Video of the Week: Patrick Hamann, Embracing the Network

I first met Patrick Hamann when we both spoke at Smashing Conference Whistler. I discovered two things about him that sort of made me want to hate him (in the nicest possible way)

  1. he knows more about front end performance than you might imagine anyone can
  2. he lived a year in the French Alps and skis like a demon

But the third thing I learned is he is a warm, lovely, intelligent person. So I felt bad for hating him for being such a good skier ;-)

I already knew his work well, and at the time he was at The Guardian, a newspaper it so happened I’d read since even before I lived in the UK 25 years ago (as an aside, it’s no surprise to me that one of the few traditional newspapers succeeding in the current climate where traditional media is struggling to stay relevant and frankly liquid is a regional newspaper that started thinking internationally long before the Web, with daily European editions for decades, and a Weekly International edition thousands upon thousands subscribed to and eagerly awaited weekly).

I also read the Guardian religiously online since it started, and the one thing I felt I had to bring up with Patrick when we started chatting went something like this: “Patrick, The Guardian loads too quickly.”

What could I possibly mean by this? Well, time and again I’d load the Guardian’s page, on my mobile, and it seemed almost instantaneous. So I simply assumed it was loading a cached version, and reloaded. This is something that despite every time the page being the correct one I have done instinctively for years.

And Patrick, as one of the key people involved with the Guardian’s Front End Engineering, was in no small way responsible for this.

I asked him on the spot to come speak in Australia, and he fortunately agreed, and this presentation is the result. So, trust me, no matter how quickly your page loads, if you follow some of the advice Patrick has, your page will load more quickly. It’s not just for the engineering team either, pass this one around, then take his advice, and make faster loading pages next week at work.

Interested in more like this? Our Respond Web Design conference is coming up in Sydney and Melbourne in April.

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