Interest in AI and security surges among developers

The latest Technology Trends Report from O'Reilly shows interest in generative AI among developers has surged.

The report looks at the most popular technology topics consumed by the 2.8 million users on O'Reilly’s online learning platform and finds that topic engagement in GPTs has grown 2,600 percent year-on-year.

Natural language processing remains the most widely consumed AI topic and saw a significant usage uptick (195 percent). Related topics such as generative models and transformers also saw huge gains, rising by 900 percent and 325 percent, respectively. Prompt engineering, a topic that didn't exist in 2022, has quickly emerged as a significant area of interest too.

Security is another topic that has seen serious interest gains among developers, with almost all related search topics showcasing growth from 2022 to 2023. Network security is the most widely used topic, experiencing five percent year-on-year growth, followed by governance (22 percent growth). Interest in application security topics rose 42 percent, and DevSecOps experienced one of the highest increases (30 percent growth) in usage among security topics, signaling a shift toward incorporating security throughout the software development process.

Mature programming languages like Python and Java continue to drive the most usage among programming topics on the O'Reilly platform, though C++ has seen the most impressive usage growth at 10 percent.

"This year marks a rare and genuinely disruptive time for the industry, as the emergence of generative AI promises important changes for businesses and individuals alike," says Mike Loukides, vice president of emerging technology content at O'Reilly. "Efficiency gains from AI do not, however, replace expertise. Our data signals a shift for programming as we know it, with consequences for skills, job prospects, and IT management. Now more than ever, upskilling will become essential to prepare for the new innovations in the coming year."

The report also shows developers are looking to grow their 'soft skills', with a rising focus on project communications skills (23 percent growth), professional development (22 percent growth), and project management (13 percent growth).

The full report is available from the O'Reilly site.

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