O’Reilly has published its 2024 Technology Trends Report. The report is based on the data derived from the 2.8 million users of its online learning platform. There is little surprise on the headline data point with a massive 3,600% increase in interest in GPT and Generative AI. That it has been in the full public awareness for little over a year shows the impact that it is having. The new technology has accelerated its adoption far faster than any previous emerging technologies, including cloud, blockchain and pretty much anything else. With developers accessing courses on API integration to GPT and other language models, it shows that there is more to come.
Mike Loukides, Vice President of emerging technology content at O’Reilly, commented, “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. 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.”
2024 Technology Trends Report
The full report is available to download here (registration required). The full report has some interesting insights about the most popular courses that are within its LMS. The report highlights the change from the previous year, which in most cases is slightly up or down. There are a few exceptions that O’Reilly pulled out.
The report is divided into eleven sections. Each section has a commentary around the data visualisation of the “units Viewed” metric for eleven months of 2022 and 2023. It provides a relatively accurate delta of interest in those eleven broad subject areas.
The commentary also cites external sources to explain some of the shifts in course popularity, which makes this an interesting read for someone looking to understand industry trends.
- Software Development
- Programming and Programming Languages
- Artificial Intelligence
- Cloud Computing
- Web Development
- Professional Development
The key findings
Software development saw a slight decline in volumes. The authors raised some interesting questions about the impact of AI on software design and how the practice will evolve moving forward. There was no category for the combination of AI and human software design, perhaps a new topic for 2024.
The use of programming language courses declined, with Java declining by 14%. Well-loved, but is Java coming to a close, especially as AI-based coding starts to emerge?
Within Artificial Intelligence, interest in generative AI soared to second place, but other topics also saw significant increases. Natural Language \processing remained the most popular and rose 195% from 2022. Generative models rose to fourth with a 900% increase. Prompt engineering has also made an appearance for the first time.
The Data sections throw up some interesting changes. Interest in Power soared by 36% and climbed from fourth place to second within the year. There was little change in other areas, though many of the most popular subjects saw a decline, including data engineering, Apache Spark and Kafka.
Interest in Operations subjects broadly declined, including DevOps (down 9%), though MLOps rose 14%. The other riser was Supply Chain Management, which rose 5.9%. Linux and Kubernetes declined, though they are still the two most popular subjects.
Security was the second sector to show growth. Though not as explosive, it reflects the strategy priority shown by other surveys.
Network security (up 5%) remained the most popular, with Governance (up 22%) displacing Penetration testing/ethical hacking rising in second place. Other rises included application security (up 42%) and DevSecOps (up 30%).
Cloud Computing saw a shift, with Cloud-native courses rising from fifth to the most popular with 17% growth. IAM (Identity and Access Management) rose slightly to second place, displacing Cloud deployment, which fell sharply. The report also looks at cloud providers, with AWS remaining top and increasing by 0.65%, but Azure (down 16%) and GCP (down 22%) both fell.
Web development remained relatively static, with React remaining the most popular. Angular fell from second to third, with web design replacing it despite also declining.
For certifications, the authors changed the methodology to indicate the most popular certifications rather than subject areas. It reviewed the data for 2022, again to give a trend analysis. CompTIA A+ rose 58% over the year, but CISSP remains the most popular despite a slight decline. However, CompTIA Security saw a rise in second place to narrow the gap.
Design remained largely unchanged, with UX, Web design and Interface remaining in the top three spots. Figma rose significantly but overall the numbers were low.
Professional development saw rises in the top three skills with Project Management (up 13%) remaining top, Communication (up 23%) rose to second place and professional development (up 22%). The graphic seems to suggest that professional development rose less than this, though.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
It is an interesting piece of research based on a massive data set that uncovers some interesting trends and changes. CompTIA seems to be engaging well and organisations are perhaps placing higher importance on their qualifications that some others. CISSP has been around for some time, and perhaps (ISC)2 needs to market it better in 2024 or risk losing its leadership position.
The lack of AI-related courses within the Software Design category also indicates that AI will have an impact on every area of education. This is an interesting read for IT Leaders and IT staff. It indicates where peers are looking for further training and perhaps which skill sets are declining in importance. The report highlights some useful insights, though it lacks any predictions for the year ahead other than the obvious one of AI. Instead, it asks the obvious questions. O’Reilly has more granular data that might have shown some trends emerging during the year. Whilst over the year, React remained consistent with 2022, but has it started to decline and is there a cycle for training during the year?