GraphQL and The Web: Thinking beyond the technology

You’ve probably heard of GraphQL by now, and maybe even learnt a bit about the nuts and bolts of how it works. However, as a dyed-in-the-wool web developer, you might be a little unsure about whether it can be of benefit to you or not. Is it really a good idea to move away from standards like REST, which we’ve come to know and love?

In this talk, rather than drilling into GraphQL, we’ll try stepping back and looking at the bigger picture. I’ll start by examining how the evolution of web development has led to a growing schism between ‘back-end’ and ‘front-end’ development, and how REST can sometimes exacerbate this problem. Next, I’ll argue why, for the sake of our users, web-developers shouldn’t just consider themselves to be ‘front-end’ developers, and instead need to take ownership of at least part of their backend too. Then I’ll show how, by accepting this, web developers can see GraphQL as not so much just a technology, but as a tool that empowers them to take back control of their destinies.

REST is not going away any time soon. However, I believe it has contributed – at least in part – to a wall between front-end and back-end developers, which is slowing us all down. Attendees to this talk will learn that, whilst GraphQL won’t be the answer to all of our problems, it may well be the thing that helps us break down the wall, move faster, and produce truly delightful web applications for our users.