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API Management / Cloud Native Ecosystem / DevOps / Software Development

What TNS Readers Want in 2023: More DevOps, API Coverage

The New Stack's annual reader survey revealed which topics are hot among technologists who work at scale, and which are becoming yesterday's news.
Jan 4th, 2023 12:12pm by and
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Look for more coverage of DevOps — along with API design/management/testing, cloud infrastructure services and platform engineering in The New Stack in 2023. Those are the areas TNS readers most want our writers and editors to drill down into, according to our latest Reader Survey.

As it has for the past six years, The New Stack surveyed its readers to get a sense of which topics are most likely to be interesting and relevant to them in the coming year, with special attention paid to what readers with different specialties (developers, operations engineers, software architects, DevOps team members and IT managers) want to read.

The most recent survey, conducted online in November and early December 2022, is based on results from 306  participants.

APIs up, Diversity down

The survey results surfaced the topics TNS readers overall were most interested in, along with those favored by readers in different specialties.

Overall, API design/management/testing and DevOps are tied as the most popular topics, each cited by 55% of readers, followed closely by cloud infrastructure services (54%). Platform engineering, cloud native ecosystems and DevSecOps received the most votes out of the 16 new topics we asked about it in 2022.

Overall, up to 20 choices were allowed across 57 topics. Since the 2021 study only allowed eight of 48 topics to be picked, we looked at rankings and normalized scores to compare changes in interest over time.

Some of the topics with the most significant changes in interest from 2021 to 2022 were:

  • APIs and application architecture rose, respectively, from No. 10 to No. 1 and from No. 17 to No. 6.
  • Multicloud and hybrid architectures dropped, going from the second to the 10th most desired topic, possibly because developers now better understand the differences between cloud and application architecture.
  • Serverless jumped in interest from No. 34 to No. 19. Microservices‘ ranking also rose, and cloud native ecosystems are ranked No. 5; expect The New Stack to include a serverless angle to coverage of those broad subjects in 2023.
  • GitOps, observability, and artificial intelligence for IT operations all dropped out of the top 10, possibly indicating that the buzz around those practices has abated.
  • Diversity and inclusion dropped from No. 34 to No. 54. However, the newly added topic of tech ethics and culture ranked No. 16, indicating reader interest in a broader way to address people issues.

The following table shows how interest in key topics about cloud native approaches has shifted from 2021 to 2022.

What Different Specialists Want

Several of these topics are very broad. More insight can be gained by looking at which subject matter was favored by readers in specific job roles.

For instance, 79% of developers and software engineers picked application architecture as the topic they were most interested in reading about in The New Stack. It was followed by API design/management/testing (66%), CI/CD tools (55%), and platform engineering (54%).

By contrast, the top three most requested subjects by architects were multicloud/hybrid architectures (65%), cloud infrastructure services (62%) and Kubernetes (62%).

IT managers, including C-level executives such as chief technology officers, aligned more closely with architects than developers. However, managers were most likely to seek coverage of the vast and often puzzling cloud native ecosystem (68% of managers want it). Ecosystem coverage was followed closely by cloud infrastructure services (65%) and multicloud/hybrid architectures (62%)

Not surprisingly, DevOps engineers and team members picked DevOps topics as their chief interest (86%), followed by Infrastructure as Code (IaC), at 72%. Sixty-nine percent of DevOps readers also chose cloud infrastructure, the cloud native ecosystem, and DevSecOps as topics of keen interest.

For systems administrators, operations engineers, and site reliability engineers (SREs), the top choice was IaC (67%), followed by API design/management/testing (63%), and three topics tied for third place, with 60% each: cloud native ecosystem, DevOps and SRE.

With the cloud native ecosystem expanding so rapidly, it’s perhaps no surprise that the new types of content TNS readers said they would be most interested in are comparison guides (cited by 37% of respondents) while 36% want special reports on trending technology. Here’s how other options fared.

Who Are You?

TNS readers, according to the survey results, are most likely to work for large organizations and have substantial experience. Forty percent of survey participants said they work for a large organization (19% work for companies of 1,000 to 10,000 employees, and 21% at companies of more than 10,000 workers).

Forty-seven percent said they have at least 10 years of experience working on distributed systems. Junior-level technologists are a minority of TNS readers, with 35% having less than five years of experience with distributed systems.

The five most common jobs among the respondents were:

  • Developer/software engineer, 29%
  • Architect, 17%
  • IT management, including C-level roles like chief technology officer, 12%
  • DevOps engineer or team member, 12%
  • IT operations team members, including site reliability engineer (SRE) and systems administrator, 11%

Most of the readers we surveyed are relatively new to TNS: 29% have been New Stack readers for less than a year, and the same percentage has followed TNS for between one and two years.

The overwhelming majority of our readers said they are either satisfied or very satisfied with TNS’ offerings: 81% in the new survey, up from 74% who said the same in 2021.

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TNS owner Insight Partners is an investor in: The New Stack.
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