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Web Performance Daybook Volume 2 by Stoyan Stefanov

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Foreword

Steve Souders

In your hands is the largest collection of web performance articles ever published. It includes performance topics such as open source tools, caching, mobile networks and applications, automation, improving the user experience, HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3, metrics, ROI, and network protocols. The collection of authors is diverse including employees of the world’s largest web companies to independent consultants. At least seven web performance startups are represented among the contributors: Blaze, CloudFlare, Log Normal, Strangeloop, Torbit, Turbobytes, and Zoompf. The range of topics and contributors is impressive. But what really impresses me is that, in addition to their day jobs, every contributor also runs one or more open source projects, blogs, writes books, speaks at conferences, organizes meetups, or runs a non-profit. Some do all of these. After a full day of taming JavaScript across a dozen major browsers or tracking down the regression that made page load times spike, what compels these people to contribute back to the web performance community during their “spare time”? Here are some of the responses I’ve received when asking this question:

Lack of Formal Training

Many of us working on the Web learned our craft on the job. Web stuff either wasn’t in our college curriculum or what we did learn isn’t applicable to what we do now. This on the job training is a long process involving a lot of trial and error. Sharing best practices raises the group IQ and lets new people entering the field come up to speed more quickly.

Avoid Repeating the Same Mistakes

Mistakes happen during this trial and error process. Sometimes a lot of mistakes happen. We have all experienced banging our heads against a problem in the wee hours of the morning or for days on end, often stumbling on the solution only after a long process of elimination. Thankfully, our sense of community doesn’t allow us to stand by mutely while we watch our peers heading for the same pitfalls. Sharing the solutions we found lets others avoid the same mistakes we made.

Obsessed with Optimization

By their nature, developers are drawn to optimization. We all strive to make our code the fastest, our algorithms the most efficient, and our architectures the most resilient. This obsession doesn’t just stop with our website; we want every website to be optimized. The best way to do that is to share what we know.

Like to Help

Finally, some people just really like to help others. That look on someone’s face when they realize they just saved a week of work or made their site twice as fast makes us feel like we’ve helped the community grow.

As a testimony to this sense of sharing, the authors have dedicated all royalties of this book to the WPO Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the web performance community. Thus, you can enjoy the chapters that lie ahead not only because they are some of the best web performance advice on the planet, but also because it was given to the web performance community selflessly. Enjoy!

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