Velocity is a tribal gathering of self-proclaimed Web geeks. The conference celebrated its fifth anniversary this year. Web developers, testers and operations people from around the world flocked to the Santa Clara Convention Center, hungry for knowledge about new tools and trends. Velocity is a witty, cutting edge favorite for the smartest people in the world, and SmartBear AlertSite was happy to be a part of it.
Tickets were sold out by June 21 and the conference opened up on Monday with lots of chatter about how to make website performance monitoring easier and more intuitive toward the end goal of outstanding user experience. The tone of the presentations was fun and encouraging. Jesse Robbins gave some inspiring and friendly advice that was shared enthusiastically online: “Never attack the people who created the problem. They were trying to live with a constraint like you are now” and “Don’t fight stupid. Make more awesome.”
Velocity’s fifth anniversary also marked a milestone for SmartBear AlertSite – the launch of of perceived user experience metrics. AlertSite’s new metrics measure, from a “what the eyes would see” perspective, first paint and above-the-fold by visually examining pages while they’re rendering in the viewable portion of the browser. Both are timed and images are captured to provide visual reference at each phase.
Fittingly, Velocity’s theme this year is “building a faster, stronger Web.” With AlertSite’s new performance metrics, we’re making it easier for folks to do just that. With knowledge into first paint and top of the fold load time, developers can focus not just on network or browser metrics but also on what users would see with their eyes.
At a roundtable discussion on Wednesday, one of the common themes was the challenge of communication between the Web development and business side. Ken Godskind, AlertSite Vice President of Monitoring Solutions, says that’s what is so important about AlertSite’s new tools: “What a user sees as the Web page renders is the user experience and not a proxy. The data we are collecting is consumable by business users.”
It was made clear by the exhibitors and attendees at Velocity this year that the high level goal for website monitoring is ultimately to improve business. While that is the ultimate goal, the path to achievement is typically by improving the user experience. The whole industry needs to keep up with the changing definition of “speed” and outstanding user experience.
Indeed.com is on their way to accomplishing just that. They were the winners of the AlertSite Faceoff, where their website performance was timed against others at the show this week. Congrats, guys!
Of course, Eugene the SmartBear was in tow with the AlertSite team at Velocity. This little guy loves to travel! He tried some of the local food, San Francisco croissants!
Here’s to another five successful years of the gathering of us geeks!