State of APIs 2021: ‘Great Resignation’ leading challenge, security remains a top focus

State of APIs 2021: ‘Great Resignation’ leading challenge, security remains a top focus Ryan is a senior editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter (@Gadget_Ry) or Mastodon (

RapidAPI’s latest State of APIs developer survey finds the cross-industry “Great Resignation” is the leading challenge facing the industry, while security remains a top focus.

Employees are leaving their current jobs in record numbers as part of the so-called Great Resignation due to burnout, income stagnation, poor treatment, and low satisfaction. Almost half of the world’s workers are considering quitting, according to a Microsoft survey.

RapidAPI’s survey highlights that, among the developer community, more than half are considering leaving their current role. This is most prevalent in the following industries:

  • Government (66.6%)
  • Healthcare (65.3%)
  • Financial Services (61.3%)
  • Telecommunications (60.7%)
  • Technology – Hardware and Devices (60.7%)

The difficulty in retaining and finding staff has led employers to offer higher starting salaries and other benefits—the leading reason developers are thinking about switching jobs.

Here are the top five reasons:

  • Higher compensation or improved benefits (59.6%)
  • Interest in a specific product or technology (54.3%)
  • Desire for a more flexible working environment (37.7%)
  • Interest in a specific company or market (25.1%)
  • Opportunity to work with former teammates or friends (16.9%)

A separate survey recently found that many respondents would leave their jobs if asked to return to an office following a year that highlighted the productivity and mental health benefits of working from home.

In fact, 97 percent of people say that having a more flexible job would have a “huge” or “positive” impact on their quality of life. Part of the desire to work remotely is due to increasing commute times.

A survey from MHA found 71 percent want to work from home in order to reduce commute-related stress. Other reasons include that remote work would help them reduce stress and improve productivity by reducing distractions during the workday (75%), limit interruptions from colleagues (74%), keep them out of office politics (65%), allow for a quieter work environment (60%), and give them a more comfortable (52%) and personalised (46%) work environment.

Remote working has also opened up more opportunities for employees to work for who they want, rather than who they can. This is part of the reason behind the “white hot” jobs market.

“Developers are becoming more scarce as we see a huge gap between job demand and supply, causing companies to turn to tools that make their developers more productive—especially APIs,” said Iddo Gino, CEO and Founder of RapidAPI.

But what about, y’know, APIs?

The vast majority (68.5%) of the surveyed developers expect to rely on APIs more in 2022 compared to this year. 22.1 percent expect around the same, while just 3.8 percent expect less. This carries on a trend from last year with the majority (61.6%) reporting that they relied on APIs more this year.

Despite increasing concerns around security and data privacy around APIs – that aren’t unfounded given the number of breaches in recent years – 92.3 percent of the respondents claim that it’s a top priority when creating and managing them.

41.9 percent of the respondents are using tools for API testing while 16.6 percent don’t currently but plan to. 36.7 percent report writing tests in their code and just 4.8 percent say they don’t intend to use any form of testing. 

Internal APIs remain the most common type worked on by developers (74.4%) but this is down slightly (-1.2%) from last year. 49 percent report working on third-party APIs, an increase of 4.3 percent over last year. However, the most growth is awarded to partner-facing APIs with a huge jump of 27.7 percent from last year to reach 44.2 percent.

The explosion in work on partner-facing APIs appears to be due to the growth in organisations monetising APIs. 40.5 percent report their organisation monetising an API compared to 35.4 percent last year. Heading into next year, it’s likely that more businesses will take advantage of the growing API economy.

Developers are taking advantage of new API types such as AsynchAPI (21.8%) and GraphQL (14.7%) with adoption dramatically increasing in the last several years.

REST (59.7%) continues to be the most popular while interest is also growing in emerging technologies like Websockets (20.7%), Serverless and FaaS (17.5%), and gRPC (5.4%).

By far, JavaScript continues to dominate both the most used and most preferred languages:

RapidAPI notes how TypeScript has entered the top five for the first time:

  • JavaScript
  • Python
  • Java
  • PHP
  • TypeScript

Older languages such as Java, PHP, C#, and .NET all fell in popularity and preference.

(Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash)

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