Build resilient systems at scale
28–30 October 2015 • Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Measuring the performance of single page web applications

Philip Tellis (Akamai), Nic Jansma (Akamai)
11:50–12:30 Friday, 30/10/2015
Location: G102/103
Average rating: ***..
(3.91, 33 ratings)
Slides:   1-PDF 

Prerequisite Knowledge

Knowledge of JavaScript will be useful. We will explain the techniques we use within JavaScript, but you will still need to understand the syntax.


Single page applications are a problem for RUM tools, because there is no easy way to tell when a new page component has been requested asynchronously as a result of an intentional user action.

Many network requests are back-end service calls initiated periodically by the app, for example: a ping to check if content has been updated or to check if the current user should still be signed in to their account.

Even with requests that are initiated by a user action, not all may fit into the definition of a “page view.” For example, a user typing into a search box that has auto-complete capabilities will often result in network requests, but these requests result in very small amounts of data transfer, happen very frequently, and do not count towards page-views.

The scene is further complicated by SPA frameworks like Angular, Backbone, and others.

In this talk, we will learn some of the tricks used by boomerang to measure the performance of single page applications, going as far as capturing errors and waterfall information across browsers.

Photo of Philip Tellis

Philip Tellis


Philip Tellis is a geek who likes to make the computer do his work for him. As principal RUM distiller at Akamai, he analyses the impact of various design decisions on web-application performance, scalability, and security. He is the lead developer of boomerang—a JavaScript-based web-performance testing tool. Philip has spoken at several conferences in the past, including FOSS.IN, FREED.IN, Ubuntulive, Linux Symposium, OpenSource Bridge, PHP Quebec, ConFoo, FOSDEM, IPC, WebDU, Velocity and JSConf. He writes for Smashing Magazine and blogs at The Other Side of the Moon. In his spare time, Philip enjoys cycling, reading, cooking, and learning spoken languages.

Photo of Nic Jansma

Nic Jansma


Nic Jansma is a software developer at Akamai building high-performance websites, apps, and open source tools.