September 19–20, 2016: Training
September 20–22, 2016: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

How GoDaddy radically improved web performance and increased customer engagement

Jim Pierson (GoDaddy)
1:30pm–2:10pm Thursday, 09/22/2016
Performance for the people DevOps Regent Audience level: Beginner
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 6 ratings)

What you'll learn

  • Understand how to achieve good performance through a culture of perf and a trustworthy tool set
  • Description

    GoDaddy’s Performance Engineering team is an internal center of excellence, serving about a dozen internal product development teams. Performance Engineering team members round-robin among these teams, reviewing products, helping to identify opportunities and challenges, and collaboratively making improvements that speed up products. The best method of working with a team has been to embed; Performance Engineering team members colocate, meet daily, and iteratively improve the product with these teams as part of their normal Agile processes. Jim Pierson discusses one such mission—with GoDaddy’s Home Page team in Scottsdale—in detail.

    Jim outlines Performance Engineering’s outside-in approach to measuring performance and explores the tools needed for any environment, including RUM, WebPagetest, PhantomAS, Chrome DevTools, and New Relic. Jim also dives into the best practices and techniques that the Performance Engineering team uses to achieve desired results, such as:

    • Cached HTML at the CDN edge
    • Head flushing instead of cached HTML
    • Font optimization
    • Deferring JS and tags
    • Image optimization and set limits
    • Embedding SVG images
    • Small-file consolidation
    • Server-side caching
    • Replacing slow application gateways

    Jim explains the Home Page team’s progress, which followed a rapid maturity-model evolution: the team went from not trusting Performance Engineering’s data to selecting RUM as a true north and two seconds at the 75th as a global goal; many sites were not following the best practices, so the team focused on fixing one central platform; some structural issues were blocking—to work around these technical and political difficulties, the team prototyped rapidly in production; to keep from having to do this all over again, the team built in alarms and tests.

    Photo of Jim Pierson

    Jim Pierson


    With over 20 years’ experience in the performance field, Jim Pierson has worked his way up the proverbial OSI stack. Jim got his start as a Green Beret radio communications chief in the army and later worked his way from telecom tech to network engineer and protocol analyst to tools developer. He is currently a principal architect at GoDaddy and has previously worked at Apple, Disney, SCEdison, and Microsoft.