steve’s blog here.

My first app is out in the world, flying on its own little wings. It’s called On The Side, your source for restaurant recommendations based around a super cool and esoteric list of the best ingredients right now. But lets take a step back.

On The Side begins its life as the first project assignment for the General Assembly Jan’ 14 WDI class, a collective of 27 pirate like individuals from diverse backgrounds, all restarting their lives as web developers. It’s like a reality show, except that everyone is there to make friends.

In 6 weeks, each of us has gone from little to no web development knowledge to building a fully functioning app. Once you beat yourself up over everything you’d like to improve or need to have a better handle on…it’s pretty exciting.

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Technically Speaking: APIs

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Every day, we see content and data that comes from one source re-purposed into another. An API (Application Programming Interface) is a method for web apps, mobile apps, and websites to communicate with each other. Open APIs use a simple request/response model: a request is sent to an application, that request gets evaluated, and then the server sends a response back to the original sender.

Perhaps most importantly, APIs help to create a seamless user experience. A popular example is Facebook Connect, where signing into Facebook means you’re already authenticated when you sign up on other websites using their API. In this way, APIs are crucial for promoting conversations, integration, and sharing. And though tech giants like eBay and Amazon were among the first to use them, today even brands (e.g. ESPN, AmEx) and many startups (e.g. foursquare, Foodspotting) develop their own.

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