From day one, Stripe has been adamant about ease of use. Its installation process is a breeze – just copy and paste seven lines of code to get up and running. And its documentation is famously clear and concise. Stripe co-founder John Collison says that the setup is so straightforward that “we have lots of stories of people integrating payments in an afternoon or an evening and then launching their business the next day.” So what has Stripe done to cultivate such a large community of developers who evangelize the product at every turn? One word: obsession.
Stripe has a huge obsession with the developer experience. The company invests heavily in resources to get developers up and running quickly. There is even a developer experience team. Their mission? Design the most developer-friendly tools possible.
Stripe understands that developers have thousands of tools and technologies at their disposal. When evaluating which one to use, developers want to see merit over marketing. Developers want tools that make their lives better and their jobs more efficient. More importantly, they want to be efficient right away. That's where Stripe's documentation helps.
Stripe’s well-documented API is one of the best examples of what it means to have great API documentation.
Rather than an exhaustive list of APIs and all their parameters, the company offers detailed guides for specific use cases. This allows the company to present only the most relevant information for each use case. That way, developers can get started without being overwhelmed. This approach is not just unique in its simplicity, but also in its helpfulness.
Consider this: each example request has everything needed to perform a live request, including the Stripe token. All examples are presented using the command-line tool curl. Developers can copy the command to their terminal to make a live call to Stripe. Even if the user isn't logged in, the site automatically generates a working test key. This is a nice touch that lets developers play with the API right away.
When it comes to engagement, Stripe has always been a company that cares about developers. The company’s engineers host meetups, visit developer conferences and are active in open-source projects. These efforts have built trust and respect within the developer community. The company’s efforts continue to pay off as thousands of new developers join its ecosystem every month. Take a look at the Stripe documentation to get a first-hand experience of what so many raving fans have to say about Stripe.
Guest post from Jory Boyd - Jory is a developer, writer and strategist.
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