AirPair, a startup that offers live, online consultation with programming experts, is announcing today that it has partnered with more than a dozen companies. Those partnerships are supposed to connect people having difficulty using a certain API with others who can help.
We first wrote about AirPair a year ago, and it’s also part of the current class of companies at Y Combinator.
Co-founder Jonathon Kresner told me that one of the main ways customers use AirPair is to get help integrating an API like Stripe’s. He argued that this is part of a larger trend that he described as “the API-ification of the web.” By making more services and integrations available via APIs, companies are “empowering people” by “lowering the bar for them to build useful things,” Kresner said, but this also creates its own technical challenges.
So AirPair has formalized its efforts in this area by partnering with the companies that built the APIs in question. Those companies can now identify experts in their larger developer communities, and if those experts are willing, AirPair can then connect them with users who need help with a specific API, and who are willing to pay for the experts’ time.
AirPair’s initial partners include Algolia, TwoTap, TrueVault, Unbabel, Balanced, Evernote, Searchmetrics, Stripe, Keen IO, Twilio, Sendwithus, TokBox, Framed Data, SendGrid, Human API, Vero, the Echo Nest, and AdRoll. Kresner said some partners had a rich developer ecosystem that they could connect with AirPair, while others are still building that community, with this program providing “fuel for the fire.”
“AirPair helps us streamline the process of providing support to our customers and kickstarting a developer ecosystem,” said TwoTap co-founder Radu Spineanu in an emailed statement. “Our goal is to empower our community experts to share their knowledge and monetize their experience with our product.”
There are other services that offer live programming assistance, including the recently launched HackHands. Kresner said one of the things that distinguishes AirPair is its focus on building “a premium service” with high-quality mentors, and adding these community experts to the system is very much in that vein.
“We’re not letting you interact with just anyone who’s done a Twilio app once at a Hackathon,” he said.
Update 1:An earlier version of this post mentioned a partnership with Heroku, but apparently that was a bit premature.
Update 2: You can find out more in this AirPair post.