Top 5 GraphQL Predictions for 2019

We’re excited for GraphQL Conf Berlin in June. To shorten the wait, here’s some predictions of what the GraphQL community can expect in the upcoming months! 🔮

1. Resolver-first frameworks will rise

Popularized by the graphql-tools library, schema-first is the most common approach for implementing GraphQL APIs in the JavaScript ecosystem today.

The schema-first paradigm is based on the following development cycle:

  1. Define new operations and/or data structures in the GraphQL schema file
  2. Implement the required resolver functions

While schema-first is easy to understand, it can lead to problems at scale, when it becomes more and more difficult to keep your schema file in sync with the actual implementation. Tools like graphqlgen can help by automatically generating resolvers and type definitions based on the schema file.

While schema-first is predominant in the JavaScript ecosystem, other languages like Scala, Ruby or Python are using resolver-first approaches for implementing GraphQL APIs.

When building resolver-first, the GraphQL schema file is an artifact of the development process, the GraphQL schema is defined programmatically by using objects and classes instead of writing a schema file. Especially with typed languages, this can lead to an incredibly smooth developer experience.

While still early, GraphQL Nexus is a promising project that will become increasingly popular.

Learn more about the discussion of schema-first vs resolver-first GraphQL server development in this article.

2. TypeScript will become the dominant language for writing GraphQL APIs with Node.JS

With its strongly-typed schema, GraphQL is best used in combination with typed languages. It can be considered somewhat unfortunate that its most popular reference implementation is in JavaScript — but thanks to the rise of TypeScript, this might soon not be an issue any more.

Combining GraphQL with strongly-typed languages has a number of advantages:

  • Compile-time error checks for resolvers
  • Awesome DX (e.g. thanks to code-completion in editors & other dev tools)
  • Self-documenting code

3. The GraphQL foundation will push GraphQL toward becoming a reliable industry standard

In November 2018, GraphQL co-creator Lee Byron announced the formation of a GraphQL foundation. The GraphQL foundation is supported by the Linux foundation and exhibits an effort “dedicated to growing and sustaining a neutral GraphQL ecosystem”.

The official announcement by the Linux foundation states the following:

Hosted under the Linux Foundation, the GraphQL Foundation’s mission will be to enable widespread adoption and help accelerate development of GraphQL and the surrounding ecosystem.

If you’re interested in the development of the foundation, visit their website and sign up to the mailing list.

4. GraphQL will become mainstream in the native mobile communities (iOS/Android)

It is a big paradox that GraphQL was developed to solve problems of the native iOS and Android apps at Facebook, but is merely used by any native mobile developers outside of Facebook today. Instead of being popularized in the mobile ecosystems, its popularity skyrocketed among web developers.

Admittedly, there are not too many hints that this is actually going to happen — we’re putting it up in the hope of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy 👀

So, please go out and tell your iOS and Android developers friends what they’re missing. Here are two articles that should help them get started:

In any case, as we believe in the power of GraphQL and the benefits it brings to working with APIs, it should be only a matter of time until it gets picked by native developers as well.

5. More big tech companies will follow the lead of Airbnb, PayPal and others in adopting GraphQL

The number of big companies betting on GraphQL is growing steadily (see a list of GraphQL users here).

At GraphQL Europe last year, several companies presented case studies of how they’re using GraphQL. Here’s a list of talks you can check out:

More companies like Airbnb or Paypal recently shared how they’re benefitting from better workflows and increased developer velocity since adopting GraphQL. No surprise, we’re predicting that we’ll see many more big companies moving to GraphQL in 2019.


Can’t get enough of GraphQL? Join us at GraphQL Conf, June 20th & 21st in Berlin. Super Early Bird tickets are still available until January 18th, and the GraphQL CfP is open! 💫

Questions, Suggestions, Sponsorships? Email us! 😁
hello@graphqlconf.org