You are only a drop in the bucket if you use a website like Reddit. Reddit in particular gets an average of 57 million users every single day.

None of those visitors would be able to use Reddit without APIs, or application programming interfaces. This is one of the core features of every website, whether accessing it through a browser or an app. But why are APIs so essential, especially for a junior web developer?

Today, we take a look at four reasons why API integrations are something you should learn starting out.

1. APIs Let You Make Third-Party Apps

Not all websites and services have to be accessed through the front door. In some cases, people prefer a third-party interface with different features and functionality. This used to be the case with Reddit before it started charging for the API, such as apps like Apollo.

A Junior Web Developer can learn a lot about how APIs function by crafting a third-party app of their own. The experience teaches you the basics of data retrieval and authentication. These are skills that build out into other areas like security and optimization, specialty areas you may be working up to.

2. They Provide a Strong Base

Another huge benefit of APIs is the base they provide for your web development projects. Rather than having to get your own server running — and pay for it — you can borrow someone else’s. Or you can get ready-made marketplace APIs if you check this out.

This is a game-changer when you are relying on things like, say, video streaming. YouTube is an almost prohibitively expensive business because millions of hours of content get uploaded every day. It wouldn’t be feasible to host your own videos, so you can rely on YouTube’s infrastructure instead.

3. They Don’t Restrict You

The great thing about APIs is that they are just a data stream, nothing more. They are the information that supplies a website, rather than the user interface.

You do have to follow the rules to use them properly, but you have a lot more freedom to experiment. This is good because it teaches you to innovate. You’ll have the flexibility you need for your projects, without giving up the guardrails.

4. They Underpin Virtually Every Web Technology

APIs are really the core of the Internet in the modern age. As such, you’ll see them touching everything from graphic design to end-to-end encrypted messaging. So, think of APIs as a way to force yourself to learn the ropes.

Want to build tools to diagnose end-user issues? APIs will force you to learn it eventually. The list is too long of areas where an API will strengthen your knowledge and conceptual understanding.

Become a Junior Web Developer Today

There are a few things as important to a junior web developer as APIs. They enable you to build customizable, flexible third-party apps without compromising on the goals of your project. They serve as a powerful base to work with and a great segue into every modern Internet technology.

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