Skip to main content

RapidAPI’s New State of APIs Survey Finds Majority of Software Developers Increased Reliance on APIs; Participation in the API Economy Grows In Importance Across All Industries

Findings reveal that more than 68% of developers expect to increase API usage in 2022 and 56% cite shortage of developer talent as a top concern

RapidAPI, a next-generation API hub that enables developers and enterprises to find, connect to, and manage thousands of APIs, today released its State of APIs Developer Survey 2021, a new report highlighting trends in software development and API usage. The report included responses from more than 2,200 individuals from 130 countries and across different roles with a majority of respondents reporting that software development is part of their job or education.

This year’s study underscored the importance of an API strategy across all industries, revealing that most organizations are prioritizing digital transformation efforts to give them a competitive advantage. API usage continues to skyrocket, with more than 61.6 percent of developers relying on APIs more in 2021 than in 2020, and 68.4 percent expecting to use even more APIs in 2022 than this year. The number grows to 90.6% when taking into account the developers that will use APIs more or the same in 2022 as they did in 2021. Additionally, a majority (75.5%) of developers indicated that participating in the API economy is a top priority for their organization now or in the near future.

“Every company is accelerating the transition to digital channels and investing in software development to enable that transition. At the same time, 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, RapidAPI. “This year’s study underscores the importance of creating an API strategy that delivers business value across all industries by enabling developers to build innovative software more rapidly.”

APIs are Driving Innovation and Digital Acceleration

The report found that APIs are enabling more collaboration than ever before. Internal APIs are still the most common API type that developers use (74.3%), however, more respondents (49.1%) reported working on third party APIs. Partner-facing APIs had the most significant increase this year (44.3%, up from 34.6% in 2020).

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Security, data privacy and testing remain top areas of focus. More than 90 percent of developers report security and data privacy as a key consideration, with the same amount who test or plan to test their APIs. The three most popular types of testing conducted by developers in 2021 were:
    • Functional testing (29.5%)
    • Integration testing (26.8%)
    • Acceptance testing (16.3%)
  • API monetization is on the rise: Companies are realizing the opportunity for new revenue streams, with growth in API monetization increasing to 40.6 percent from 35.4 percent in 2020.
  • JavaScript and TypeScript are on the uptick: While JavaScript continues to dominate as the most used (71.6%) and preferred (51.9%) programming language, for the first time TypeScript entered both the top five most used (19.5%) and the top five most preferred (12.1%). The rank order for the most used and preferred languages are:
    • JavaScript
    • Python
    • Java
    • PHP
    • TypeScript
  • Adoption of New API Types is on the rise: The number of developers using REST and SOAP APIs in production fell slightly in 2021 (down 3.7% and 1.4%, respectively) as the number of developers using GraphQL and Async APIs increased. While the changes are subtle, newer types of APIs are expected to continue to grow in popularity as the technology matures.

The Great Resignation and Impact of Developer Talent Shortage

With an increase in API usage and reliance comes added challenges that developers have to grapple with. Not surprisingly, respondents named the technical talent shortage as a main hurdle going into 2022. Developers cited a lack of engineers or team members as the top challenge for 2022 (56.8%), followed by:

  • Lack of internal prioritization around digital transformation efforts (34.3%)
  • Lack of API Development resources/DevTools (31.7%)
  • Lack of alignment with other departments (28.7%)

Organizations also have to prioritize retaining their technical talent, as more than half of the developers surveyed have considered leaving their current role. Staffing challenges and a hot labor market are driving forces behind 54 percent of developers saying they are open to switching jobs. Respondents in the following industries considered leaving their job at rates above the overall average:

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

The top five reasons developers said they thought about switching jobs include:

  • Seeking higher compensations or improved benefits (59.6%)
  • Interest in a specific product or technology at a different company (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%)

For more information

About RapidAPI

RapidAPI is the world’s largest API Hub where millions of developers discover and connect to APIs, and where the largest companies find, manage and collaborate on their internal and external APIs. For enterprise organizations, RapidAPI offers RapidAPI Enterprise Hub, a private, customizable version of the public hub that enables the company’s developers, customers, and partners to find, manage, and connect to hundreds of internal APIs, as well as external API subscriptions.


Data & News supplied by
Stock quotes supplied by Barchart
Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes.
By accessing this page, you agree to the following
Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.