December 5, 2018

Highlights from GraphQL Summit 2018

Matt DeBergalis

Matt DeBergalis

It’s been three weeks since the 2018 edition of GraphQL Summit concluded, and we’re still beaming from all of the excitement and energy of the GraphQL community. With over 850 developers in attendance, 35 talks, and countless hallway conversations, we were so inspired by all the learnings and best practices shared by speakers and attendees alike.

If there’s one main takeaway from the conference, it’s that GraphQL has transformed into a developer mega-trend. Still not convinced? Watch the beginning of Apollo CEO Geoff Schmidt’s keynote to witness the explosive growth of GraphQL for yourself.

Now that all of the talks are live on the GraphQL Summit site, I wanted to highlight a few that I thought captured some of the most important ideas learned for doing GraphQL right:

  • One cohesive workflow: Adam Neary’s live-coding demo of Airbnb’s GraphQL development workflow is an inside look at how an investment in tools and workflows makes GraphQL a killer technology for one of the most forward-thinking product engineering organizations.
  • Design the schema for your product: GitHub’s Marc-Andre Giroux has written extensively about GraphQL based on his experience building two of the largest production uses of it at GitHub and Shopify. In his Summit talk, he covers many best patterns for GraphQL schemas, including the importance of designing for product behavior and team collaboration.
  • Managing your client state with GraphQL: At last year’s Summit, Peggy Rayzis introduced the idea of using GraphQL to manage local state by extending your GraphQL schema on the clientwith additional types and fields. One year later, local state management is baked into the core Apollo Client. Watch her talk to learn how to use it — once you try it you’ll never go back.
  • Testing GraphQL end-to-end: Jake Dawkins gave a standing-room-only talk packed full of code examples showing the most important patterns for client tests, server tests, and end-to-end tests of the full GraphQL layer.
  • Integrating GraphQL and CI: James Baxley, longtime leader in the GraphQL ecosystem, led the charge to add schema change validation and operation safelisting to Apollo. In his talk he shows how to tie it all into your CI workflow so you can go into production safely and with confidence.
  • Taking an agile approach to GraphQL: Trulia’s Natalie Qabazard & Aditi Garg walk through the most important lessons they learned adopting GraphQL into Trulia’s product engineering stack. Their best practices are especially relevant for teams newer to GraphQL or engineers coming onto a project.
  • Modeling your data with best patterns: Kiyan Azarbar from Shopify laid out 14 of the most important patterns their API team has used to build their API, all worth considering early in the design process.

If you’re looking for examples of companies adopting GraphQL, we’ve got that too: AudiBraintreeNetflixPayPalSurveyMonkeyTV 2 Denmark and others all walked us through their GraphQL journeys.

We’re so excited to see what the future holds for GraphQL and can’t wait to see you at next year’s GraphQL Summit! 🚀 Let us know which talks you enjoyed in the comments.

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Matt DeBergalis

Matt DeBergalis

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