Velocity Conference EU 2013

The 3 day conference of web performance and operations & culture wrapped up recently, and having had the honour of presenting a session with my partner in crime Dean Hume called Getting The LEAST Out Of Your Images, and wandering around with the green underscored “Speaker” lanyard, here’s a brief summary of the event and some of my personal highlights.


First up, here are all of the keynote videos over on youtube; there were some really great keynotes including several from various sections of the BBC; some highlights for me were Addy Osmani’s UnCSS demo, Ilya Grigorik’s Big Query lightning demo, and the fantastic Code Club session from John Wards.


There were a large number of sessions across three streams (web perf, mobile, and devops) covering all manner of topics from extreme anomaly detection in a vast torrent of data, through to optimising animation within a browser.

Some of the stand out sessions for me were:

Making sense of a quarter of a million metrics

Jon Cowie gave a brain melting 90 minute session taking us through how Etsy make sense of all of their monitoring data; given that they graph everything possible, this is no easy task.

Understanding the neurological impact of poor performance

Tammy Everts not only gives us an insight into the poor aeroplane connectivity where she lives, but also how people react emotionally to a poor performing website.

Rendering Performance Case Studies

Unfortunately this session clashed with the Etsy metrics one, but from what I heard it sounds like Addy Osmani had one of the best sessions at the whole conference.

High Performance Browser Networking

Another brain-melt session; Ilya gave an incredible insight into the complexities of fine tuning performance when taking into account what HTTP over TCP (and also over 3G) actually does.

Other Resources

All of slide decks are here, all of the keynotes are here, and there’s even a free online version of Ilya Grigorik’s High Performance Browser Networking book.


I probably enjoyed the 90 minute tutorial session on Wednesday more than the rest of the conference, but the Thurs and Fri were really jam packed with excellent sessions and impressive keynotes.

I loved speaking there and will certainly be pitching for more such conferences next year!

#velocityconf notes part 3: network performance amazingness

An absolutely brain melting session from Ilya Grigorik , talking about the intricacies of tcp, http (0.9-1.1-2.0), the speed of light, how the internet  instructure works, how mobile network browsing works, how http 1.1 doesn’t support the current use cases, and most fascinating for me: what mobile browsers actually do under the hood.

Amazing how an analytics beacon on a webpage or app could cause your entire battery to be zapped in a matter of hours.

It’s going to take me a few days to decompress this information in my fuzzy brain, so why not check the slides yourself here:

#velocityconf notes part 2

Yoav Weiss did a great session on responsive images and techniques; this scared me a little as he’s covering a lot of content that could contradict the talk I’m doing later in the week!


He’s mentioned some great pertinent points that I’ll reference back to.

Other things he talked about:

LQIP, which sounds like a reintroduction of the ancient lowsrc attribute.

He’s really having a pop at Mobify and their image loading hack script, which he calls Bat-Shit-Loco-Insane ™. Nice. Explaining how it works feels like the whole room has just facepalmed.

He also talks about compressive images. Luckily nothing that completely ruins my stuff.. whew. I’ll just have to update my notes a little bit.

Each session I’m going to gives me ideas on changes I should make to our Friday session!

Velocity conf notes

First session over, and my brain is already straining from Jon Cowie’s talk on how Etsy manage to make sense of a quarter of a million metric to understand anomalies in almost real time.

I also managed to have a full on geek moment when I rocked up to the speaker lounge and parked myself on the same table as Steve Souders and Yoav Weiss whilst they discussed CSS render times and blocking.

Plus I’m so dammed happy to be wearing the green emblazoned “speaker” lanyard!


So, I’m speaking at Velocity Conference EU!

Velocity EU Conference 2013

This week is an amazing one for web performance & operations and culture professionals; Monday & Tuesday is Devopsdays and Weds to Fri is Velocity Conference EU. If you’re concerned with web performance and the devops process, tooling, and culture (and if not, why the heck not?!) then get along (or get your company to get you a ticket) to one or even both events!

This coming Friday 13th November I have the pleasure of co-presenting a session called Getting The LEAST Out Of Your Images with my cohort, Dean Hume at this years Velocity Conference EU!

Velocity Conference is three days of presentations, events, and discussions along Web Performance and Operation & Culture. It’s been going for several years already and sees such big names in the web perf field as John Allspaw and Steve Souders, Ilya Grigorik, Yoav Weiss, and Paul Lewis, as well as well known faces from the Ops world.

I’ve already chosen most of the sessions I’ll be attending and I’m really looking forwards to it.

If you’re attending and aren’t sure where to head on Friday afternoon, I recommend popping into the Palace Suite at 4.15pm to see some slick slides and almost as slick presenters (*ahem*) in our session:

Getting The LEAST Out Of Your Images

Come say hi if you spot me! Let me know what concerns you have with image optimisation on your (or your company’s) site (and buy me an espresso :P) and we’ll have a chat.

Velocity EU Conference 2013