Web performance meetup notes

Today’s meetup was pretty damn good!

The speaker was a former Yahoo developer, who now runs his own startup on gathering performance metrics for clients (LogNormal, using Boomerang).

The talk reminded me of a really fun class in school, where a teacher would start from the basics, then ask questions to make students think before revealing the answer.

Philip started with explaining what latency is (network latency in our case), how packets travel between client and server, what factors attribute to the response time shown when you do a ping request.

Some of my favorite bits were:

  • network throughput vs network bandwidth:

    bandwidth: overall capacity of network connection = what the ISP is advertising and selling to you

    throughput: what you actually get, given factors like usage by other people, etc. So know what you’re paying for!

  • and a question about planes: is it smarter to travel on a 737 that has a capacity of 150 people or 747 which has capacity of 400? The answer is, if you want to board and deplane faster, go with 737 – less people and luggage to load/unload

Then he moved on to explain how he runs tests using JavaScript in browsers to determine how fast the network is.

He also touched on some advanced topics:

  • under-the-hood browser specifics: how many requests you could send at a time (used to be 2) and how speedier modern browsers adjust that number (it’s around 10 now), and apparently Opera Mini is the fastest mobile browser right now.
  • shared tips on working around DNS lookups by setting up a wildcard DNS entry
  • provided comparison charts of US network speeds vs India – majority of India still has up to 2mbps connections, compared to up to 10mbps in US

Full deck, courtesy of Philip

Thank you Sergey for organizing and Philip for sharing great info!

2 thoughts on “Web performance meetup notes

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