Moving Fast

Keynotes, Web Performance Ballroom ABCD
Average rating: ***..
(3.42, 40 ratings)

At Facebook we take great pride in how fast our engineering team builds products, but the code we write hasn’t always moved as fast as the people writing it. A year ago our site had gotten pretty slow and we undertook a massive effort to speed it up. We were quite successful, in six months we made the site twice as fast, but we also discovered that making it fast is the easy part. The hard part is keeping it fast as you’re constantly changing things. Doing this successfully requires a combination of coding practice, frameworks, tools, and engineering culture. I’ll talk about the things we do at Facebook to keep our code fast without slowing down our engineers, and specific techniques that did and didn’t work for us.

Photo of Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson


Robert Johnson is Director of Engineering at Facebook, where he leads the software development efforts to cost-effectively scale Facebook’s infrastructure and optimize performance for its many millions of users. During his time with the company, the number of users has expanded by more than fifty-fold and Facebook now handles billions of page views a day.

Robert was previously at ActiveVideo Networks where he led the distributed systems and set-top software development teams. He has worked in a wide variety of engineering roles from robotics to embedded systems to web software. He received a B.S. In Engineering and Applied Science from Caltech.

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prasana iyengar
06/24/2010 5:04am PDT

enabling tools to enable rapid development is so right on the money; i have stumbled on the same conclusion by integrating metrics into the deployment process.

Picture of Steve Souders
Steve Souders
05/19/2010 6:15am PDT

The past two Velocitys I had several people come up and ask me about how to get support across the organization for improving web performance. Facebook has made incredible breakthroughs this year (including deferring all scripts in the home page). They’ve done this during incredible growth in their development team and user base. How is that possible? Let’s hear what Bobby has to say about that.

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