April 20, 2021

GraphQL Summit Scale 2021 [Recap]

Lyndsie Berens

Lyndsie Berens

It’s a wrap on the first-ever GraphQL Summit Scale! This year we added a day following GraphQL Summit Worldwide that brought together engineering leaders and architects focused on solving the challenges of creating an organization-wide data graph. They shared learnings on how to handle both technical scaling as well as organizational scaling.

If you missed the live event – you can watch the talks on-demand. Read on to learn more about the talks.

Summit Scale Keynote

Matt DeBergalis, CTO of Apollo GraphQL, started the day off by talking about how adopting a common graph helps engineering organizations become more agile and better prepared for the future. He emphasized the importance of designing your graph for agility and composability and shared insights gained from working with companies moving to organization-wide data graphs.

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Building an Adaptive Engineering Culture

This panel of executives included Bhawna Singh, CTO of Glassdoor, Rick Fast, VP Engineering at Expedia, and Apollo’s CTO, Matt DeBergalis. They dove into building an adaptive engineering culture and how a data graph empowers teams to collaborate and learn faster. They also discussed how to build internal communities while tapping into external communities to develop best practices.

“The graph has helped us improve developer experience, productivity, and team flexibility” – Bhawna Singh, CTO, Glassdoor.

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Scaling GraphQL at Glassdoor

Ian Moore and Deepak Gupta joined us to talk about how Glassdoor set up its GraphQL architecture to scale and serve over 70M monthly active users. They explained how they use Apollo Federation and designing a performant and secure federated graph.

“Move to managed federation as soon as you can, you really need the persistent schema registry and schema validation” – Ian Moore, Glassdoor

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Change at scale: How Expedia built a company-wide data graph

How did Expedia convince their leadership and several hundred engineers to change how they’ve built products and embrace GraphQL? Amy Heinen and Chris Winsor of Expedia joined Apollo’s Dan Boerner to discuss how they balanced trade-offs between autonomy and consistency while still scaling their graph rapidly. They shared their experience and gave tips for navigating obstacles on their way to a company-wide GraphQL platform.

Driving graph adoption at scale: “We pushed for a rotation strategy, and the benefit there was two-fold. 1. You could help teams move along with the technology and contribute to your existing core systems. 2. They go back to their team, and they help onboard them.” – Chris Winsor, Expedia

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Five Lessons from a GraphQL Early Adopter

One of our attendees wrote, “I recommend Five Lessons from a GraphQL Early Adopter for developers using GraphQL for the first time.“ If you’re just getting started, this session from John Masse at Priceline is a great place to start. He outlined the key lessons and recommendations for teams starting on their GraphQL journey.

“Find places where GraphQL would create an enabling story. For real adoption, we want the people in their happy hour over Zoom talking about how their use of GraphQL really helped them solve a problem.” – John Masse, Priceline

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How to be a Graph Champion

If you are working to drive adoption of your data graph within your organization or company, you’ll want to listen as Graph Champions from Zillow, American Airlines and PayPal share hard-fought lessons and deep learnings. For more information on becoming a Graph Champion, download our new guide here.

“One of the great things about Federation is it really distributes ownership. And it reduces a lot of friction for people to participate in the graph.” – Robbie Sawers, Zillow

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Thank you to our speakers and attendees. GraphQL Summit Scale would not have been possible without the many speakers who volunteered to share their GraphQL stories and those of you that tuned in to listen and ask great questions.

If you missed any of the talks, be sure to watch them on-demand and reach out to us if you’re ready to scale your graph.

Written by

Lyndsie Berens

Lyndsie Berens

Read more by Lyndsie Berens