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The State of API Report 2022

We discuss the findings from Postman's 2022 State of API Report

Morning. This is The Status Code, an API newsletter serving fat, juicy meat of API information. Better yet, you don’t have to get your hands dirty.

And today, we got some Wagyu beef for you. We will talk about the 2022 State of the API Report from Postman.

Every year, wonderful people at Postman survey developers and API professionals and ask the burning questions in the space. This year, they involved 37,000 professionals and used data from their API Platform.

The report is comprehensive - it is 55 pages long, but don’t worry, I did the reading - so you don’t have to.

And here are the two topics I want to cover:

Investment in APIs - is the recession going to affect it?

What are the challenges in the space and the possible ideas?

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Investment in APIs - is the recession going to affect it?

The investment climate, as of late, is not ideal. Companies are finding it difficult to get investments. As a result, layoffs have become a norm.

Snapchat recently announced that it would lay off 20% of its workforce. Same with Netflix. Robinhood laid off 30%. Shopify 10%.

Things are looking grim for tech companies. Investments have stagnated. And companies are optimizing, not exploring.

Yet, CEOs of tech companies are optimistic about their API-related investments.

89% of CEOs committed to increasing or maintaining API-related investments.

CTOs are even more optimistic. 93% say their API investments would rise or remain steady. Of the 93%, 53% say their organization will increase investment.

The optimism comes despite their negative outlook on the current economic situation. Two-thirds of the respondents say that the current economy is not so good.

Why the increase in investments amid negativity, then?

Well, companies want flexible teams. And since API investments help optimize collaboration between teams, it is one of the areas they want to focus their investments on.

API-first companies fare even better. Their forecasts for hiring are 35% higher than other companies. They are also more confident in employee retention and internal spending (with a 50% better projection).

What are the challenges in the space and the possible ideas?

Companies are overhauling traditional file transfer methods, database sharing, and email. And APIs are a big part of that.

Furthermore, many companies acquire developers through Corporate M&A, And most of the “sister companies” have disparate tech stacks. So they must use APIs to work with each other.

More microservices and more APIs.

So the trend is clear. The number of microservices and APIs will increase.

More microservices mean more dependencies. And before you realize it, things can get messy.

It should be no surprise then that the lack of people with API design skills concerns API companies. They put it as one of the most challenging factors in the space.

But the challenges don’t stop there.

Meanwhile, other challenges for API consumers are improper documentation and discoverability of APIs.

Documentation is a big one. Many startups are already working on it (readme and YC startups like Mintlify).

And if you ask the founders of these startups, they say the problem is maintainability.

Companies can dish out good documentation at the start, but keeping them up-to-date is not easy.

You can dish out a good one when you deliver your first API documentation draft. Hell, you may even call it world-class. But maintaining the quality of the documentation, on the other hand… well, is challenging for companies.

Why? Because it’s an incentive problem. I have rarely come across someone who got bonuses from their job for writing good documentation.

Yet the need to treat documentation like a product is evident. Studies show that consumers treat documentation as a significant factor when they select an API. In short, better documentation means more sales.

Until next time,

See ya, nerds!

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