Highlights from Velocity 2013

Better, stronger, faster Web sites and mobile apps - that's the goal of the attendees and speakers at Velocity 2013. The conference, held this week in Santa Clara, was filled with technical folks (most from the relatively new field of "DevOps") who focus on web performance. Speakers included those from the mega-scale computing community, such as Google or CDN Akamai, but also represented were the vendors and entrepreneurs who develop tools to support the goals of IT and devops teams, and ultimately, the business goals' of their organizations.

Kyle Rush, formerly with the Obama for America campaign and now director of tech for The New Yorker

Kyle Rush, formerly with the Obama for America campaign and now director of tech for The New Yorker, spoke about how the campaign's tech team adapted their infrastructure to meet the $250 million demand for donations during the 2012 presidential election campaign. Their results included an 80 percent faster "time to paint" on Web pages. This metric measures is how quickly something appears on the users' screens. (Photo: Colleen Miller)

Johan_Bergstrom of Lund University in Sweden, spoke about analyzing the components of risk. He said that risk breaks down in two ways -- path dependency and control problems. Teams taking a look at the components of risk can then ask themselves, do we make minor changes to our code all the time or major changes more rarely?

Johan Bergstrom of Lund University in Sweden, spoke about analyzing the components of risk. He said that risk breaks down in two ways -- path dependency and control problems. Teams taking a look at the components of risk for their own environment can then decide for themselves such process questions as do we make minor changes to our code all the time or major changes more rarely? (Photo: Colleen Miller)

Arvind Jain, senior engineering director at Google, tells the packed auditorium about the improvements in speed of the Web in recent years. Since Chrome launched in 2008, JavaScript performance has become 20 times faster, and in the last year, JavaScript has become 57 percent faster on mobile apps. (Photo: Colleen Miller.)

Arvind Jain, senior engineering director at Google, tells the packed auditorium about the improvements in speed of the Web in recent years. Since Chrome launched in 2008, JavaScript performance has become 20 times faster, and in the last year, JavaScript has become 57 percent faster on mobile apps. He said the size of Web pages continues to present a challenge to the speed of Web sites, with the total size of the HTML, image files, JS and CSS growing each month. (Photo: Colleen Miller.)

Vik Chaudhary, of Keynote Systems, emphasized that the customer's experience matters and that in seeking to improve that experience, one must measure the three-screen experience. (Photo: Colleen Miller)

Vik Chaudhary, of Keynote Systems, emphasized that the customer's experience matters and that in seeking to improve that experience, one must measure the three-screen experience. (Photo: Colleen Miller)

Tuesday's workshops, which proved very popular resulting in jam-packed meeting rooms, covered the nuts-and-bolts of improving web and mobile performance.

Tuesday's workshops, which proved very popular with jam-packed meeting rooms, covered the nuts-and-bolts of improving web and mobile performance. Speakers included representatives from Etsy, Twitter, Opscode, and Akamai, among others.

The exhibit hall featured demo from vendors as well as the chance for attendees to get "hands on" as well. The Softlayer server challenge was popular among participants.

The exhibit hall featured demos from vendors as well as the chance for attendees to get "hands on" as well. The Softlayer server challenge was popular among participants. (Photo: Rich Miller)

Squirrel or beaver? No matter, the mascot from Loggly was willing to pose for photos. (PHoto:  Colleen Miller)

Squirrel or beaver? No matter, the mascot from Loggly was willing to pose for photos. (Photo: Colleen Miller)

A mighty mascot at the App  Dynamics booth worked to draw attention. (Photo: Colleen Miller)

A mighty mascot at the App Dynamics booth worked to draw attention. (Photo: Colleen Miller)

The LinkedIn team was having fun at their booth, and in an encouraging sign, they were looking to hire tech team members.

The LinkedIn team was having fun at its booth, and in an encouraging sign for the economy, they were looking to hire tech team members. (Photo: Colleen Miller)

The technology hiring website, Dice.com, had a team on hand with their "Tech Trek" bus. They were seeking registrants for their jobs site.

The technology hiring website, Dice.com, had a team on hand with their "Tech Trek" bus. They were seeking registrants for their jobs site. (Photo: Colleen Miller)

The Hyatt hotels' poolside setting for Wednesday's lunch was perfect on the June day.

The Hyatt Regency Santa Clara's poolside setting for Wednesday's lunch was perfect on the June day. (Photo: Colleen Miller)