Ryan's Blog

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A Cult of Performance

I spent today up in Derry at Learning Pool HQ. I generally enjoy my days up there, it’s good to spend time with the wider team and get a feel for what’s going on.

The 2 hour trip back down the road is usually a good time to reflect on the day and to catch up with much needed admin or reading. Today, I was thinking about performance.

One of my colleagues recently left us for a different job, and I’ve heard from him that his new team have a particular focus on the performance of their mobile apps. They worry a lot about memory management and processing capability.

It struck me that we don’t really have that razor sharp focus on performance. Not in our mobile apps, nor in our web based products. We do think about it of course, just not as much as we could.

I don’t think we worry about the number of scripts on our pages. I’m certain we don’t consider the performance of our CSS selectors. Keeping the HTML we produce tight and simple? Not a concern.

And on the native app front, benchmarking code to make it faster? Reducing the memory and battery requirements?

We’re too busy making it work to worry about that.

I think focusing on performance a bit more is probably a good thing. I suspect it would probably lead to better engineered products. It would almost certainly result in a better experience for our customers and potentially reduced costs for us.

I wonder if we need to develop a cult of performance. Should we be obsessing about our page weights, our load times, our battery use, network management and memory consumption, etc. etc. Would a desire to maximise performance result in an improvement in quality across the board?