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GraphQL Finland - Learn GraphQL Up North - Interview with Mikhail Novikov


Following the success of React Finland, we decided to organize another event this year. GraphQL Finland has a different scope, and it’s going to be the first Nordic GraphQL focused conference.

To tell you more about the conference, I am interviewing Mikhail Novikov, one of the main organizers.

Can you tell a bit about yourself?

Mikhail Novikov

Hi! I’m Mikhail Novikov, known in the internets as freiksenet. I’m a co-founder of Reindex, the first GraphQL startup in the world and have been doing GraphQL consulting, training and open source work for the last couple of years.

I’ve developed Apollo Launchpad, schema stitching in graphql-tools and worked with companies like Apollo and Expo. I’m also helping organize GraphQL Finland and React Finland here in Helsinki.

How would you describe GraphQL Finland to someone who has never heard of it?

GraphQL Finland is a community-organized non-profit conference about GraphQL. It’s going to happen on 18th and 19th of October at Paasitorni Congress Hall in Helsinki, with workshops on the first day and talks on the second day.

What does GraphQL Finland offer?

We have a great line-up of speakers, with keynotes done by people like Dan Schafer, one of the creators of GraphQL, and Adam Miskiewitz, who helped moved Airbnb to GraphQL.

The workshops are hosted by well-known members of the community, like Marc-Andre Giroux, Sara Vieira, and Nik Graf. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn about GraphQL, if you are new to it, or to improve your knowledge of it if you are already familiar.

The event is also a great chance to meet other members of GraphQL community.

How does GraphQL Finland differ from other events?

It’s a community organized conference. We are not affiliated with any GraphQL vendors, and we want to build an event that’s inclusive to everyone interested in GraphQL. We also value diversity much and are offering a free “Let’s Learn GraphQL” workshop to members of underrepresented groups. This ticket will also include a conference ticket.

Apply for a diversity ticket. The trip is not included.

Why did you decide to arrange GraphQL Finland?

I don’t feel there are enough events focused on GraphQL. It’s a rapidly growing technology, but we are very constrained by the fact that the community is often sharing the space with frontend and React at the conferences.

There should be a platform for people to talk about GraphQL and we wanted to make that platform as inclusive and community-oriented as possible. That’s one of the main reasons why GraphQL Finland exists.

What next?

Assuming the GraphQL Finland goes excellently, we’ll organize React Finland in 2019 next.

What does the future look like for GraphQL Finland?

I want it to become a yearly event. This, of course, requires more validation that the community is big enough in Finland and the international community wants to attend events here. In any case, I’ll work on growing the community.

What advice would you give to programmers getting into web development?

Always bet on React :P

Who should I interview next?

Adam Miskiewitz from Airbnb, about how they introduced GraphQL to their vast codebase.

Any last remarks?

Come to GraphQL Finland! It’s going to be great, Finland is beautiful in October, and the conference is going to be genuinely fantastic. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone interested in GraphQL at the event.


Thanks for the interview Mikhail! I think we’ll see in GraphQL Finland. Check also the conference blog, follow the Twitter account, and buy tickets.