Congestion Busting with

Recently at work I was involved a project which aimed to improve the performance of one of our analytics systems. We needed a way of measuring our progress of certain user flows before and after optimization so we could give the client feedback on how the project was progressing.

Blackfire is a performance measuring tool written by the folks behind the symfony php framework and was ideal for the task. You can read about my experience with blackfire over on the Box UK dev blog.

Responsive Day Out

This is my second talk of the year and first duet with Christelle (I’m not sure if thats the right terminology but lets run with it). At Box whenever someone goes to a conference they can do a short talk to summarise the event for those who couldn’t attend.

Responsive day out is a front-end focused conference sharing tips and tricks on workflow, techniques and experiences on dealing with a responsive web. The nice thing about this conference was it contained both devs and designers!

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We both found this one tough for the following reasons:

The talk was well received with most saying it was the best that they had experienced of this type! :smile:

The conference was a blast and I really enjoyed producing this talk with Christelle. Hopefully we can do it again someday!


I’ve been noted throughout my life to be rather quiet, personally I don’t see this as a negative thing - someone has to do the listening after all!

Regardless I decided to set myself the challenge of completing five talks by the year end with the aim that it’ll make me appear more confident and may even stop my dreaded voice wobble!

Anyway enough background. This is my first talk and it’s on SVG and how we can use it to do all sorts of things but above all make our sites sharper and lighter!

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I spent a lot of time trying to come up with a easy to consume, coherent structure but avoiding getting too bogged down with specifics.

To do this I started a google doc with the usual beginning-middle-end and filling out topics as I went. This meant I could hash out the basics without having to worry about the design of the slides.

Speaking of the slides I really underestimated how long these would take to create and so it also meant I had barely any time to practice and refine my talk - but maybe this was a good thing in hindsight?

Another thing to note for next time is when I do practice the talk I should do it with screen recording on. I found this added a significant lag on the computer which was yet another thing to worry about!

Everyone seemed to enjoy it and I got a lot of positive comments afterwards which is a huge relief

cracking talk

Luke Quinnell

mate, I'm still thinking about that talk, you spoke so clearly and it wasn't rushed, eloquent, concise. Very impressive.

Jon Morgan

Awesome stuff @RobertRhoades! First time anybody has explained pixel density to me and I've actually understood it.

Matt Jones

++ for all the other reasons, but also for having a nice font selection :)

Steve Anderson

And so with that out of the way onwards to talk number two!