Velocity EU 2013 Conference Day 2

by James Wickett on


Velocity EU Conference 2013 in London

Morning Keynote

  • I need to check out High Performance Browser Networking
  • Livestream Schedule
  • @TheOpsMgr: Code of Conduct #velocityconf "tl;dr Don't be a jerk"
  • First Speaker isnt related to the US healthcare web debacle... in fact it is for the site!
  • @jonathan_thorpe: Is it just luck that there are many awesome sessions here or is there just a lot of amazingly cool stuff coming out of Europe? Keynote (by @psd, Paul Downey)

  • In 2010 there was a letter saying revolution in IT in the gov... not an evolution, a revolution
  • Challenge: fix publishing, fix transactions (I don't need to be a gov expert to figure out), go wholesale (APIs)
  • @jonathan_thorpe: used to be so shocking it was embarrassing. Now it's a great example of the web done right!
  • has a page called "What to do when someone dies" which helps people with real problems
  • has way fewer pages than its predecessors but gets way more traffic... analytics is key
  • we need to think about it as User Research NOT User Testing
  • @Smrimell: "start with needs" #velocityconf. Thats a good start.
  • @grahamhayes: Do less, measure everything... Sage advice
  • Everything is written in markdown at
  • "The last act of a desperate man is to read the manual" - @psd (abt nginx)
  • @jonathan_thorpe: = That's a great thing. Keep out of my way and get me to what I want quickly and easily
  • Gov Service Design Manual released to help other gov branches rework their sites
  • @bruntonspall: RT @omphe: Check out the redirection code for yourself:
  • @grahamhayes: great talk by @psd at #velocityconf... i have admired from afar for ages
  • @NatiTal: #livesketching @psd at #velocityconf as first #keynote!

Stand Down Your Smartphone Testing Army

  • We all have drawers of phones to test our mobile apps... now we can use a service
  • Keynote DA (Device Anywhere) Free Demo at Velocity Conference
  • @jonathan_thorpe: Keynote DA Free looks very cool. There goes the excuse I use with my wife to buy new hardware
  • @RobertCastley: MITE is available to download for free from #velocityconf @keynotesystems
  • @ThomasatKeynote: Free tool for functional testing on real mobile devices from @DevAnywhere #velocityconf Mitun presenting
  • @sangele: awesome service to test web apps on any device

Testing all the way to Production - Sam Adams @LMAX

  • They have grown fast, in 2010
  • Keep the build always releasable @LMAX
  • When you commit you are saying "I believe this code is safe to go to production"
  • Release schedule every two weeks and they have the luxury that financial markets stop over the weekend
  • Over 7,000 automated acceptance tests, card/story not done until green ATs
  • @markmadsen: #2 continuous testing starting at point of commit, using same exact binaries, scripts, kit as production
  • @LMAX they have a build sheriff and everyone gets to be sheriff for a day
  • They had painful releases and they did retrospectives... knowing the full health of the system turned out to be the goal
  • @chrisgonyea: “Long releases = tired unhappy dev/ops = more human error”
  • Testing-in-Live, not functional testing, not perf testing, ... tests the plumbing and communication between components
  • Test entire workflow through the system and make sure everything works
  • @HSilatani: #velocityconf LMAX Sam Adams - test data isolation in prod and venues ! Game changer in my opinion.
  • @ThomasatKeynote: "... production is just another release ..." that is modern development by .@LMAX
  • @roman_pavlyuk: "There's nothing special about production -- it is just another release!". The meaning of CD in one phrase! My notes: I like the direction they went here. This seems exactly like what we did at NI and at Mentor Graphics. We sent in real jobs and verified results, created new users, test web workflows,... Basically we tried to walk the entire stack with each transaction or test. A little more high stakes at @LMAX as they have real money there. We called this smoke tests but here they call it Testing-in-live. Basically write tests that mock out the user experience with as many pathways through the system

Most of the time we measure the performance of others

  • @markmadsen: Third party content makes up large portion of many pages, example of page with data from 142 domains, 25sec load time
  • missed most of this but they have a blog,

Making Performance Personal at FT Labs (Andrew Betts, @triblondon)

  • Open source tool
  • @Terry_Brown: didn't realise @ftlabs built fastclick - thanks! very useful :)
  • Chrome layers and 3D representation important when seeing what
  • Third party share widgets cause sites to be slow, block them and measure perf
  • @Souders: Love hearing the murmurs of awe as @triblondon rifles thru the amazing #webperf optimizations done at Financial Times.
  • They did a side by side comparison video to make it personal for with and without thirdparty plugins
  • Stats and numbers dont tell the same story as a side-by-side video
  • @markmadsen: To measure how much of total perf is available for improvement, block one domain (eg Facebook) at a time, measure, iterate
  • @markmadsen: 19 seconds to load with no social plugins running on page, 42 seconds with them running, lot due to Dom manipulation
  • I like the concept of making the problem personal so that it inspires engineers

Demo of Global Web Page Performance (James Smith from DevOpsGuys) @TheDevMgr

  • WebPageTest, use it yo!
  • World Wide Page Test is a wrapper over web page test to test global >
  • You get top 10 graphs and averages from World Wide Page Test #wwpt, looking forward to checking it out
  • Check out the code at
  • @markmadsen: Stumbling on the high wire with this demo, managed to get through "the worst demo velocity has ever seen", bravo

Demo of HTTP Archive, BigQuery and You! (Ilya Grigorik - @igrigorik)

  • HTTP Archive crawls the interwebs and gives trends, stats and will even let you download the raw data
  • Query the HTTP Archive >
  • community to answer questions like who makes the most requests on a site?
  • You can do regex, joins, ... Do some searching to see who uses what js frameworks people use
  • @Terry_Brown: "some of these sites are also using more than one version of jquery, which is double awesome!"
  • Getting started guide for the HTTP Archive Big Query >
  • @PeterssonJesper: - Tons of interesting performance related queries run against
  • @nsilberman: RT @arnaudlimbourg: Scripts in google docs to use other services like bigquery, looks awesome!

Small Changes, Big Results (Ted Middleton, EdgeCast Networks)

  • EdgeCast is performant because "Performance is our product"
  • 1ms gain in code multiplied by 10,000's of servers is greater than 160 mil seconds to do something more useful
  • Measure 116 Billion times per month--of which 2.6B are Anti DDOS pattern samples (at EdgeCast)

@tameverts: RT @addyosmani: Slides from my #VelocityConf Rendering Performance Case Studies workshop - don't guess it, test it!