JAMstack Conference SF 2019

Astasia Myers
Oct 18 · 3 min read

This week Netlify hosted the JAMstack conference in San Francisco. The conference grew to over 550 attendees and two days! Its theme was JAMstack at scale with speakers from large corporations like Restaurant Brands International and Loblaw. During the conference we observed two main themes: 1) performance (same as last year) and 2) visual editing.

Performance remains key. The conference kicked off with Matt Biilmann of Netlify discussing how pre-built markup that is globally distributed can increase performance and speed because it pulls processing out of the request. He highlighted values that are important to track are: 1) time to first paint, 2) time to being visually ready, and 3) time to interactive. He suggested some techniques to make performance better including: enabling browser caching, enabling image compression, minimizing HTTP requests, minimizing web server response time, optimizing images, minimizing resources, and improving latency with a CDN.

Many of the speakers discussed the importance of performance. Debbie O’Brien of Patterson Agency contrasted static and dynamic content with a Taekwondo analogy that highlighted how static serving can be faster. Tammy Everts of Speedcurve shared interesting statistics on how the number and size of Javascripts, particularly third party, can slow rendering time. Fascinating, she noted that the number of third party Javascript requests have increased 140% from 2011 to 2018 and the size of third party Javascript has increased 706% over the same period. Third party Javascripts can make performance unpredictable.

Visual content editing emerges. Scott Gallant, the CEO of Forestry, noted that sitebuilding tools like Squarespace and Wix have consumerized web development and made it easier for creators to see changes in real-time. For many marketing content leaders that leverage a CMS, they still have to mentally map their CMS forms to their site. Moreover, they have to wait for pages and sites to rebuild to see their changes. He theorized that in the future developer and user experience will merge and content management will be more visual while giving developers the control they need and marketers faster feedback.

Forestry announced TinaCMS, “a simple Javascript UI that lives on your site and gives you editing capabilities as you browse. It’s in-context editing.” When a user goes into a site using Tina, they can see a floating edit icon that pops open in the sidebar where marketers can edit content and see updates in real-time.

The CEO of Stackbit Ohad Eder-Pressman also announced a solution embodying visual editing called Stackbit Live. The Stackbit browser widget acts as a control panel that ties services together and tells users when content changes are pending. Previews can be shared to people and deeplinking to CMSes allows people to publish the change. The solution also allows for on page editing where changes are pushed to the CMS.

Visual editing is an attempt to make content collaboration easier when operating a JAMstack. It also reminds us of Gatsby Preview that provides a shareable, temporary URL for viewing changes immediately and in context. It also adds another category to the spectrum of content management approaches from monolithic, traditional CMSes to sitebuilders (exhibit below).

It is impressive to observe the growth in the JAMstack community as embodied by the conference size. Performance and visual editing were trends at the event. It is clear the JAMstack is here to stay. If you are working on a startup in the ecosystem definitely reach out. We’d love to talk!

Memory Leak

Redpoint perspectives on distributed computing, cloud-infrastructure, developer tools, open source and security.

Astasia Myers

Written by

Enterprise VC @redpointvc

Memory Leak

Redpoint perspectives on distributed computing, cloud-infrastructure, developer tools, open source and security.

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