GraphQL Summit 2018: A CTO’s Perspective
This was the first GraphQL Summit I have attended, and I’ve gotta say, I’m impressed! It was held at the Regency Theater in the heart of San Francisco and I heard from the organizers that it was the biggest GraphQL Summit so far.
There have been a lot of developments in the GraphQL community over the last year and it was amazing to meet the people making it all happen. So, as a CTO of a software agency, I thought I would write this post to highlight some of the exciting things that are happening.
The GraphQL foundation was formed in partnership with the Linux Foundation
This happened just before the day of the event and is a major milestone for the relatively new technology.
Through the formation of the GraphQL Foundation, we hope to create a space for our community to work together to help GraphQL become a reliable industry standard by encouraging broad contributions and a shared investment in vendor-neutral events, documentation, tools, and support. This is a natural progression of the work we’ve already done to support the community including hosting regular technical working group meetings, and formalizing an RFC process for improvements.
Rapid adoption by large companies
Companies like GitHub, Intuit, and PayPal have already incorporated GraphQL into their technology. In the last year, GraphQL has seen an exponential growth in adoption by the likes of Netflix, AirBnB, New York Times, and many more. It is very reassuring to see tech giants eagerly adopt this technology. Suffice it to say, I think GraphQL is here to stay and is definitely worth the investment.
There is a wide range of tooling available to engineers for building GraphQL APIs and the options are quickly growing. There are fully managed solutions like Graph.cool, Hasura, 8base, and AWS AppSync which make the process of getting a GraphQL API up and running very easy. You also have tools like Prisma, Neo4j, and Realm which allow you to query your database using GraphQL making it easy to incorporate into your API.
Of course, there is also the Apollo Platform which includes a comprehensive set of tools which help with incremental adoption, development workflows, and production capabilities. The Apollo server and client libraries drastically simplify the process of getting up and running with a GraphQL server and communicating with it from your frontend clients. These libraries work seamlessly with the Apollo Platform to provide some awesome functionality and insights into our API.
There is still work to be done
Despite all of the tooling available today, getting a scalable and maintainable GraphQL server up and running is still an arduous task. For someone who is new to the ecosystem, it is very difficult to get a handle on the sheer number of tools and libraries available and how they all fit together. Ruby on Rails has done an amazing job with removing the barriers to getting up and running which GraphQL is still lacking. However, the community is moving very rapidly and there are efforts being made to solve this problem.
I personally look forward to how the community will continue to evolve. There are so many more ideas and possibilities to be explored with this new paradigm and it will continue to dramatically improve developer productivity.