A global annual survey of 2,200 developers published today by RapidAPI, a provider of an application programming interface (API) hub, finds digital business transformation initiatives have led to an increase in reliance on external-facing APIs.
According to the survey results, nearly three-quarters of developers (74%) are using APIs for internal applications. However, nearly half (49%) said they are working on third-party APIs, with 44% working on partner-facing APIs. That’s up from 35% a year ago.
RapidAPI CEO Iddo Gino said it’s clear APIs are a key enabling technology for driving digital business transformation initiatives.
More than three-quarters of developers (75%) indicated that participating in the API economy is a top priority for their organization now or in the near future, according to the survey results. Companies are realizing the opportunity for new revenue streams, with growth in API monetization strategies increasing to 41% from 35% in 2020.
In addition, more than two-thirds of developers (68%) said they expect to increase API use in 2022, with 61% relying on APIs more in 2021 than in 2020.
However, well over half (56%) noted that a shortage of developer talent is a top concern, followed by lack of internal prioritization around digital transformation efforts (34%), lack of API development resources and tools (32%) and lack of alignment with other departments (29%). A full 90% also noted that security and data privacy is a key issue to consider when employing APIs.
The results also show the use of REST and SOAP APIs in production environments fell 3.7% and 1.4%, respectively, in 2021. That drop reflects the rise of alternative API technologies such as GraphQL and Async APIs, said Gino, However, he noted it’s unlikely any new class of APIs is likely to supplant legacy APIs anytime soon; instead, most organizations will be employing a wide range of APIs for many years to come.
The most troubling aspect of the survey, however, may be the fact that well over half of respondents (56%) said they are open to switching jobs. The top five reasons developers said they might switch jobs are higher compensation or improved benefits (60%), interest in a specific product or technology at a different company (54%), desire for a more flexible working environment (38%), interest in a specific company or market (25%) and an opportunity to work with former teammates or friends (17%).
It’s not clear to what degree the so-called Great Resignation phenomenon might be impacting DevOps teams in general. However, it’s apparent no class of jobs is immune from a general sense of restlessness that pervades the market as the global economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenge and the opportunity for DevOps leaders is to encourage the best talent available to join and then remain with their organization versus pursuing a job somewhere else that, at least from afar, appears to have greener pastures.