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AI is catching on with API developers

AI is catching on with API developers

Some 60% of API developers use generative AI to help them code, according to a Postman survey of more than 40,000 developers and API professionals.

Credit: Dreamstime

Artificial intelligence has caught on with software developers who build APIs, with 60% of respondents to a recent Postman survey saying they are using generative AI in their jobs.

This was just one of the key findings in Postman’s 2023 State of the API Report, which is based on a survey of 40,000 developers and API professionals.

More than half of the survey respondents use AI to find bugs in code, and more than a third rely on AI to generate code. When asked what type of project most excites developers in the coming year, the leading answer was building AI-powered apps.

Senior API developers were much less likely to use AI tools than junior developers, except to generate documents and comments.

Developers in government and defense were the least likely to use AI tools, while those in education had the highest uptake rate at 65%. Asked what level of productivity benefit they expect AI tools such as ChatGPT or GitHub Copilot to deliver during the next two years, the largest share of respondents (about 42%) said 10% to 25%.

Postman’s 2023 State of the API Report, the company’s fifth annual survey of API professionals, was released June 27. The report tracks trends in API management and usage by querying API professionals and developers on topics such as API tools, the future of APIs, and development priorities.

The survey was conducted from late April to early June. Anonymised, aggregated data from the Postman API platform also was factored into the report.

Other key findings of the 2023 State of the API Report:

  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents said their APIs generate revenue. Of these respondents, 43% said their APIs generate more than a quarter of company revenue.
  • Ninety-two percent said investments in APIs will rise or stay the same during the next 12 months.
  • API security improved for most respondents, with the frequency of incidents dropping in 2023. But some sectors fared worse than others. Respondents in the automotive, education, and retail sectors said that incidents had occurred at higher-than-average rates.
  • Price is a top consideration when deciding whether to integrate with an API.
  • Based on data from the Postman Public API Network, the five most popular API collections (those most often forked) during the past year were the Salesforce Platform APIs, WhatsApp Cloud API, Twitter API v2, Notion API, and PayPal APIs.
  • REST remains the most-used API architecture, with 86% using it. But this was down from last year’s 89% figure and 92% in 2021.

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