Pushing AdWords Library Innovation: Interview with Developer, Colin Mutter

By Tinuiti Team

Last month, we covered Google’s recent updates to their AdWords PHP Library. Juan Torres, our Senior Software Engineer, concluded that “the move to GitHub and enabling developers to install the PHP library as a dependency using composer are steps in the right direction. I can’t wait to see what comes out of these Software Development Kits.”

red-ventures-logo-colin-mutterAs a follow up, we got the chance to hear from a man doing big things in the AdWords development community, enabling his peers to better work with the AdWords PHP Library. Colin Mutter is an avid technologist, cloud evangelist, and Node.js fanatic at Red Ventures, where he currently serves as the VP of Engineering.

You have a version of the AdWords PHP Library that has been installed nearly 2000 times last month alone (compared to the official repository with only 130+). What makes your library so popular?

colin-mutter-adwords-php-libraryColin: When I first started hosting the Google Adwords PHP library on Github, I was a bit surprised at how many other people shared our need for a library that could be easily installed via composer.  That’s really the basis of the project – I got the library to a point where it could be dropped into any Symfony and Silex application – and consequently, any system that supports composer and its autoloader. I was originally updating the project every couple months, trying to stay in sync with significant major and minor updates from Google.

Keep in mind – this was during a time where Google was still hosting everything solely on, which presented quite a few limitations for public forking, independent bug fixes, and the community aspect of Github that we are now so accustomed to. By hosting their code on Github, I was also able to offer occasional hotfixes before Google got to them.

What kind of work are you doing nowadays within the AdWords PHP Library?

Colin: Today we’re using the AdWords PHP Library to incrementally improve a suite of in-house tools that facilitate bulk account management, high-frequency data collection and synchronization, and even automated decision-making processes that leverage some machine learning magic. While we use other languages such as Node.js and Python to power some of these applications, we continue to utilize PHP and the Google AdWords PHP Library for all of our integrations.

What innovations would you like to see made with the AdWords PHP Library?

Colin: When we started using the AdWords Library, there were only two authors from Google that were kind enough to take some time out of their day to produce a generated library for us PHP users. Now there at least five authors listed and a clear shift of strategy towards a cleaner and more modern library. I’m really excited to see that they have moved this to Github, added support for composer, and added documentation. One thing that we’re still really looking forward to is a fully PSR-compliant library – and maybe it will turn out that the broader Github community helps to make this happen.

How have you liked and used the latest version of the API and SDK updates?

Colin: We’re still in the process of upgrading internal applications to the latest version, and I’m nearing the point where I will merge my dev branch of their 5.2.3 release ( That said, I am definitely excited about some new offerings in v201402, like the Call Metric Call Details reports, autoTagging capabilities, and the expansion of the very awesome AWQL.

Feel free to reach out below with any questions!

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