O'Reilly: 2024 Tech Trends
March 27, 2024

Software developers are showing an unprecedented surge of interest in generative AI, with topic engagement in GPTs — a family of artificial intelligence models — increasing 3,600% year over year, according to O'Reilly's Technology Trends for 2024 report.

While tied to the emergence of ChatGPT in late 2022, the growth is also a reflection of developers' focus on building on top of the APIs for GPT and other language models. As a result, natural language processing remains the most widely consumed AI topic and saw a significant usage uptick (195%).

Related topics such as generative models and transformers also saw huge gains, rising by 900% and 325%, respectively. Prompt engineering, a topic that didn't exist in 2022, has quickly emerged as a significant area of interest, garnering nearly the same level of attention as transformers.

Security is another topic that saw serious interest gains among developers, with almost all related search topics showcasing growth from 2022 to 2023. Network security was the most widely used topic, experiencing 5% year-over-year growth, followed by governance (22% growth). Interest in application security topics rose 42%, and DevSecOps experienced one of the highest increases (30% growth) in usage among security topics, signaling a shift toward incorporating security throughout the software development process.

While mature programming languages like Python and Java continue to drive the most usage among programming topics on the O'Reilly platform, C++ saw the most impressive usage growth (10%), which is increasingly important as AI goes mainstream. Newer infrastructure-related languages also continued to gain popularity, including Rust (7.8% growth).

Additional findings from the report include:

■ Microsoft Power BI continues to be one of the most heavily consumed data topics, with usage increasing by 36% since 2022.

■ Cloud native became the most widely used cloud-related topic (175% growth), signaling companies' transition to building for the cloud as their primary deployment platform. Hybrid cloud is a smaller topic area that grew significantly (145%), while private and public cloud usage dropped 46% and 10%, respectively.

■ While security certifications are the most popular certifications, CompTIA A+ saw the greatest growth in content usage year over year (58%), indicating a high increase in those seeking IT careers.

■ Developers are looking to grow their "soft skills," with a rising focus on project communications skills (23% growth), professional development (22% growth), and project management (13% growth).

"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," said Mike Loukides, VP 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."

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