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Dec 13, 2019

API growth and its speed bumps

Postman State of the API Report

Postman, an API development platform, released its annual State of the API Report. Postman surveyed more than 10,000 developers, testers, and executives from the Postman community about API development.

The growing importance of APIs. According to the report, more than 60% of respondents spend more than 10 hours per week—about a fourth of a typical work week—working with APIs.

Developers are spending slightly less time working with APIs than in last year’s survey results. Postman notes that its community is growing because more developers are working with APIs throughout the development process. That means the average time per Postman user is falling, but its user base is expanding as more developers need better API tooling.

How much time do you spend working with APIs per week?

What does that mean for API churn? More developers working with a greater number of APIs leads to more complex API requirements and higher API churn.

Postman asked its users how often their APIs break, stop working, or change specification. While half of respondents felt their APIs did not change often enough to matter, a significant portion of users see substantial API churn and instability on a more frequent basis. About 28% of respondents said their APIs broke or changed monthly and 16% answered weekly.

Documentation could be (much) better. With more companies switching to API-focused architectures, it’s no surprise that documentation across the industry is lagging.

Roughly 55% of respondents felt that API documentation is below average or not well documented. Only 28% of respondents felt that documentation is above average or very well documented.

What's next? According to the survey, 54% of developers are excited about microservices and 44% are interested in serverless architecture. Despite today's API development challenges, many developers are hopeful for the future of API-driven technologies.

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