Nearly two months to the day since my last post on this series, I’m finally starting it up again. I’ll blame my new job for making me forget this for a while, but hopefully I can pick up steam again and finish all these darn questions.
This post is part of a series I’m writing where I attempt to answer, to the best of my ability, a set of Front-End developer questions. I expect/hope my readers will disagree, augment, and generally hash out my answers in the comments below.
Name 3 ways to decrease page load (perceived or actual load time).
Minimize images. I use this grunt plugin before to automate it and it worked great.
Minimize, combine, and “prune” CSS files. By prune I mean find unused styles and remove them. Addy Omsani has a good blog post on removing unused CSS and you can definitely automate this as well.
If you jumped on a project and they used tabs and you used spaces, what would you do?
I’d follow the project norm. I personally prefer tabs, but when working on a project, I’m going to follow the standards/guidelines/etc that everyone is following. If it was for something important and not cosmetic, I’d bring it up for discussion of course.
Describe how you would create a simple slideshow page.
Ok, two answers here. If jQuery was already being used, I’d probably find a good plugin. I feel kinda lame saying that - but - honestly - a client wants me to get the best tool for the job and would probably not want to pay me to rebuild something that has been done a thousand times over.
What tools do you use to test your code's performance?
Primarily just the Network tools in my browser dev tools. I’m not making use of profiling yet so I don’t have a good grasp on testing the performance of my JS in terms of how it acts on the page once it is loading. I guess you can say I’ve maybe got half the picture (getting crap to the browser), but need to get better and understanding the rest (how crap runs in the browser).
I can share a story though about how I learned about network performance. Like most things learnt - it was by screwing up. I had an existing “Web 1.0” app (I don’t really like that term but I think it makes sense to most of us) that I decided to update and make everything loaded via Ajax. This worked wonderfully until the content became so large that every page load was taking 4-5 seconds because of the size of the XML packets (yes, I used XML, I was still learning) going back and forth. It made me realize that just switching to Ajax doesn’t suddenly make your network any less of a concern.