O’Reilly Media analyzed data from the 2.8 million users of its learning platform to find out what developers were interested in learning in 2022, and unsurprisingly, AI was the topic of most interest.
Content around Natural Language Processing (NLP) saw a 42% year-over-year increase, while the underlying category of deep learning was the second most used topic, growing 23%, according to O’ Tech Trends. Reilly by 2023. report.
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O’Reilly’s snapshot of learning trends is based on its internal “units viewed” metric, which is a measure of how many times IT workers and developers view eBooks, videos, and live training courses on areas key themes.
While some topics thrived, others slowed down: interest in reinforcement learning decreased by 14%, while content about chatbots decreased by 5.8%.
Mike Loukides, vice president of emerging technology content at O’Reilly, notes that the decline in sentiment about chatbot learning modules “seems counterintuitive,” but makes sense in hindsight, given the interest in the ChatGPT and large language models. GPT-3 and -3.5 from OpenAI.
“The release of GPT-3 was a milestone, an ‘everything you’ve done so far is outdated’ moment,” writes Loukides. “We are excited about what will happen in 2023, although the results will depend a lot on how ChatGPT and its relatives are commercialized, as Microsoft moves towards offering ChatGPT as a cloud-based service.”
In terms of infrastructure and material operations, containers, Linux and Kubernetes were the main topics. Containers experienced 2.5% growth, while Linux and Kubernetes each experienced 4.4% growth for the year. Content about the service mesh, a part of the Kubernetes ecosystem, saw a 28% decrease, while content about Istio, the service mesh implementation most closely tied to Kubernetes, decreased by 42%.
The main topics behind containers, Linux, and Kubernetes were DevOps, Docker, Terraform, Ansible, site reliability engineering, Puppet, service mesh, and Istio.
Interest in Terraform, HashiCorp’s “infrastructure as code” tool, saw a significant increase of 74%. “Terraform’s goals are relatively simple: write a simple description of the infrastructure you want and how you want to set it up. Terraform pulls together the resources and sets them up for you,” explains Loukides.
Amazon Web Services dominated interest in learning about specific cloud players, followed by Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud, and IBM Cloud.
While the big three dominated, they all declined in usage year-over-year: AWS is down 3.8%, Azure is down 7.5%, and Google Cloud is down 2.1%.
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O’Really doesn’t know what caused the decline. However, Loukides points to a possible suspect that is being talked about the most these days: public cloud repatriation, where companies bring their cloud-hosted applications in-house.
“Cost is the biggest motivation for repatriation; companies moving to the cloud have often underestimated costs, in part because they have failed to use the cloud effectively,” he writes.
“While repatriation is undoubtedly responsible for some of the decline, it’s at best a small part of the story. Cloud providers make it hard to leave, which ironically could lead to increased content usage as it grows.” IT people are trying to figure out how to get your data.” A bigger problem could be companies putting cloud plans on hold because they hear about the repatriation, or putting off big IT projects because they fear a recession.”