Thoughts

Looking back at Velocity Conference NYC 2015

October 21, 2015 • Ben May •

Last week I attended O’Reilly’s Velocity Conference in New York which featured speakers from around the United States, and the globe to get a sense for what’s hot in DevOps and anything web performance.

If you use industry leading conferences like Velocity to get a sense of where the industry is and what’s ahead, there were a few key themes I picked up on.

Application Performance

Only a few years ago, web performance was rather simplistic, comparatively speaking. With the rise of web apps (think Facebook as an example), web performance is no longer about static content sites with some minor functionality. No, web performance really has evolved into web application performance.

Performance is important whatever way you look at it. We know faster e-commerce sites mean more customers spending money. We know faster applications mean better user experience. We know a lot of reasons why fast is good, but it’s often treated as an after thought or something that you do just at the end.

In reality, performance should be considered from the wireframes, to the design, to the front end development to the backend development. Performance should not be an item on a final checklist, it should be thought about for a products entire lifetime.

Tools for tools aka Dashboards

There’s no denying that there are more and more tools to do our jobs these days. From all the innovation coming out of infrastructure companies like Amazon, to SaaS products like NewRelic, it can be overwhelming.

In the sponsors pavilion at Velocity I noticed a lot of new products that helped bring together data from various monitoring tools. From front-end monitoring, app logging, systems monitoring, heatmaps, etc. With so many products available to run a platform, we now have more products to bring all this data together.

Humans

While most technology conferences talk about technology, what I really enjoy is learning more and more about  the psychology behind how we work, how we make decisions and how we work with each other.

Todd Conklin was a standout talk for me. Todd spoke a lot about how we define robust of resilient systems. How do we deal with  failure? What is failure? I had not heard of Todd before, but he hosts a podcast that I’d highly suggest you listen to. While his title of senior safety advisor doesn’t sound very interesting, I found him one of the best speakers I’ve witnessed.

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