Velocity 2013 Europe – A brief Retrospective

So the Velocity London 2013 conference over and seems to be fading quickly. A brief retrospective while catching the train home.  A very cool conference – full of good tech talks and something I would certainly recommend. The main power of the conference to me is the breadth of material on offer and quite a few subjects it would have taken time to naturally stumble across.

There were a few highlights for me – the talk from Artur Bergman of Fastly, the CDN that no-one has really heard of…..yet. I think they will be incredibly disruptive in the world of CDN, which is exactly in keeping with the manner of the CEO’s presentation style.  We need more CDN challengers in the marketplace and I wish Fastly the best of luck, I’m sure they won’t need it.

Images continue to hog bandwidth and its funny to think that for a technology as young as the Internet its progression is being obstructed by the troublesome and bickering teenagers (I.E./FF/Chrome) that have enabled its growth  – think SDPY and new-ish image formats such as WebP.  I’m pleased to see SPDY finally beginning to be wholly embraced, you so far – it’s a good story that chimed well with me. Dan Rathbone of Sky also had a very interesting story to tell on Performance Optimisation behind the firewall.

Dealing with the effects of latency is a broad theme – and the driving essence behind many of the presentations.  Wim Glodden from talked about how they are creating a framework to start pushing core processing logic out from core services to peripheral  servers – think of Edge Side Includes (ESI) on steroids.  It’s tracking a broader thought process I have for future performance patterns for the net -. Browser apps are becoming fully blown applications and I think its only a matter of time before edge servers will be required to take processing load from origin servers – I think its only a matter of time before frameworks are created to cater for this on edge servers (Insert link to future article here). JS can only take us so far – and I think one of the major shortcoming of this language is its maintenance (See article on code maintenance here).

What struck me is that a few players have a large influence on the state of the play, the mechanisms for efficiency and progression rest most notably on the main browsers players.  Google were very present, but the absence of MS and FF felt a little deafening– Its can only be a good thing to get them more engaged.  Finally, it was good to see the grand daddy of Web Performance Steve Souders* floating about the floors, shepherding the conference and sentinel in presence.   A sound custodian.


*Times New Roman, Bold on purpose – because that’s just Steve.

** Which is still good

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