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The State of GraphQL

Tomek Poniatowicz


The State of GraphQL

The State of JavaScript is a survey created and maintained by Sacha Greif, Raphael Benitte & Michael Rambeau. The survey collects data from over 20,000 developers, who are asked questions regarding front-end frameworks, libraries and the part that interests us the most ... the Data Layer which of course includes the GraphQL and its derivatives such as Apollo or Relay.

Data layers report

The data layer regroups all the technologies used to transmit and manage data. It's a vast category where many approaches compete to make a tricky problem more approachable. The users were asked about their experience and knowledge of such technologies as Redux, Apollo, MobX, Relay & GraphQL. Let's take a look at the responses from last year (2018) surveys:

GraphQL's popularity

As you can see on a chart below (hopefully), only 7.1% of the respondent has never heard of GraphQL (comparing to 36.% in 2016, and 17.9% in 2017). The 62.5% declare that they would like to learn the GraphQL, 20.4% used it and would use again (which is a double growth comparing to 2017), and only 1.3% have already given it a try, but would not use it again.


Source: stateofjs.com

Most like aspects of GraphQL

The developers who declared that they “used it and would use again”, when asked about the most liked aspects of GraphQL picked the below top3:

  • elegant programming style & patterns
  • growing popularity
  • powerful tooling (i.e. GraphQL Editor)


Source: stateofjs.com

Most disliked aspects of GraphQL

The developers who declared that they “used it and would not use again”, when asked about the most disliked aspects of GraphQL picked:

  • high complexity
  • clumsy programming style,
  • hard learning curve


Source: stateofjs.com

GraphQL Usage

The survey showed that 20.3% of respondents have used GraphQL and would do it again for future projects. Below map represent the distribution of users enjoying GraphQL. Countries with the highest ratio are shown in red, those where it's lower are displayed in blue. Countries with less than 20 respondents were omitted.

The map

Source: stateofjs.com

The summary

After analyzing over 20 000 surveys the authors have put them into a quadrant chart where have four groups:

AdoptRedux - it has very high usage & satisfaction rates, which makes it a safe technology to adopt.
AssessGraphQL, Apollo, MobX - they have high satisfaction, but still relatively low usage rate. These are the technologies worth following as they soon might transform into the big players.
AvoidRelay - low usage, combined with low satisfaction makes Relay a technology to avoid (at least right now).
AnalyzeNONE - high usage despite low satisfaction if being used you should consider reassessment.

The summary

Source: stateofjs.com

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