GraphQl Summit Speakers

This year's speakers represent industry leaders using GraphQL today, the most important services and open source libraries in the GraphQL ecosystem, and advanced development teams defining best practices around how to run GraphQL in production.

Conference MC

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Lee Byron

Software Engineer @ Facebook

Lee has been making things at Facebook since 2008: React, GraphQL, Immutable.js, Mobile, JavaScript, Nonsense.

Opening & Closing Remarks, Panel Moderator

Lee, one of the original creators of GraphQL's specification and reference implementation at Facebook, will MC the conference and moderate the Public GraphQL APIs panel.


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Sashko Stubailo

OS Engineering Lead @ Apollo · Keynote · 45 mins

Sashko has been working on open source developer tools for the last 4 years, and most recently has been leading the open source projects from the Apollo team, after writing the very first versions of Apollo Client. Previously, he has worked on JavaScript build tooling and reactive data visualization.

“The GraphQL Stack: How everything fits together”

One of the best things about GraphQL is the diversity of tools available to use for every part of your application development process. From client and server implementations to in-editor plugins to production-ready services, you can find a GraphQL integration for almost anything you're using. But how do they all fit together? In this talk I'll go over the GraphQL landscape and show what full-stack GraphQL looks like.

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Scott Taylor

Senior Software Engineer @ The New York Times · Keynote · 45 mins

Scott Taylor is a Senior Software Engineer at The New York Times on the Web Frameworks Team. He is a Core Developer of WordPress and is currently working on an open source WordPress theme written in Relay. Scott lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Allie, and really likes Mexican food.

"Moving the New York Times to GraphQL"

The desktop, mobile, and int’l versions of the NYT run on different stacks. If someone new starts on our team tomorrow, I want to point them at 1 page of docs on how to get up and running, and preferably, start building apps the same day. We are moving towards this reality with GraphQL.

Full Talks

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Johannes Schickling

Co-founder @ Graphcool · Full Talk · 30 mins

Johannes is a Berlin/SF-based entrepreneur and founder of Graphcool, a flexible backend platform combining GraphQL + AWS Lambda. He previously built and sold the VR company “Optonaut”. Johannes studied computer science at KIT, Germany and loves cutting-edge mobile/web technologies.

"Building GraphQL-native Microservices"

GraphQL primarily has been used in two ways: as a proxy layer or as the foundation for greenfield projects. This talk will dive deep into best practices when implementing scalable GraphQL microservices from scratch covering everything from authentication, permissions and event-driven business processes.

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Dan Schafer

Software Engineer @ Facebook · Full Talk · 30 mins

Dan Schafer is a software engineer at Facebook and a co-creator of GraphQL. He worked on the implementations of both GraphQL Mutations and Subscriptions, and built the original Android and iOS client libraries for them. Currently, he’s a tech lead on the Android Product Layer at Facebook, focused on using GraphQL to develop a compelling and cohesive Android SDK.

"GraphQL: Client-Driven Development"

The evolution of GraphQL—from fragments to mutations to subscriptions—has always been accomplished from a client-first perspective. This talk will describe how that was accomplished in the early days of GraphQL, and how GraphQL might continue to evolve in the future.

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Robert Zhu

Software Engineer @ Facebook · Full Talk · 30 mins

Working on GraphQL.

"GraphQL Subscriptions: Full Stack"

GraphQL Subscriptions is a great choice for building modern, real-time applications. In this talk, we will cover the history, theory, and practice of GraphQL Subscriptions. We will discuss backend architecture and scaling options; everything you need to add GraphQL Subscriptions to your toolbox!

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Eric Baer

Lead Software Engineer @ Formidable Labs · Full Talk · 30 mins

Eric has been developing software for over ten years ranging from embedded systems in C++ to high traffic APIs in Java and SPAs in JavaScript. For the past five years, Eric has developed a deep specialization in JavaScript and the associated ecosystem. In his current role, Eric is a lead engineer at Formidable in Seattle where he is driving large projects, and writing software around Babel, GraphQL, and i18n.

"GraphQL Under the Hood"

In this talk, I take a deep dive into GraphQL’s specification and talk a bit about what actually happens when a GraphQL operation runs, from the lexer all the way to the spec’s CompleteField method. As it turns out, there is a lot more room for improvisation than you’d expect.

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Tom Suijkerbuijk

Frontend Developer @ KLM · Full Talk · 30 mins

Tom is an airplane enthusiast and works as a front-end developer at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in Amsterdam. He's always been interested in technology and web-development but wanted to become a pilot. Becoming a software engineer in aviation was the best of both worlds.

"Building a Large-Scale, Multi-Branded Web App on a GraphQL Foundation"

In this talk we will share insights from the leading edge in building a large scale app with Angular / GraphQL for Air France-KLM. Air France-KLM is one of the largest airline holdings in the world with close to 100 million passengers each year.

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Ugur Korfali

Senior Frontend Developer @ KLM · Full Talk · 30 mins

Ugur Korfali has been working as a front-end developer in different companies and projects for more than 8 years. He still feels like a kid in a sandbox filled with amazing tools to build a castle that will be smashed to the ground by a wave of libraries and frameworks every couple of years.

"Building a Large-Scale, Multi-Branded Web App on a GraphQL Foundation"

In this talk we will share insights from the leading edge in building a large scale app with Angular / GraphQL for Air France-KLM. Air France-KLM is one of the largest airline holdings in the world with close to 100 million passengers each year.

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Syrus Akbary

CTO @ Try · Full Talk · 30 mins

Graphene creator and main contributor. CTO at Try.com.

"Extending the limits of GraphQL"

In this talk I will present the next version of Graphene (2.0), the GraphQL framework for Python, which includes a simpler resolver API and full support for subscriptions. I'll also present a new GraphQL engine able to handle 1 million resolutions per second, beating any other GraphQL engine (js, go, ruby) in the ecosystem.

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Jason Lengstorf

Senior Software Engineer @ IBM · Full Talk · 30 mins

Jason Lengstorf is a developer, designer, author, and friendly bear. He's worked in nearly every role in an agency and uses his 14+ years of experience to offer a unique, cross-functional approach to solving complex problems. He has written several books and dozens of tutorials about development, built and sold a successful web agency, and created award-winning web projects for companies including PlayStation, Intel, and Precision Nutrition. Jason recently joined IBM Design as a senior front-end developer and mentor to new hires, where he hopes to help engineers at IBM build better careers by first building betters lives. He lives in Austin, TX, spends most of his disposable income on food and travel, and can often be spotted in the forest foraging for nuts and berries.

"GraphQL at Massive Scale: Using GraphQL as the Glue in IBM's Microservice Architecture"

How do you hunt down a data source among 30+ teams on 6 continents in a microservice architecture where docs are at the bottom of the priority list and requirements are in constant state of flux? GraphQL is solving complex data problems for IBM at global scale — with a surprisingly simple solution.

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Tony Ghita

Senior Software Engineer @ Twitch · Full Talk · 30 mins

Tony is a semi-professional bear wrestler who sometimes does computer things. As a senior software engineer on Twitch's API platform team, he led the effort to transition API to GraphQL. He doesn't miss generics in Go.

"Twitch's GraphQL Transformation"

Adopting GraphQL at Twitch transformed our workflow in a SOA with 100+ microservices (and 1 monolith). Dozens of teams are now focused on building features instead of plumbing data. I'll share experiences and best practices from our journey implementing a Go API gateway with a myriad of backends.

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Jason Bahl

Senior WordPress Engineer @ Digital First Media · Full Talk · 30 mins

Jason Bahl is a Senior WordPress Engineer at Digital First Media in Denver, CO where he works on large publishing sites across the country such as DenverPost.com, OCRegister.com and TwinCities.com. He's the creator and maintainer of WPGraphQL, an open-source WordPress plugin that brings the power of GraphQL to WordPress.

"WPGraphQL - Bringing GraphQL to 27% of the Internet"

WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, powering more than 27% of the entire internet. WPGraphQL is an open source WordPress plugin that brings the power of GraphQL to WordPress. This talk will cover why WordPress and GraphQL are a perfect match and detail my experience building the plugin.

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Ryan Chenkie

Developer Advocate @ Auth0 · Full Talk · 30 mins

Ryan is a full-stack JavaScript developer and works mostly with Angular and Node. He's a Google Developer Expert, Developer Advocate at Auth0, and also runs Angularcasts.io, a screencast site offering end-to-end Angular and JavaScript training. Ryan has a keen interest in authentication and identity in modern apps and loves contributing to the community with tutorial content and libraries like angular2-jwt. As a Developer Advocate at Auth0 and Google Developer Expert, Ryan educates developers and engineering teams around the world on authentication and identity topics. Whether it be through conference talks, screencasts, blogposts, or webinars, he's dedicated to providing thorough guidance on how to add authentication to applications while ensuring that it's done securely.

"Handling Authentication and Authorization in GraphQL"

Auth for GraphQL can be tricky. It's easy to lock down the entire endpoint but this is often too much. How do we get more specific? Let's talk about the available options and best practices for auth in GraphQL. You'll come away knowing everything you need to get a working auth solution in place.

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James Baxley III

Software Engineer @ Apollo · Full Talk · 30 mins

Normally found in his garden tending his bee hives, James is a believer in cultivating happy and healthy communities. He is a lover of design systems, all things javascript and fixing old land rovers. James works as an Open Source Engineer with Meteor Development Group, where he maintains Apollo Client and the champions the Apollo developer experience.

"Universal GraphQL: How to use GraphQL beyond the frontend of your application"

Once you get used to the powerful features that come with using GraphQL for you application, you will want to use it everywhere you manage data. Thanks to the flexibility of Apollo Client, anything that runs JavaScript can use GraphQL. From simple terminal apps to full fledged IOT systems, GraphQL should be your learn once, use anywhere way to manage data.

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Tom Ashworth

Software Engineer @ Twitter · Full Talk · 30 mins

Engineer at Twitter leading the GraphQL and Private API projects. Previously lead on TweetDeck.

"GraphQL at Twitter"

This is the story of how we introduced GraphQL at Twitter, from prototype to a production system serving tens of millions of queries every day. We'll look at the challenges of GraphQL in a massive microservices system with a huge existing API surface area and many clients, as well as how to build a GraphQL service for safety from the start. We'll cover some difficulties you run into at a large company and finally share a little about some exciting Twitter technology that could super-power GraphQL in the future.

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Leanne Shapton

Software Developer @ Shopify · Full Talk · 30 mins

Leanne Shapton is a software developer based in Toronto, Canada. She currently works at Shopify where she helps build back-end platforms in Ruby on Rails and more recently Shopify’s new public GraphQL API. She shares her love for programming as a community organizer with RailsGirlsTO and as an instructor at Ladies Learning Code.

"Teaching GraphQL"

You’ve made the technical decision to start using GraphQL. Now, how do you level up the rest of your team? This talk will introduce a mental model of GraphQL to make learning more efficient for beginners. The concept map will explain relationships between existing knowledge (e.g. REST, CRUD and client-server basics) and group GraphQL concepts. We'll also highlight common errors made by first-time GraphQL users.

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Rodrigo Muñoz

Software Engineer @ Facebook · Full Talk · 30 mins

Rodrigo is a software engineer at Facebook on the server product infrastructure team. Combining his desire to build core functionality and his love for efficiency, he has been developing a new model for GraphQL interactions. He cherishes PHP and couldn't imagine a life without it.

“GraphQL Live: Reactive Queries at Facebook”

At Facebook, we've been developing a new interaction model to enable live GraphQL queries. Leveraging reactive backends and implicit dependency capture, live queries enable a developer-friendly and efficient means for keeping data on clients up to date.


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Tomer Elmalem

Software Engineer @ Yelp · Panel · 45 mins

Tomer is an engineer at Yelp, building APIs to help connect everyone with local businesses. Tomer wants people to be able to find their favorite new restaurant no matter what they’re doing and has spent the past two years building and polishing their Fusion API and more recently their GraphQL API.

"Going Public: Launching and Scaling a GraphQL API for Third Party Developers"

In this panel moderated by GraphQL Summit MC Lee Byron, you’ll hear from the developers behind the GraphQL community’s first public APIs at GitHub, Shopify, and Yelp. They’ll cover how they tackled the challenges of building and launching external APIs with a technology that was still maturing, and the best practices they developed along the way around tooling, schema design, security considerations, documentation, support for GraphQL clients, and API maintenance.

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Garen Torikian

Platform Engineer @ GitHub · Panel · 45 mins

Garen is a Platform Engineer at GitHub working on their API. He wants to help make the world a better place for humans and other sentient beings on earth. He's been programming ever since he learned how to make GIFs for his GeoCities website in the late ’90s. He was a reader of books long before he was a writer of code. You can find him almost anywhere on the internet by the handle @gjtorikian.

"Going Public: Launching and Scaling a GraphQL API for Third Party Developers"

In this panel moderated by GraphQL Summit MC Lee Byron, you’ll hear from the developers behind the GraphQL community’s first public APIs at GitHub, Shopify, and Yelp. They’ll cover how they tackled the challenges of building and launching external APIs with a technology that was still maturing, and the best practices they developed along the way around tooling, schema design, security considerations, documentation, support for GraphQL clients, and API maintenance.

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Marc-Andre Giroux

Developer @ GitHub · Panel · 45 mins

A Jazz guitarist turned developer, Marc-André is currently working on GitHub's platform API. He previously worked at Shopifty to create one of the first public GraphQL APIs. When he's not hacking on Rails, GraphQL or Relay, he likes lifting heavy barbells above his head.

"Going Public: Launching and Scaling a GraphQL API for Third Party Developers"

In this panel moderated by GraphQL Summit MC Lee Byron, you’ll hear from the developers behind the GraphQL community’s first public APIs at GitHub, Shopify, and Yelp. They’ll cover how they tackled the challenges of building and launching external APIs with a technology that was still maturing, and the best practices they developed along the way around tooling, schema design, security considerations, documentation, support for GraphQL clients, and API maintenance.

Lightning Talks

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Danielle Man

Web Developer @ Apollo · Lightning Talk · 7 mins

Danielle is an engineer at Meteor Development Group, a dev tools company that is pushing forward the limits of JavaScript and GraphQL with projects like Apollo. At Meteor, Danielle is a member of the Commercial Services team and works with GraphQL, Meteor, and React every day to build Apollo Engine. She has a passion for UI/UX development and is excited about the improved developer experience GraphQL brings. She has contributed to several open source GraphQL projects, notably the Apollo Client Devtools and Launchpad.

"Devtools for GraphQL"

People often choose to develop with GraphQL because of its improved performance and easier maintenance. One of the best benefits though is that it simplifies and streamlines the frontend development experience. In this talk, I’ll share how the Apollo Client Devtools allow GraphQL developers to better understand how the client manages their app state, how the devtools makes for an improved frontend dev experience, and why GraphQL lends itself to awesome developer tools in general.

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Brian Douglas

Software Developer @ Netlify · Lightning Talk · 7 mins

Brian is a developer at Netlify, where he was first hired to convert their Angular app to React. Since then he has been working heavily on multiple React apps using Redux, GraphQL/Apollo, and a variety of solutions for styling. In his spare time, he mentors new programmers towards contributing in open source as well as JavaScript and React tools.

"The sane approach for getting GraphQL working in a complicated API"

Convincing your team to change up technologies can be challenging. Convincing my team to use GraphQL was not, mainly due to simplicity in getting a GraphQL prototype up and running using Apollo's Launchpad and our existing REST API.

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Brian Lovin

Co-founder @ Spectrum · Lightning Talk · 7 mins

Brian is a co-founder at Spectrum, a platform for building communities online. He has a background in product design and previously worked at Facebook and Buffer. Brian currently lives and works in SF with his dog, Taco.

"GraphicQL: Designing with GraphQL"

GraphQL changed the way that developers build products by allowing for expressive abstractions of underlying data models. This expressive abstraction has bled into the way design and development processes co-exist at Spectrum, and has made it easier than ever for us to write and build applications. This talk explores the new possibilities that open up when designers and developers can speak the same language by moving away from rigid underlying data structures to a more expressive means of communication.

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Martijn Walraven

Open Source Developer @ Apollo · Lightning Talk · 7 mins

Martijn Walraven lives in Amsterdam and works remotely as an open source engineer at Apollo. He is the creator of Apollo iOS, a strongly-typed, caching GraphQL client written in Swift. More generally, he is interested in improving the developer and production experience of GraphQL, and has recently started exploring full-stack concerns like tracing, caching, and schema stitching.

"Building native mobile apps with GraphQL"

Development of GraphQL started in 2012 as part of Facebook’s effort to move from web-based to truly native mobile apps, and GraphQL has powered Facebook’s main iOS and Android apps for the last five years. There is a lot to learn from the native GraphQL clients Facebook has developed for internal use over the years. In this session, I will talk about the Apollo community's efforts to take those lessons, and build fully-featured open source GraphQL clients for Android and iOS. Both Apollo Android and Apollo iOS have [will have in October] recently reached 1.0, and I will discuss some of the latest developments and future plans for both projects.

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Adam Kramer

Software Engineer @ Facebook · Lightning Talk · 7 mins

Adam Kramer has been a software engineer at Facebook since 2008, working on the largest GraphQL server in the world for the last a year and a half. In addition to an engineering career, he holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and is interested in developing highly usable engineering systems to make software engineering more accessible to human beings. His three top hobbies include refereeing roller derby, karaoke, and explaining jokes.

"Managing Massive Schemas with Codegen"

At Facebook, our GraphQL schema has over 10,000 object types. How do we manage such a massive, rapidly-changing schema with a team of just 5 engineers? The secret is writing code to write code, providing cleaner schemas, safer typing, and faster execution times.

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Lewis Chung

Frontend Infrastructure Engineer @ Coursera · Lightning Talk · 7 mins

Lewis is an engineer at Coursera, an online education platform that brings connects learners around the world to courses from world class universities. At Coursera, Lewis is a member of the Infrastructure team and works on projects ranging from site performance to developer tools. He prides himself in working on tools that are focused on providing a good developer experience. Lewis is also a core contributor to apollo-codegen, specifically focused on improving the code generation experience for typed flavors of Javascript.

"Type Safe Data Access in Your Javascript GraphQL Applications with Codegen"

Do you ever worry about whether or not you are handling every edge case in your application’s data access: nullable fields, union types, etc? In this session, you’ll learn how to use apollo-codegen to auto-generate Flow/Typescript types for your GraphQL so that you don’t have to worry anymore!

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Jon Wong

Software Engineer @ Coursera · Lightning Talk · 7 mins

For the last couple of years Jon has been a part of the Frontend Infrastructure team at Coursera taking of anything and everything JavaScript, from developer experience to application performance (and previously spent two years on building product). He’s been an integral part of various technical migrations at Coursera, helping move the organization from Backbone to React, from Require.JS to Webpack, and now from _mumble mumble_ to GraphQL. As part of the GraphQL adoption effort, Jon has been shepherding the client-side consumption of GraphQL on both web and mobile clients, and is also a maintainer of the `graphql-tag` and `eslint-plugin-graphql` repositories, and helped contribute GraphQL support in `prettier`.

"Supercharge Your GraphQL Development"

Rolling out GraphQL across your organization comes with its own set of hurdles, especially for those getting started for the first time. Every developer might have their own code style, differing awareness for the various options and conventions, and their own approaches to verifying that their code will work — all of these differences can slow down your organization’s adoption of GraphQL. In this talk, I’ll introduce the tools we’ve embraced at Coursera to make writing clean, consistent, and correct GraphQL a delightful process. From linting and formatting all the way to static analysis, these tools have saved our organization time and frustration and given us the confidence that our code is going to work the way we expect.

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Michael Fix

Software Engineer @ Intuit · Lightning Talk · 7 mins

Michael Fix is an enthusiast for people. Before becoming a developer as Intuit, Michael has worked as a freelancer with dawn labs, building web and desktop apps such as Carbon and Alchemy. Michael also helped found Transcend Madison, a by-students-for-students innovation competition at University of Wisconsin, Madison, dedicated to inspiring and developing student innovation. These days you will find Michael working with others over coffee in San Francisco.

"GraphQL on the Edge"

One of the most important features of GraphQL is that it creates a concrete interface for interacting with your application. This same interface not only protects the data that enters and exits your app, but also gives you a unified method for testing it at every step of development. This talk discusses how to leverage GraphQL as a shield around your application, and presents a unified approach for testing this data access at every step of the development process—from initial unit testing to deployment tests that ensure your app stays up-and-running.

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Jira Vinyoopongphan

Software Engineer @ Capital One · Lightning Talk · 7 mins

Jira is a Software Engineer at Capital One who is passionate about GraphQL and JavaScript. She has worked on everything from consumer apps and Node.js platforms to marketing pages. When not coding, Jira can be found roaming around the world or weightlifting on the platform.

"Making the Case for GraphQL "

Ever struggle persuading someone to hop on a bandwagon for modifying a tech stack? How do you convince someone that there is a new approach to something that has been around and “working” for years? This is a story of doing just that, making a case for GraphQL and convincing your team to make the switch.

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Dhruv Kapadia

Software Developer @ Khan Academy · Lightning Talk · 7 mins

Dhruv works on the backend team at Khan Academy, which works to provide a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Before joining Khan Academy, Dhruv built educational technology products at Zearn and Amplify and taught high school math in Brooklyn through Teach for America.

"What went wrong? Best Practices for Surfacing Error Messages in a GraphQL API"

Good error messages are very helpful for API callers, but many GraphQL developers struggle with finding the right way to report these messages to an end user. In this talk, we'll discuss best practices to surface error messages in an easy and reliable way.

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Abhi Aiyer

Senior Software Engineer @ Workpop · Lightning Talk · 7 mins

Abhi is a life architect, but has mainly used his talents for technology. He used to love Object Oriented Problem Solving, but now finds himself in the functional world…"Schemin". Technology is not only a passion but an outlet for creative lateral thinking. Abhi is JavaScript developer with growing experience in NodeJS, React, and GraphQL. He currently hosts of GraphQL Radio and contributes tutorial content for How To GraphQL.

"Schema-First Development with React Storybook"

As a community we preach Schema first development, but once the schemas are decided how do UI developers make GraphQL user interfaces happen? apollo-storybook-decorator is a way you can write production level front end code all in React Storybook.

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Xavier Cazalot

Software Engineer @ OK Grow! · Lightning Talk · 7 mins

Xavier is a software engineer at OK GROW! building products with React, React Native and GraphQL. Coming from a mechanical engineering background, he’s passionate about building products with the right tools to overcome clients expectations. Xavier is stoked on GraphQL & design interactions: it's more than his job, it's also his passion: he’s a contributor to various open source projects related to these fields.

"Animation as a Function of Data"

Our design & development process is founded on our application's GraphQL schema. It rules the data involved in the UI we are building and it helps for providing great user experiences. What if animations were baked in the process as part of a whole? This is what this talk is about!

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Peggy Rayzis

Open Source Engineer @ Apollo · Lightning Talk · 15 mins

Peggy is a software engineer who loves creating awesome experiences in React Native, even on the web! When she’s not building open-source tools for React Native developers or helping the data science community through her work on nteract, Peggy loves to ski and travel.

"Apollo Client 2.0: More than just GraphQL"

Are your reducers and action creators too complicated, especially when it comes to fetching data? In this talk, you'll learn how to solve this problem with React Apollo, a React integration for the Apollo GraphQL client that uses Redux under the hood to manage data fetching for you. During the talk, I will show you how easy it is to integrate React Apollo into an existing application. I will also explain how to architect your React components to receive data from your GraphQL queries. By the end, you'll leave armed with the knowledge to shave thousands of lines from your codebase by switching to React Apollo.