What's your API's "Time To 200"?

M'colleague Charles has introduced me to the most spectacular phrase - "Time To 200". That's a measurement of the length of time it takes a new user to go from signing up to your API to getting their first HTTP 200 response.

Think about the last time you started using a new API...

  • Fill in a tediously long registration form
  • Set up billing in case you go over the free trial limits
  • Wait for a confirmation email
  • Unsubscribe from all the marketing emails
  • Find the quickstart documentation
  • Realise it is outdated and consider raising an issue on the GitHub issues graveyard
  • Generate an API key and configure all its scopes
  • Install a 3rd party NPM library and a gigabyte of required packages
  • Work out how to authenticate the request - hard given the tutorial uses V1.3.4 and you're on V1.
  • Send the first request, and realise that you had to manually add your IP address to the allow-list
  • Try again, but realise you need to sign the request with a unique timestamp
  • Receive an HTTP 429 error for sending too many requests
  • Have a pint
  • Try again, get an HTTP 200! Success! You're a real developer now!

The above is only a minor exaggeration. Every time I sign up to play with a new API, I'm grimly aware of my own mortality. Every minute I waste doing battle with your incomplete documentation and dreadful attitude to new users, is a minute I could spend doing something more fun instead.

Please, I beg of you, optimise your Time To 200!

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