DataLayer Exposed: Speaker Sashko Stubailo

Last week, we had the opportunity to sit down with Sashko Stubailo from Meteor and talk a little about DataLayer and what people can expect from his talk in a couple of weeks.

Sashko has been with Meteor since he graduated from college back in 2014 and was excited to work with Meteor because his passion is making app development easier for people. He worked on doing just that throughout college so Meteor was the #1 choice for him to get to continue developing that passion.

At Meteor, Sahsko has done quite a few things from upgrading the build system to work on Windows, which was much harder than he thought it would be, to helping with React integration, to writing a Meteor guide. Today Sashko is leading a new project we have called Apollo, which is a new stand alone GraphQL data system. Sashko explained it like this, “What that means is Meteor, inside itself had a data platform that was very coupled to the rest of the stack but had a lot of really good ideas. GraphQL is a great opportunity to bring those ideas to everyone."

The idea behind GraphQL is that basically, you should be able to build an app on top of your backend data without worrying about it too much. When Sashko talked to people, they told him they have to end up writing a new API endpoint for every single UI feature you want to build or whenever you want to tweak it. Then when they call something like the GitHub API, they get something like 10,000 fields they don’t need, there’s no way to opt-in or out of any of that stuff. GraphQL fixes that problem.

We asked Sashko to tell me what how this fit his passion. His answer was great, so we're going to quote him here, “I think, on the one hand I’m passionate about anything that makes development easier. Specifically GraphQL is exciting because it makes it much easier to communicate between backend and frontend developers."

There’s often a gap with someone working on the back end and someone working on the front end and they don't have a good way to get stuff done without blocking each other. GraphQL helps with this because it gives you a nice abstraction layer because the people on backend APIs can pick the right database, backend, and even language, because GraphQL lets you write in any language you want and then expose a really nice API.

Frontend developers can then write whatever UI code they want and they can basically ask for new fields or get rid of fields whenever they want without bother backend people working on that stuff. It fills this gap that is not often on developers' radars in app development. With all of the activity in frontend framework, like Ember and Angular and React and backend frameworks, it only makes sense that there should be something connecting the two because the people who work on those things are usually relatively separated.

As far as DataLayer goes, you can expect Sashko to give you an intro to GraphQL, explaining what it is, talk about some of the problems it can solve for developers and teams, like how it can make it easier to collaborate between frontend and backend folks, and then talk about how you can give it a try to see if it works for you and your team.

All that’s great, but we wanted to know a little more about Sashko. Sashko is an avid snowboarder who gets onto the slopes almost every weekend during the winter. He also spent time as a party DJ during college, something he doesn’t really have time for anymore but his friend did give him the name DJ Mashko which he still uses for things like his Xbox gamer name.

If you haven’t had a chance yet, now is a great time register and make sure you have a seat to hear Sashko’s talk along with all of the other great speakers we’re bringing to Seattle on September 28th. And, if you register using the promo code "Compose" you'll save 20%.