What does a lead API developer actually do?

In this feature, we take a look inside the working lives of people whose job titles often warrant the question: 'but what do you actually do?' This week, we speak to Mathew Pittman, lead API developer at Hypetap.

What do you actually do?

My work on a day-to-day basis involves overseeing the design of new Hypetap databases, figuring out the best ways to integrate our products with technical partners like Twitter and Instagram, and pinpointing how new technology can be best implemented to strengthen our product offering.

Put simply, my role is to figure out the best way to implement new features into Hypetap’s influencer marketing offering, bringing to life an initial idea to a client-facing product. In many ways I’m an architect – I spend my time designing and creating the underlying engine that fuels Hypetap’s services, platforms, data collections, and results processing programs.

I also make sure our services are as accommodating as possible for both the influencers and brands we work with. Our campaigns span different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram, as well as different verticals like lifestyle, cosmetics and sport, so it’s crucial that Hypetap’s platforms ensure clients can jump right in and outline what they need and the influencers for this.

What does a good working day look like?

I have that “lightbulb moment” as I’m turning a general idea into a new product. There’s no shortage of fantastic ideas on our team but many of them can present quite a technical challenge. Often I’m tasked with building a new tool that tests my knowledge and skill set, but instead of looking at this as a problem, I prefer to see it as an opportunity to uncover new solutions and think outside the box. The most rewarding part of my job is being able to use technology to deliver innovative solutions as part of Hypetap’s service.

What does a bad working day look like?

When something goes wrong with one of the products I’m working on. The causes aren’t always clear at first, which requires going back and forth through countless tests with our quality assurance manager to pinpoint exactly what’s going wrong. Usually it’s a rogue piece of code or a product defect corrupting another feature. But again, this all just helps me test my knowledge and learn new skills.

What are your KPIs and how do you ensure you meet them?

I don’t have any strict KPIs as my role is oriented around a few key focus areas, including continued delivery of new and innovative features, ongoing product support, and product maintenance.

What’s the most stressful part of your job?

We’re a technology led company — it’s the backbone of everything we do and it’s what sets us apart, so seeing tech issues pop up is never easy. As the person in charge of visualising our products, I take these occurrences as learning experiences, and this helps guide me for future projects.

What are common misconceptions about your role?

The biggest misconception is that I spend my day in a dark room alone, looking over code. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. When it comes to creating new products, I’m the first port of call so it’s very important for me to remain connected with the rest of my colleagues.

As you can probably imagine, the process of coming up with an initial idea and seeing it developed as a full-featured resource for our clients requires a lot of team input!

Mathew Pittman is lead API developer at Hypetap.


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