My best of Velocity Santa Clara 2014

07 August 2014

I had the opportunity to attend the Velocity web performance conference late in June to do a demo of, meeting old friends and making new ones. The Velocity conference are the largest web performance conference in the world and I love it because it is completely full with great presentations, focusing on three things: web performance, web operations and culture. I like the mix of different tracks.

Advanced Image Compression Techniques

Tobias Baldauf gave a tutorial about how to compress images. This was great for me because I'm no image expert (but understands the importance of compression). I really liked how Tobias showed us different compression algrorithm, how they work and explaning DSSIM. That is an implementation of comparing images, the tool computes (dis)similarity between two (or more) PNG images using algorithm approximating human vision! How cool is that!

Building a Device Lab

Ok, a small disclaimer: I big fan of Etsy and what they do for performance and how open they are with what they do. At this session Lara Swanson and Destiny Montague showed us everything you need to know on how to setup a device lab. Etsy has built a device lab three times and here we get their knowledge for free, it is fantastic. This is so important now when mobile traffic is (soon) more important than desktop traffic.

You can check out the slides from the presentation at

What Makes Mobile Websites Tick

Andy Davies and Doug Sillars had a great talk about what makes mobile web pages fast(er), discussing if size, number of requests and redirects really matters. You can download the presentation.

There was an extra bonus after the talk, a discussion which is faster: a m dot site or a RWD site? You know, the m dot will suffer for a redirect but usually the RWD site has more content/more request so it will load slower. Who is fastest then, read

Making YouTube Fast

I love open source and was really happy when Youtube open sourced there new Javascript framework for extremely fast page loads. The framework is called Structured Page Fragments and was presented by Rick Viscomi, Alex Nicksay & Steven Robertson. I haven't had time to try it out yet but it seems really interesting.

Growing the Site Reliability Team at LinkedIn: Hiring is Hard

Hiring people is hard, it was really nice to listen to Greg Leffler talk about how they do things at LinkedIn. My number one give away was the importance of making structured interviews and making it possible between different recruiters to compare candidates. And the live troubleshooting, here's a service that is down, fix it :) Here's the slides from the session.

Mobile Web Stress: Understanding the Neurological Impact of Poor Performance

This was almost the same talk as Tammy Everts did at Velocity in London last year, but it was still valuable since it is so intresting how people are affected by poor performance and so littxle has been done in this area. slides

Smooth Animation on Mobile Web: From Kinetic Scrolling to Cover Flow Effect

Don't you hate when you have a janky scrolling experience on your phone? Ariya Hidayat showed us how to do it right and had prepared example of different scrolling, so you could test them out on your own phone. I really how he done it and made the presentation really interactive. You can check out the presentation here:

Responsive and fast

I'm not a fan of the sponsored track but understand it puts the food on the table. However, I really liked Guy Podjarnys book reading:

Upgrading the Web - Driving Support For New Standards

One of the most important thing is to make new standards for the web, making it easier for people to build faster web sites. Jonathan Klein talked about Origin Hints, Client Hints, WebP, SPDY/HTTP 2.0 & Pre-fetching and how they will impact web sites performance and what we should do to make them standards. Check out the slides

Encouraging Girls in IT: A How-To Guide

There's one bad thing with Velocity and that's that presentations collide, you will always miss good ones each day. I missed Doug Ireton & Jane Ireton (she is 7 years old!) talking about how to getting girls into IT, one of the most important thing in the business. What's great is that we all can see the performance here:

Written by: Peter Hedenskog