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Making YouTube Fast

Rick Viscomi (Google), Alex Nicksay (YouTube), Steven Robertson (YouTube)
Mission City Ballroom B1
Average rating: ****.
(4.36, 14 ratings)

Each month on YouTube, almost an hour of video is watched for every person on Earth. This scale presents some unique challenges, but we’re also working on many of the same problems that most developers face. Getting all that video to viewers as soon as possible is especially important to us, so we’ve taken on an initiative to make YouTube fast.

In this talk, we’re going to present some of the projects we’ve been working on to speed up your viewing experience. In particular, we’ll introduce a new HTML5 framework that now forms the foundation of YouTube navigation and discuss the challenges of integrating that with an aggressive, bandwidth-hungry HTML5 video player.

Topics will include how we use and test the framework to implement dynamic page loads, persistent video players, partial page updates, and dynamic page and resource prefetching, while maintaining fast server-side content rendering at scale. We will discuss both the quantitative and qualitative improvements to the YouTube viewing experience and how you can achieve them.

Photo of Rick Viscomi

Rick Viscomi


Rick Viscomi is a front end engineer focused on web performance, currently working at Google on the YouTube team.

Photo of Alex Nicksay

Alex Nicksay


Alex Nicksay is a senior engineer at Google, currently leading the front-end performance team at YouTube. Prior to focusing on making YouTube fast, Alex was the lead developer of the YouTube video page, and he has designed much of YouTube’s front-end architecture.

Photo of Steven Robertson

Steven Robertson


Developer at YouTube