Persistent data breaches fueling developer interest in cybersecurity

O’Reilly announced the findings of its annual platform analysis, which examines the top search terms and most-consumed content on the company’s learning platform. Interest in specific topics within cybersecurity grew significantly.

most-consumed content learning

Content use about ransomware nearly tripled (a 270% increase). Other cybersecurity subjects realized substantial year-over-year growth, including privacy (up 90%), identity (up 50%), application security (up 45%), malware (up 34%), governance (up 35%), and cybersecurity compliance (up 30%). This is no surprise, given the 17% increase in the number of recorded data breaches during 2021 compared to 2020 (ITRC).

Between last year’s high-profile incidents involving ransomware, supply chain attacks, the exploitation of critical systems vulnerabilities and the new focus on cryptocurrency theft, it’s likely that interest in cybersecurity topics will continue to climb in 2022 and beyond.

Other most-consumed content

  • Interest in C++ grew by 13% in the past year due to its dominance in game programming and the internet of things (IoT). The topic areas with the greatest growth included software architecture (19%), Kubernetes (15%), and microservices (13%).
  • Containers experienced a substantial 137% increase as enterprises continue to build cloud native applications. Containers are an effective way to package applications and services that are platform-independent, modular, and manageable.
  • Cloud and cloud providers are trending topics, with content about Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud increasing by 32% and 54%, respectively. Meanwhile, interest in Amazon Web Services (AWS) declined by 3%, showing that competition among providers is on the rise. Interest in cloud native applications also increased by 54%.
  • Machine learning continues to grow, with usage up 35%. Looking at specific techniques, interest fell 14% for deep learning but increased for neural networks (13%), reinforcement learning (37%), and adversarial networks (51%). This demonstrates a clear shift in interest from general topics to specific ones.
  • Interest in the terms “virtual reality,” “VR,” and “augmented reality” increased by 13%, 28%, and 116%, yielding a 24% gain across the entire group. There was a sharp increase in the number of searches for the term “metaverse” (489%), while searches about WebXR, a vendor-neutral standard for rendering 3D content on VR- and AR-capable devices, rose by 168%.
  • While Python and Java account for a large majority of O’Reilly’s learning platform usage, this year’s analysis uncovered several new areas of technology—cryptocurrency, and Web3—that are gaining steam. Interest in cryptocurrency increased by 271%, with content about Bitcoin and Ethereum growing by 166% and 185%, respectively.

“Analyzing annual trends in technology usage helps our community stay abreast of emerging technology areas—whether it’s learning about software architecture for the cloud, mastering new languages to support cryptocurrency, or productizing AI,” said Mike Loukides, VP of emerging technology content at O’Reilly.

“These valuable insights empower software developers, data scientists, and other practitioners to begin the hard work of taking emerging technologies and deploying them as real-world solutions.”

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