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GraphQL is for Everyone

eveporcello profile image Eve Porcello ・2 min read

This article was originally published on Moon Highway.

Before I ever wrote a line of code, I worked as a product manager. I created wireframes, wrote technical specs, worked with developers, and trained people on how to work with the internal tools that we built. A lot of the data for those projects would come from REST APIs, and in order to get my job done, I had to find out what the data looked like. Sometimes, finding out would take forever.

Years later, I was introduced to GraphQL as a JavaScript developer. I followed the law of GraphQL that states that the first thing you must do with GraphQL is to send a query to the SWAPI (Star Wars) API using the GraphiQL Explorer. It was very cool, but also it made me think about my past product manager life.

How much faster could I have done my work back then? How amazing would it have been to have GraphiQL back then?

GraphiQL is an in-browser IDE for sending queries to and getting data from GraphQL APIs. You can write a query with the GraphQL query language, click Play, and get data returned to you as JSON. The tool was introduced at React Rally in 2015 and was one of the smartest things that the GraphQL team ever did. Not everyone is a developer. Not everyone needs to build a GraphQL server. Anyone working on a project that involves data needs to be able to get that data, and GraphiQL made that experience accessible to everyone.

GraphiQL also makes it possible to look at all of the queries and types that were part of the schema, so you don't have to spend all day pinging REST APIs. You can introspect a schema. You can write queries right in the browser.

The community often talks about the GraphQL developer experience because it's obviously critically important to the future of GraphQL. We must make tools that developers want to work with. I think we need to think bigger than that though. There is a huge audience of designers, managers, UX specialists, QA people who need to be brought in to discussions about data and about GraphQL.

If you need data from an API to do your job, it's time to learn about GraphQL. No matter your background, your title, or your programming experience, getting acquainted with the GraphQL query language is useful and fun.

GraphQL is for you. GraphQL is for everyone.

If you'd like some resources for how to get started with GraphQL, check out this repo.

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