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Chasing Waterfalls: Real world Front End Optimization

Today was an interesting day about pages optimization; there are many ways to improve our pages, there are key points that’ll be mentioned in following blogs about the course, but, let’s narrow down to performance:

What is performance optimization?
It’s the process of identifying inefficient use of system resources and improving the situation - as mentioned by Lon Ingram.

Sometimes we don’t even pay attention to it, and we should; it increase the value of our work and will help us greatly to deliver quality pages. If we have never used it, it can be overwhelming at first, fortunately Lon Ingram gives us some major activities to follow:

  • Setting goals.
  • Modeling.
  • Instrumentation.
  • Identifying optimization opportunities.
  • Experimentation.
  • Analysis.

  • As I mentioned, it can be a great deal to start optimizing, when I first heard what Lan was trying to explain it kind of hit me that what I had tried to achieved with “optimization” in the past was utterly nothing, he presented me with a whole bigger and better idea of the concept, and the way he explains it makes you understand it.

    So, the goals must be realistic, measurable, attainable; once you have decided what you want to accomplish you model an abstract, mathematical representation, and as he mentions its not always accurate but allows you to make changes in the system, so, you need to start gathering data of timings, durations, etc. This is hard because you need to solve this in a way that is reliable and scalable. Then you start identifying optimization opportunities, but as you work you’ll have to select which one to tackle first, Lan recommend us to use the experimental method to solve the opportunities. Finally we have the analysis, here you have to present the result in a visual way to help you put together the information in numbers so you can better understand how to continue the cycle, but you’ll have tools now to modify your approach.
    In the end one understands that performance optimization is not just for you app or web to be pretty and quickly, it is composed by several steps that improve many aspects of it, and all can be made better. I can’t put it into words as well as he did,  so I invite you to watch all the videos in the series.


    Waldo C.

    With several years of experience as a developer, Waldo has written some very interesting posts.