Developers’ workflows change rapidly.
Here are the insights you helped us collect on the state of APIs in 2021.
Who did we survey?
The RapidAPI Developer Survey received 2,200 responses from over 130 different countries. Many of the respondents were professional developers, with over 90% reporting that they program as part of their job or education.
Overall, the survey respondents represent a wide variety of organization sizes, experience levels, and industries.
What are our favorite languages?
What tools are we using?
GraphQL, Kafka, AsyncAPI, and gRPC increased in familiarity and usage, while REST, SOAP, and Webhooks decreased slightly.
The number of developers using REST and SOAP APIs in production fell slightly as GraphQL and Async APIs increased. While the changes are subtle, we expect newer types of APIs will continue to grow in popularity as the technology matures.
Each colored bar indicates the change in the percentage of people in each bucket from 2020 to 2021:
increasing, sustaining, or decreasing.
—— Increasing familiarity & usage —-->
How much do we rely on APIs?
The majority of developers relied on APIs more this year than last, and most expect to rely on APIs even more in 2022.
Over 61.6% of developers reported relying on APIs more in 2021 than they did in 2020. Additionally, 68.5% expect to rely on APIs even more in 2022.
How important is it to participate in the API economy?
Over three-fourths of developers see participating in the API economy as a priority for their organization or plan to prioritize it soon.
This figure was even higher in specific industries, including telecommunications, healthcare, and financial services. Nearly all organizations with an active, high-priority project around APIs or microservices agreed that participation in the API economy was important.
What kinds of APIs are we using?
Partner-facing API usage (as a percentage of all API usage) increased by almost 30 percent this year.
Internal APIs were still the most common API type that developers reported working on for their organization. However, compared to our 2020 Developer Surveys, more developers in 2021 reported working on partner-facing or 3rd party APIs.
The percentage of developers who reported working on partner-facing was the most noticeable increase across all categories, increasing by almost 10% from 34.6% to 44.3%. This change was even more dramatic in industries like financial services, which grew by nearly 135%.
Are we monetizing APIs?
Developers from industries including financial services, technology, telecommunications, and healthcare reported monetizing APIs at an above average rate. There is also a marked increase in monetization from people who work in organizations that use over 10 APIs.
This growth correlates with the increase in developers who reported working on partner-facing APIs. As we move into 2022, we expect even more organizations will take advantage of the API economy and monetize their APIs.
How do APIs scale with organization size?
We found the number of APIs an organization maintains grows with the size of the organization. Nearly 40% of the largest companies we surveyed reported having over 250 internal APIs. This increase mirrors our findings from 2019 and 2020.
How important is API testing?
What do we predict for next year?
Developers were not immune from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and staffing challenges continue to disrupt businesses around the globe. Lacking engineers or team members was the top challenge developers predicted for 2022, with over 56.8% of developers anticipating this problem.
We found over half of developers considered leaving their current position. This trend may be indicative of the overall turbulence seen in the job market.
Have you considered leaving your current role for another job?
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Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s RapidAPI Developer Survey! We hope this report gives you insight into the API landscape and emerging technology trends.View previous results