Understanding Web APIs
When someone is talking about an API they are referring to a web API. The acronym API stands for application programming interface, which doesn’t necessarily do a great job at explaining what it is if you are just getting started in web development. Most web APIs are built to help developers get data or functionality from an external source.
Have you ever seen Google maps outside of Google? Google has made available many APIs including their maps. So instead of having to create your own entirely new map system with addresses, geography, streets, speed limits, cities etc… you can simply request access to Google Maps saving you the time and headache of trying to create it. Have you ever logged in to a website by using your Facebook or Google login? That is through an API. APIs can also be data, almost everything has an API for people to use to get information. Want information about all the national parks in the United States? Theres an API for that. Want to hear nearly endless dad jokes? Theres and API for that.
The main reason APIs are created is so that developers spend less time doing certain things, like having to create maps, or having to hunt down information about national parks when those can be created just once and then shared(for free or paid). As a developer you should use APIs as a tool to help you create better, more unique programs by using them as a stepping stool. Most APIs have significant documentation on how to access the data or functionality within them and youtube is also a great resource. If you want to experiment with web APIs I recommend visiting the website RapidAPI they have hundreds of APIs to use some for free some are paid but they might have something that interests you.