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.

Adam Neary

Tech Lead at Airbnb

Adam Neary is a tech lead at Airbnb responsible for bringing in modern solutions to address the needs of his team and the Airbnb organization. In his free time, he enjoys being a father and making amazing pizza.

Shipping 'Belonging' with GraphQL & Apollo at Airbnb
Airbnb's mission is to create a world where anyone can Belong Anywhere. But we can only deliver on that vision by executing! GraphQL and Apollo Platform sit at the center of a portfolio of tools engineers at Airbnb are using to ship faster, and Adam is going to do live coding to demonstrate how fast and easy it is to build product when these tools are all working together.

Felix Willnecker

Software Engineer at BMW

Felix Willnecker works in the Vehicle Data Collection team at BMW in Munich and Chicago. He designs and implements APIs providing vehicle information within the company. Previously he received his Ph.D. from the Technical University of Munich for his research in Software Performance Engineering for Enterprise Applications. Besides his strong interest in scalable and highly available Applications, he maintains a strong passion for mobile application development from his time as CTO and Co-Found of Weptun.

Cars as Graphs: Creating a Vehicle Data API at BMW
The talk will cover the journey from a fragmented backend landscape consisting of multiple use case-driven backends to a holistic GraphQL API. We will present how we created this API using Apollo and how we transformed the data to a single tree-based model for the BMW group. We call this the Vehicle Shadow; it connects to classic databases, SOAP and REST interfaces, as well as data streams and message brokers. Our API acts as a single point of truth within the group and consolidates multiple (similar) data points, reducing misinterpretation and easing app development. We will talk about the lessons we learned starting as absolute GraphQL beginners to operating such an interface in production for millions of cars and thousands of consumers.

Rohan Deshpande

Principal Engineer at AWS

Rohan is the Principal Engineer for the AWS mobile and front-end focused products. He is the technical lead for AWS AppSync, AWS Amplify, AWS Device Farm, AWS Mobile Hub, Amazon Pinpoint, and the iOS/Android/Xamarin SDKs. He is passionate about building highly available and scalable services that operate efficiently and just work. Follow him at @appwiz.

Protect your GraphQL Endpoint Consumers From Each Other With Query Bounding
A key feature of GraphQL is that the client controls the shape of the query response. However, a client can issue a GraphQL query that can result in expensive work on the server. This can overwhelm API resources and hence impact performance for all other consumers. Detecting expensive queries and limiting the resources they consume is critical for maintaining a healthy production GraphQL API. In this talk, we will cover the dimensions to consider when evaluating query cost and efficient mechanisms you can put in place to implement query bounding.

Peggy Rayzis

Engineering Manager at Apollo

Peggy is an engineering manager at Apollo, where she leads a team focused on making the Apollo developer experience awesome. She's also an open source engineer, GraphQL Summit organizer, and an accomplished speaker who has delivered talks on GraphQL all around the world. You can find her on Twitter at @peggyrayzis.

React and Apollo
Talk description coming soon!

Brian Douglas

Developer Advocate at GitHub

Brian Douglas is a Developer Advocate at GitHub where he works on increasing use of the GitHub API by helping users through technical content and examples. He focuses his day to day work on developer engagement through the GiHub Developer Program by fostering a community for 3rd party API development.

Improving the GitHub Developer Experience with GraphQL
The move to GraphQL marked a larger shift in GitHub's Platform strategy towards more transparency and more flexibility in our API. Over the past year, GitHub has been iterating on their schema to bring it closer towards feature completeness and strengthening the use for 3rd party integrators. Join me in walking through some of the newer ways developers are leveraging our API primitives and benefiting from GraphQL adoption into their development workflow.

Garrett Heinlen

Software Engineer at Netflix

Garrett is an enthusiastic polyglot developer actively seeking to be ballin'. He enjoy long talks on the internet and his perfect evening is coding with the ones he loves.

Not Sold Yet: A Humble Tale From Skeptic to Enthusiast
TGraphQL's wagon is full of hype, eager adopters, and it's own band, but what about all the drawbacks? Come listen to a converted skeptic talk about how Netflix is running GraphQL in production. The love story of two: A seasoned developer and a hip shiny graph meet and the REST is history.

Jason Lengstorf

Developer Advocate at Gatsby

Jason Lengstorf is a developer, occasional designer, and frequent speaker. He’s passionate about building tools, systems, and training materials to create high-performance teams and apps. He later encourages those teams to use their newfound free time to go outside and be people and stuff. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Beyond Static With Gatsby & Apollo
For most of us, “static sites” only work for simple sites, like personal blogs. But static sites can do so much more! In this talk, learn how Gatsby & Apollo help you build apps that combine the performance and workflow benefits of static sites with the flexibility and power of server-driven sites.

Marc-Andre Giroux

Platform Interface Engineer at GitHub

A Jazz guitarist turned developer, Marc-André is currently working at GitHub, where he is trying to help building better APIs. When he's not hacking on or thinking about GraphQL, you might find him throwing heavy weights above his head.

GraphQL Schema Design @ Scale
GraphQL's type system is what makes it so powerful. However, as our schemas grow, they sometimes become hard to evolve, hard to reason about, and hard to use for our integrators. Over the past 3 years, I've observed the good, the bad, and ugly in GraphQL schemas. These are my findings.

Louise Fox

Engineering Manager at Surveymonkey

Louise leads the Web Platform team at SurveyMonkey where her team is focused on Reimagining SurveyMonkey’s Frontend Architecture. She loves all things related to React, GraphQL, Developer Productivity, Web Performance, and Dogs!

query { lovesGraphQL(company: 'SurveyMonkey') { value } }
Find out how SurveyMonkey’s use of GraphQL transformed its web architecture from a system tightly integrated/coupled with the backend to a scalable and flexible architecture while improving web and developer performance. From many to mono, we will explore SurveyMonkey’s journey of reimagining its frontend and how the use of GraphQL made that possible.

Guillaume Chau

Core Team Member at Vue

Guillaume is a Vue.js Core Team member working on vue-cli, vue-devtools and vue-curated. He also created of the integrations with Apollo GraphQL (vue-apollo) and Meteor (vue-meteor) to help developer build highly interactive and realtime Vue-powered apps, and he contributes to the ecosystem with tools like vue-virtual-scroller and v-tooltip.

A Fullstack GraphQL App in 2 Minutes with the Vue CLI and Apollo
The new Vue CLI is now the standard build tools to create Vue.js app. With its plugin system, you can add new features like Apollo GraphQL in an instant. Only a few minutes are required to create a full-stack Vue.js and GraphQL app and then you can start creating the next killer-app!

Johannes Schickling

Co-Founder at Prisma

Johannes Schickling is the co-founder & CEO of Prisma where he's working on making databases easier. He's an early adoptor of GraphQL and co-organizer of the GraphQL Europe conference. You usually find him talking about databases, type-safety or ways how to improve developer experience.

Building Type-Safe GraphQL Servers
Building applications in a type-safe way is the gold standard for application development. It comes at the cost of writing lots of boilerplate and, for GraphQL, keeping data structures in sync with the strongly typed GraphQL schema. This talk discusses the tools and best practices for building end-to-end type-safe applications with GraphQL, touching on topics like schema-based code generation, type-safe resolvers, Apollo Data Sources, strongly typed database access and more.

Eve Porcello

Engineer and Instructor at Moon Highway

Eve Porcello is the co-owner of Moon Highway, a JavaScript training company based in Tahoe City, California. She has taught numerous courses for LinkedIn Learning and is the co-author of O’Reilly’s Learning GraphQL and Learning React.

Teaching GraphQL
Even if your bio bills you as an engineer, developer, or manager, I have a secret for you: you are also a teacher. Whether you’re ramping up a new hire, mentoring a co-worker, writing documentation, or giving a technical talk, you’re constantly expected to share knowledge as requirements and technologies rapidly change.

Jon Wong

Staff Software Engineer at Coursera

I'm an engineer on the frontend infrastructure team at Coursera where my team has been responsible for pulling our engineering organization to the cutting edge, one migration at a time. It started with Backbone to React, followed by require.js to Webpack, and now, the holy grail, mumble mumble to GraphQL.I’ve been taking the lead in getting our company to use GraphQL throughout our organization: I’ve been in the trenches helping give workshops internally to new engineers, working closely with the backend folks to fine-tune our product development workflows, and out and about in the OSS world looking to give all that knowledge back to the community. I care a lot about making it really easy to do the right things (and write the right code) so that product developers can stop worrying about the little things and focus on the big things.

Building the Case for GraphQL
You love GraphQL — you want to use it where you work! But either you don't own your backend, or you think there might be some political hurdles to getting it productionized; follow this easy process to get GraphQL working in _any_ ecosystem, even yours!

Scott Tolinski

Creator of LevelUp Tutorials at LevelUp

Scott Tolinski is the creator of Level Up Tutorials where he has released thousands of free and premium web development tutorials. Scott also is the co-host of the popular web development podcast Syntax. In his free time Scott is a dedicated Bboy (breakdancer) & enjoys pushing himself athletically through dance, working out and snowboarding.

Breakin' Barriers to Entry
While working on the cutting edge, it's easy to lose sight of what makes your project easy to pick up. In this talk, Scott explores what makes a project's documentation excellent.

Kristy Miller

Senior Developer at Poetic Systems

I always knew I wanted to create magic by taking an idea, architecting, and coding the solution. That is where software development came into my life. Software development became the medium from which I could build products that solve real problems. I started my professional career five years ago in the world of PHP and E-commerce. In 2015, I made what felt like a natural transition to Javascript, falling in the love with the community-driven ecosystem. Jumping to the present, I am a senior developer at Poetic Systems in Houston, Texas leading development teams and crafting solutions to help our clients achieve their goals. As I push myself and our industry, I want to inspire women everywhere to feel like they can achieve their biggest dreams: It doesn't matter your background or your gender if you have the drive and the passion, you have the courage to pursue it.

Sadique Ali

Senior Software Engineer at Braintree

I am a passionate software developer currently working as a Senior Software Engineer at Braintree in San Francisco. I started my career building integration for a project management / collaboration tool. I went on to become a senior developer on a Functional Testing IDE where we pushed the boundaries of what a functional testing tool could do. Later, I moved to San Francisco to help migrate the project management tool from an on-premise model to a SaaS offering on Amazon AWS technologies. I spent the next 3.5 years helping ThoughtWork’s partners and clients solve challenging technological problems - from Content Management Systems to E-commerce Microservices to in-store grocery picking solutions to Payment and Disbursement systems to Banking Portals, I have used a broad range of diverse tools to help clients build high value software systems.

GraphQL for a Payments API: Challenges and Lessons
You should attend this talk if you want to learn what it is like to introduce a public GraphQL API on top of existing layers of APIs for a complex domain, while keeping the internal APIs flexible. Learn about the challenges we faced and the lessons we learned while moving from REST to GraphQL.

James Baxley

Engineering Manager at Apollo

Normally found in his garden tending his bee hives, James is a believer in cultivating happy and healthly communities. He is a lover of design systems, all things Javascript and fixing old Land Rovers.

Managing Your Graph in Production
Talk description coming soon!

Dane Avilla

Senior Software Engineer at Netflix

Twenty-year veteran buzzword-compliant Software Engineer building the next-generation visual media studio at Netflix. C to Java to Ruby; involved in formulating paths from existing µServices to a more flexible GraphQL environment while preserving team autonomy.

Netflix Studio Insider: µServices to GraphQL
The Netflix Studio contains of dozens of microservice teams led by 'informed captains'. Come hear lessons-learned at Netflix as we established a mechanism for teams to 'opt in' and migrate from various microservice platforms (REST, gRPC, etc.) to GraphQL while preserving 'Freedom & Responsibility'.

Aditi Garg

Software Engineer at Trulia

Aditi Garg is a Software Engineer who wishes the world was written in Javascript. Aditi works as a full-stack developer on Trulia’s Local team. Her primary focus is building things that people will love to look at and are easy to use (by architecting data-rich, performant services). She holds a Master's Degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Davis. She started off writing backend services, transitioned to platform and infrastructure and now works on consumer facing products, end to end while aiming to pet all the dogs in San Francisco, at least once.

Hard-Learned GraphQL Lessons: Based on a True Story
A beginner GraphQL developer may have questions for which only some answers can be found in docs, blog posts, & threads online. Come hear from 2 Trulia engineers who answered their own questions when building GraphQL data sources. They'll share tips & best practices they established at Trulia.

Natalie Qabazard

Software Engineer at Trulia

Natalie Qabazard is a Senior Software Engineer working on the Trulia team at Zillow Group. In her role, she actively works with React, Typescript, GraphQL, and AWS. In addition, she leads the Women in Engineering group at the company, focusing on building a community for women engineers and offering a forum to discuss important issues like bias during code reviews, imposter syndrome, and the gender wage gap. In her spare time, she likes to speak at various conferences and mentor women in STEM through Prior to Zillow Group, Natalie was a student at UC Davis, graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science.

Hard-Learned GraphQL Lessons: Based on a True Story
A beginner GraphQL developer may have questions for which only some answers can be found in docs, blog posts, & threads online. Come hear from 2 Trulia engineers who answered their own questions when building GraphQL data sources. They'll share tips & best practices they established at Trulia.

Jesper Rasmussen

Software Engineer at TV 2 Denmark

I've been working professionally with Internet development for a large part of my life, and have been involved in most aspects of planning, developing and maintaining small, to some of the largest Internet-based solutions in Denmark. My primary forces are being able to communicate technical solutions easily to everyone, keeping a cool overview and learning new technologies, solutions and business visions quickly. In other parts of life: Consumer of coffee, polyglot, sparetime espressogeek, rollercoasterfreak, photography rookie, dad, gamer.

Destined to Fail
Considering running a GraphQL API gateway? Have you ever thought about the number of things that could go wrong, when users consume the data exposed? What happens when a service you depend upon is gone? What’s the maximum amount of data you could live without?

Chris Toomey

Development Director at thoughtbot

Chris is a senior developer at thoughtbot where he works on web and mobile projects spanning every architecture, tech stack, and language under the sun. Over the past two years he's introduced GraphQL across numerous internal and external projects, spanning both the server and client implementations, and continues to love every minute of it.

GraphQL: Bringing Simplicity And Correctness To A Client Near You
GraphQL has a number of obvious benefits for clients, but it turns out by digging just a bit deeper we can find much more. This talk will show you in detail how GraphQL can bring simplicity and consistency across your clients, while simultaneously improving productivity and correctness.

Kiyan Azarbar

Senior Developer at Shopify

Kiyan has been a backend engineer since 2006 and a Rails developer since 2010, but in the past seven years he has been laser-focused on API engineering: basic CRUD APIs, discoverable HATEOAS approaches to REST such as HAL, resource-level versioning strategies for mobile, cross-service serializer stitching, and most recently a rapidly-evolving GraphQL API at Shopify.

Battle-Hardened API Patterns from Two Years in Production
GraphQL is mission-critical at Shopify. For two years it has propelled our mobile app forward, and its use continues to spread, powering multiple APIs and bridging separate domains and services together. This talk presents the most valuable lessons we've learned about this new lingua franca.

Shruti Kapoor

Software Engineer at PayPal

I am a Software Engineer at PayPal. I write JavaScript code. I like #DevJokes. Tweet me a devjoke at @shrutikapoor08

Moving from Redux to GraphQL
Have you been thinking of how your current Redux architecture will fit into a GraphQL app? Ever wondered what will happen to the reducers and data store and what is its GraphQL equivalent? How would you store data on the client side? This talk walks through the process of these decisions.

Perumal Palani

Technical Staff Member at PayPal

I am Member of Technical Staff - 2 software engineer. I love to write/craft code and always, fascinate about trying new technologies and concepts.

Moving from Redux to GraphQL
Have you been thinking of how your current Redux architecture will fit into a GraphQL app? Ever wondered what will happen to the reducers and data store and what is its GraphQL equivalent? How would you store data on the client side? This talk walks through the process of these decisions.

Ryan Chenkie

Trainer/Developer at

Ryan is a full-stack JavaScript developer, trainer, and Google Developer Expert. While he dabbles with a lot of technologies, his go-to for every serious project is his first love: Angular. He teaches at Angularcasts and Front End Masters, builds apps for companies as a consultant, and contributes to open source with libraries such as angular2-jwt. Formerly at Auth0, he's a fanatic about application security and has written a book on the topic called 'Securing Angular Applications'.

Supercharge Your Schemas with Custom Directives
GraphQL's schema language is beautiful. It allows us to author data models concisely and communicate with teammates clearly. Using Apollo, we can also write directives to supercharge our schemas with custom behavior. Let's talk about how to write custom directives and the benefits they offer.

Conor Hastings

Senior UI Engineer at Netflix

I'm a Javascript obsessed Senior UI Engineer at Netflix, I spend most of my brain cycles thinking of different ways that I can use and abuse ASTs to make code transitions easier and to build interesting tooling around javascript with static analysis. In my free time I like to try to paint watercolors and I'm still trying to find an AST that can make my paintings better.

Backend Agnostic Requests with GraphQL Style Querying
GraphQL offers tons of benefits,. The colocation of data is the most revolutionary to me. What if we could utilize existing the GraphQL query parser but talk to any backend? I'll explore how we can use GraphQL style data fetching without a GraphQL backend to bring colocation of data everywhere.

Ivan Goncharov

GraphQL Consultant at

Ivan is very active in GraphQL community and one of the core contributors to graphql-js. He is a co-founder of which specializes in API consulting. During last few years they released a bunch of popular GraphQL tools including GraphQL Voyager

Hidden Gems of a GraphQL Query
We all love GraphQL query syntax because it’s simple and easy to learn. At the same time, it has a few useful features that are typically overlooked. If you think that you already know everything about GraphQL queries this talk is for you. Warning: this talk will contain spoilers from GraphQL Spec

Robert Dickert

Senior Software Engineer at OK GROW!

Robert is a developer at OK GROW!, a consulting company that specializes in GraphQL. He has been developing with GraphQL and training developers on GraphQL since 2016. He codes and mountain bikes near Boulder, CO.

Fast 'End-to-End' Testing with GraphQL
End-to-end testing has always been painful, but GraphQL can help. The GraphQL-first paradigm allows a new way of testing that gives us the confidence of true end-to-end tests without needing both client and server running, and without heavy end-to-end testing tools.

Ian MacLeod

Principal Developer at Convoy

Ian has worked as a software engineer on a variety of different projects—from the initial build of Kindle for iOS (Amazon), to various bits of the Polymer project (Google), to complicated logistics software (Convoy). All the while, he has stayed active in open source, leaving a trail of contributions in multiple communities (Ruby, iOS, JS, TS, GraphQL)

Hermes: Using a Graph… To Efficiently Cache a Graph
We take you on the journey that lead to the creation of Hermes—a GraphQL cache (for Apollo) that does things a little differently. You'll hear about some of the challenges implementing a fast GraphQL cache, and all the crazy things it has to deal with under the hood.

Geoff Schmidt

CEO & Co-Founder at Apollo

Geoff has been working on next-generation app data fetching technology for over 10 years. Before Apollo, he co-founded Meteor and designed many of its core systems, and also worked on related technology at Asana (Luna) and Mixapp (Computed Publish-Subscribe). Earlier in his career, he was one of the inventors of audio fingerprinting and one of the original authors of Miro, the decentralized Internet video platform. He is the proprietor of Monument, a 24-unit live/work community for scientists and artists in San Francisco. As a teenager he won the overall prize at the world science fair and attended MIT for almost four months. You can find him on Twitter at @GeoffQL.

Apollo Keynote
Talk description coming soon!

Abhi Arora

CTO & Co-Founder at Hyrecar

Abhi is the CTO and founder of Hyrecar, a car-sharing for ride-sharing startup that went public in June 2018. Prior to Hyrecar, Abhi spent more than a decade at various fortune 500 companies building products and leading engineering teams.

From Idea to IPO: Convincing Your CTO about GraphQL
'You are super excited about GraphQL, are using it in personal projects, and want your entire team to adopt it!' This talk will cover HyreCar's journey from learning about GraphQL to adopting it for our entire business.

Jake Dawkins

Architect at Apollo

Jake is an Apollo Architect, focusing on making the GraphQL ecosystem easier to use at any scale. After putting multiple GraphQL services into production and assisting with countless more, Jake has learned a thing or two about how teams implement GraphQL within their organization.

Testing GraphQL
Teams that adopt GraphQL see it become a powerful, yet critical part of how their applications work. The schemas that power these apps act as an important agreement between servers and clients. So how do you support such an important piece of infrastructure? With tests of course! This talk will be a deep dive into how to test the Apollo Platform, giving you the security you need to go into production.

Shadaj Laddad

Software Engineering Intern at Apollo

Shadaj is currently a student at UC Berkeley studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He has interned at Apollo, Khan Academy, Coursera, and Paya Labs working with technologies such as GraphQL, React.js, and Scala.js to develop open-source libraries and education platforms. In high school, he was the Co-President of Lynbrook Robotics, where he led a competitive robotics team of over 100 students. Shadaj hosts many open-source libraries and projects on GitHub, and has a channel on YouTube. He has presented at OSCON 2014, Scala Days (2012 - 2018), Scala By the Bay, and the Bay Area Scala Enthusiasts.

Building an Apollo VSCode Extension
Apollo VSCode is a brand new, open-source extension that provides code completion, linting, and analytics data for GraphQL right in your IDE! In this talk, we'll explore all of the features of this extension, from writing queries faster to getting Engine performance stats displayed inline, and how to use them to optimize your GraphQL development workflow. We'll also take a look at some features coming soon to the extension and how to get involved with contributing to the extension!

Martijn Walraven

Tech Lead at Apollo

Martijn Walraven is a tech lead at Apollo, where he focuses on improving GraphQL server development. He lives in Amsterdam, but greatly enjoys his quarterly visits to San Francisco, not least because of the amazing Hemingway benedict at Sweet Maple. In a previous life, he studied cognitive neuroscience and taught philosophy to high school students.

Schema Composition
GraphQL allows organizations to expose their data in a single graph, instead of as independent endpoints that require clients to be aware of service boundaries and to follow relationships between entities manually. Defining and deploying your data graph in a monolithic schema doesn’t scale however. As GraphQL adoption within an organization grows, schema design shifts from being a single team responsibility to being an organization-wide concern. In this talk, I will discuss schema composition strategies that range from techniques for achieving modularity within a single codebase, to tools and workflows that help teams collaborate on a shared data graph distributed across multiple services.

Soren Bramer Schmidt

CTO & Co-Founder at Prisma

Søren Bramer Schmidt is the co-founder and CTO of Prisma. Prisma is leveraging the powerful GraphQL type system to make working with data easy.

GraphQL as a Universal Database Abstraction
At Prisma, we're rethinking data access in application development from the ground up. Using GraphQL as a universal query language for all databases, we're enabling simpler data access with many benefits such as type-safety, cross-database JOINs and out-of-the-box realtime capabilities. This talk is about the challenges we've faced while building Prisma, such as the N+1 query problem, query optimization, reflecting database features in the GraphQL API design, building an event system for databases and more.

Michael Watson

Customer Success Engineer at Apollo

'Beer for all, and all for beer'. Michael is an avid home-brewer that spends most of hist time solving problems of all kinds. Whether it's software, 3-d printing, mechanical, blockchain or IoT, he probably will talk your ear off on it.

Serverless GraphQL
Serverless enables you to not only isolate the resources feeding your GraphQL server, but also your GraphQL server. We're working on supporting Apollo Server running in various serverless environments like AWS Lambda and Azure Functions. Come hear how GraphQL and serverless work great together with the Apollo GraphQL Platform!

Ben Newman

Tech Lead at Apollo

When not maintaining his dog's Instagram, Ben is passionate about pushing the limits of JavaScript with automatic code transformation tools like Recast and Regenerator. He's a Brooklynite, Burning Man regular, and JavaScript guru.

Apollo Client Deep Dive
Client-side caching of GraphQL query results is critical to application performance, yet the details of how that caching works are far from obvious. How can Apollo Client infer the structure of your data graph from an incomplete sampling of tree-shaped query results? And how can it quickly extract new result trees from that implied graph, in response to arbitrary queries? Learn how we improved cache performance so dramatically in recent months, and what you should know to take full advantage of those improvements.

GraphQL Summit 2018 hosted by Apollo
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