Low Hanging Fruit: Targets or goals which are easily achievable and which do not require a lot of effort. — urbandictionary.com
There has been a lot of talk recently of performance on the web. Companies like Google are pushing the envelope by raising standards, giving guidance, and helping educate developers on how they can better serve their users…
There has been a mix of reception and debate when it comes to how important performance is going forward. Like anything in our field, there are points to be made on both sides and all types of factors to factor in. One has to ask, is it worth it? When I’m trying to push a feature or product out the door asap, should I even consider performance technicalities?
The answer to these two questions resonate with many topics in the beautiful cacophony we call the web.
Questions like, who’s your target audience, target devices, browsers, speed goals, refactor time, deadlines, ROI, should I think about optimizing during development or after? All of these questions play a big part in your decision to improve performance. What are your priorities?
I’ve recently watched many of the talks from the Google Chrome Dev Summit 2016 and was in awe by the new shiny dev tools and processes. The talk by Alex Russell where he explains how he tests on like 6 physical mobile devices had me hiding my tail between my legs… and I loved it. What I’m trying to get at is, it was very enlightening (and challenging) to see the effort other developers are taking to make their applications as efficient as possible. I’m not saying we all need to adopt the same standards as Google, but we can always improve our own.
I think some evade the topic of performance because they’re preoccupied with the difficulties of just trying to make their app work. Others may not care or think it’s relevant. I believe the majority of developers were just like me and didn’t know where to start.
As a developer who has been in the industry for 17 years, I have to be honest, all this talk of performance / optimization can be overwhelming. If it’s difficult for someone with my experience (or lack there of), how do junior developers feel about it? What can we do to help people start thinking about performance during the development process?
Over the next month, I will attempt to write several posts on some of the Low Hanging Fruit you can do now to help improve the performance of your web application. These posts will be geared towards beginners but may be helpful for experienced developers as well. I am by no means an expert in web performance, but there are definitely some basic principles I was ignorant of and would love to spare someone the trouble.
Thanks for reading,
-Andrew Del Prete