Highlights Of Velocity 2014

To those of you who couldn’t make it to Velocity 2014, here’s a list of must see talks recorded live at the event.

Scott Hanselman’s keynote from the 2014 O’Reilly Velocity conference in Santa Clara, CA. – How does the pervasiveness of JavaScript on the client change how we architect applications? We can create hundreds virtual machines in the cloud, but we are using the millions of visual machines that visit our sites every day?

Suddenly we are scripting against thousands of Virtual Machines from the command line while creating things today with JavaScript in the browser that were impossible yesterday. LiveScript becomes JavaScript becomes ES6 and now we’re compiling C++ to JavaScript.  Join Scott Hanselman as he explores the relationship between the Cloud and the Browser, many Languages and one Language, how it might all fit together and what comes next.

About Scott Hanselman (Microsoft):  Scott is a web developer who has been blogging at http://hanselman.com for over a decade. He works on Azure and ASP.NET for Microsoft out of his home office in Portland. Scott has three podcasts, http://hanselminutes.com for tech talk, http://thisdeveloperslife.com on developers’ lives and loves, and http://ratchetandthegeek.com for pop culture and tech media. He’s written a number of books and spoken in person to almost a half million developers worldwide.

Jeff Dean’s keynote from the 2014 O’Reilly Velocity conference in Santa Clara, CA. –  Today’s large-scale web services provide rapid responses to interactive requests by applying large amounts of computational resources to massive datasets. They typically operate in warehouse-sized data centers and run on clusters of machines that are shared across many kinds of interactive and batch jobs. As these systems distribute work to ever larger numbers of machines and sub-systems in order to provide interactive response times, it becomes increasingly difficult to tightly control latency variability across these machines, and often the 95%ile and 99%ile response times suffer in an effort to improve average response times.

In this talk Jeff describes a collection of techniques and practices lowering response times in large distributed systems whose components run on shared clusters of machines, where pieces of these systems are subject to interference by other tasks, and where unpredictable latency hiccups are the norm, not the exception. Some of the techniques adapt to trends observed over periods of a few minutes, making them effective at dealing with longer-lived interference or resource contention. Others react to latency anomalies within a few milliseconds, making them suitable for mitigating variability within the context of a single interactive request. I’ll discuss examples of how these techniques are used in various pieces of Google’s systems infrastructure and in various higher-level online services.

About Jeff Dean (Google): Jeff joined Google in 1999 and is currently a Google Senior Fellow in Google’s Knowledge Group. He has co-designed/implemented five generations of Google’s crawling, indexing, and query serving systems, and co-designed/implemented major pieces of Google’s initial advertising and AdSense for Content systems. He is also a co-designer and co-implementor of Google’s distributed computing infrastructure, including the MapReduce, BigTable and Spanner systems, protocol buffers, LevelDB, systems infrastructure for statistical machine translation, and a variety of internal and external libraries and developer tools. He is currently working on large-scale distributed systems for training deep neural models for speech, vision, and text understanding. He is a Fellow of the ACM and the AAAS, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and a recipient of the ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences.

Lara Swanson’s keynote from the 2014 O’Reilly Velocity conference in Santa Clara, CA. – Etsy is an online marketplace whose community spans the globe with buyers and sellers coming from more than 150 countries; more than 50% of our traffic comes from mobile devices. In this presentation, Lara Swanson walks through the growing importance of building for mobile web as users may be on any device, platform or connection. She’ll share Etsy’s evolution of the mobile web team from its inception in 2011 to its changing role today, and how the team shifted Etsy’s engineering culture to empower and incentivize others to care about mobile web in their daily work.

In this talk Lara Swanson covers the following:

  • The hard decisions Etsy engineers made when they started seeing mobile visits, including implementing user agent sniffing and delivering separate mobile templates
  • The difficulties of having a separate mobile engineering team and isolating mobile web work
  • How the team at Etsy recognized the need to have everyone at Etsy own mobile web, and what we did to shift our culture
  • All the mistakes we’ve made with mobile web engineering and what we’ve learned from them

About Lara Swanson (Etsy): Lara Swanson is the Engineering Manager of Mobile Web at Etsy. She champions page load time,experiment-driven design, and delivering a consistent experience to screens of all sizes. She curates (and contributes to) CSS3 Geometry.

Built On a Bedrock of Failure, Keynote Velocity Santa Clara 2014 – Failure sucks, especially for skydivers and bomb-diffusers. For skateboarders, it’s a necessary part of progress; hence, they develop a well-honed eye for risk assessment as well as a clarity to flush out what are real vs imagined dangers, giving rise to a confidence to go after more creative, daring, and better outcomes. This is why the best skaters tend to be the best fallers, because a kind of intuition for minimizing damage emerges, so seemingly catastrophic falls become sustainable, which eventually forms a hardened foundation that can hardly be attained in any other way.

About Rodney Mullen (Almost Skateboards): Rodney Mullen is widely considered the most influential skateboarder in the history of the skateboarding. The majority of ollie and flip tricks he invented throughout the 1980’s, including the flatground ollie, the Kickflip, the Heelflip, and the 360 flip are regularly done in modern vertical and street skateboarding.

Is TLS Fast Yet by Ilya Grigorik –  In this session Ilya covers the progress TLS has made over the years and how TLS has been designed from group up to deliver high performance at the presentation layer. TLS has exactly one performance problem though: not enough sites are using it. Everything else can and will be optimized. A hands on look at how to achieve 1-RTT handshakes, eliminate validation latency, and more. Please visit the following URL to access the slides: bit.ly/fastTLS

About Ilya Grogorik – Author Ilya Grigorik, a web performance engineer at Google, demonstrates performance optimization best practices for TCP, UDP, and TLS protocols, and explains unique wireless and mobile network optimization requirements. You’ll then dive into performance characteristics of technologies such as HTTP 2.0, client-side network scripting with XHR, real-time streaming with SSE and WebSocket, and P2P communication with WebRTC.

  • Deliver optimal TCP, UDP, and TLS performance
  • Optimize network performance over 3G/4G mobile networks
  • Develop fast and energy-efficient mobile applications
  • Address bottlenecks in HTTP 1.x and other browser protocols
  • Plan for and deliver the best HTTP 2.0 performance
  • Enable efficient real-time streaming in the browser
  • Create efficient peer-to-peer video conferencing and low-latency applications with real-time WebRTC transports

Webpagetest Power User by Patrick Meenan Part 1 & 2 – Patrick Meenan created WebPagetest while at AOL and now works at Google with a team that is working to make the web faster. He has been working on optimizing low-level networking performance for various applications (among other responsibilities) over the last 15 years.

About Pat Mennan : Pat is a Senior Software Engineer at Google and is based of Washington DC. Pat is also the autho of Webpagetest which is a very popular tool used by web performance engineers around the world to identify performance issues and optimize delivery of website pages.

We hope you enjoyed the compilation of talks recorded at Velocity 2014. Kudos to the team at Oreilly including each of the speakers to having helped to put together such an awesome event.

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