Skip to main content

Everything is a Polyfill: Automate Deleting Code for Front End Performance

Rachel Myers (Google), Emily Nakashima (Honeycomb)
Average rating: ****.
(4.30, 10 ratings)
One of the hardest challenges in a successful web application is knowing the expiration date of your code — when you should throw it away. Front end applications are written around today’s constraints. But pile today’s constraints alongside tomorrow’s and yesterday’s, and you end up with an application that’s slow and bloated. We’ll talk about new paradigms that will help you identify when you’re done with code, and we’ll talk about how to level up with automation that will help you automatically delete code when it’s no longer needed. (Are sprites just a polyfill for http 2.0? Is an app using jQuery as a polyfill for querySelectorAll?) Tools like Require.js have helped establish patterns for this with your javascript assets. We think these ideas can be extended to css, build processes, and configuration management code — and we’ll show how these changes lead to better performance and a more refactor-ready application.
Photo of Rachel Myers

Rachel Myers


Rachel’s a developer at GitHub who loves ruby, javascript, RailsBridge, and monitoring all the things!

Photo of Emily Nakashima

Emily Nakashima


Emily Nakashima is a full-stack UI Engineer and part-time ops person at Wanelo. She’s a primary contributor to the RailsBridge Front End Curriculum and a RailsBridge volunteer.