Published 2017-03-09 category: notes

When Harry Roberts tweeted he would be free to give a workshop in The Netherlands this week, Joël approached Xebia and Fronteers and made it happen. Almost 20 of us gathered in the Wibautstraat in Amsterdam and spent a whole day getting all nerdy about web performance.

Harry told us all about how to sell performance, how (and what) to measure and which tools to use. And of course, how to fix the problems you measure. He also went in to how all of this is impacted by HTTP/2 and Service Workers (spoiler: turn them off when performance testing). The workshop came with plenty of theory, which I liked, as it helped understand how things work in practice. We ended by scrutinising a number of actual websites using the things we learned.

Please find some of my notes below.

Selling performance

What to measure

The network and requests

Resource hints to increase performance

In which was likely the most exciting section of the workshop, Harry went into resource hints: DNS Prefetch, Preconnect, Prefetch and Prerender. Web performance hero Steve Souders talked about these concepts at his Fronteers 2013 talk “Pre-browsing”. Browser support for resource hints has improved massively since.

Anti patterns

The future

Although I was familiar with most of the concepts covered, I did pick up lots of things that I did not know about. There were also practical examples, and Harry explained everything with lots of patience and at just the right speed. If Harry is coming to your town with his performance workshop, I would recommend coming along.

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