My next step

After an incredible 4.5 years, my time at Apollo and Meteor is coming to a close

TL;DR: It’s been awesome and I couldn’t be more excited about the future of Apollo. I’m joining Stripe at the end of August. Read on for the story.

Matt, my awesome manager at Apollo.

The history

In 2013, I was entering my last year of college and wondering what I should do next. In a lot of my internships and personal work, my favorite part was coming up with creative new ways to improve the developer experience.

The state of the art in those years involved a lot of Rails, Backbone, jQuery, CoffeeScript, and Angular 1. I felt that app development could be dramatically better. I went looking and found a new up-and-coming framework: Meteor.

Wow! The folks at Meteor had put together something really special — it felt like the framework was really designed from the ground up to be simple, approachable, and productive. I knew that I needed to work with these people. Since then, it’s been my dream job.

In late 2015, we needed to create a new data system that took the best parts of Meteor’s Livedata, but added a ton of flexibility and was incrementally adoptable. I lucked out, and ended up being the first engineer on Meteor Data — the project now known as Apollo.

Working on Apollo

Since then, Apollo has grown from a proof of concept to one of the most popular ways to manage application data and develop APIs. Apollo Client and Server are the most common ways to use GraphQL today. Apollo Engine is the best GraphQL-specific tooling service out there. Together, the Apollo platform is starting to power production applications at some of the most innovative companies in the world, including Airbnb, New York Times, Microsoft, and more.

Making a big impact on how application development is done around the world is a big life goal for me, and seeing a project I started get used and appreciated by so many developers at different stages in their careers has been the greatest feeling. And the best part is: there are still so many exciting things to build.

And the team has grown, too. With the opportunity to move into an engineering manager role, I’ve gotten the chance to hire and work with some of the best people in the business, all focused on the singular goal of making application development more productive than ever. It’s exciting to see people grow to new heights:

After Apollo

It has been incredible to be part of this first phase of Apollo’s development, and I’ve had so many new experiences and learning opportunities. With more people joining the community every day, new companies adopting Apollo for their production infrastructure, and a lot of exciting features around the corner 😉, I’ve never been more confident in the future of the project.

So, after 4.5 years, I’m moving on to my next role. I’ll be joining the engineering team at Stripe at the end of August, working on frontend infrastructure with JavaScript and React. I’m excited to see what it’s like working at a much larger company, and experience new opportunities as well as new challenges. But even though I’ll be focusing on my new responsibilities at Stripe, I plan to keep following along with Apollo and GraphQL as a contributor and user.

I’d like to give a warm thanks to Matt DeBergalis, my awesome manager and the co-founder who originally hired me. Also, to everyone on the team that has made my time here absolutely special (including the interns!) And finally, thanks to the awesome community that has always made it worthwhile to pour my heart and soul into the project.

Let’s keep in touch! Feel free to follow or DM me on Twitter at @stubailo.