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Optimising Xero Performance

As Chief Technology Officer at Xero I spend a lot of time on the performance and scalability of the Xero application. Most of my work has been at optimizing our database and production infrastructure, but for quite a while now I’ve spent a lot of time on the user experience and the next release of Xero will highlight the fruits of that labour.

In the spirit of sharing what I’ve learnt with the development community I thought it was about time I presented at the Wellington .NET User Group meeting run by our very own Kirk Jackson. It’s been one of those things I’ve been meaning to do for a while, and was great to be able to present on some of the challenges and solutions we came up with to speed up the user experience for our customers. Thanks to everyone that was there.

You can view my presentation below. For people that were there it’s slightly different since a lot of it requires me babbling on so I’ve added some extra bits here and there to make it clearer for people viewing it for the first time.

I’ve had some great feedback on the presentation so if you’re interested in me doing it again to a more general audience then let me know and I’ll gauge the interest. It’s a topic I love evangelizing and it’s useful for anyone doing web development no matter what the technology.


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Alan Barlow
21 July 2008 #

Thanks Craig! That’s a goldmine of information which will benefit us greatly in our own optimization efforts! Alan Barlow, CTO, ProActive Software.

Raza Rizvi
30 July 2008 #

Great presentation, nice to see you take such matters seriously – it makes a difference to the end-user.

Raza Rizvi, Technical Director, RIZOLVE

Chris Reynolds
15 August 2008 #

Truly excellent.

Just the right level of technical detail.

Now, executing it all is the bugger.

[…] to Craig Walker, Chief Technology Officer at Xero, for the knowledge he shared in his presentation: Client Side Performance Sucks… it gave us the inspiration to make this happen. Share and […]

2 May 2009 #

Hi, is there sound with this presentation? Looks like a good presentation…

Craig Walker
2 May 2009 #

@Glen This is just the presentation unfortunately – we didn’t record the session. Are you in NZ? Am hoping to do an expanded version of this at TechEd NZ.

TechEd 2009
18 September 2009 #

[…] Kirk and I presented at TechEd – I talked about optimizing client side performance (something I’ve talked about before and am very passionate about), while Kirk looked at Visual Studio Team System 2010 and also did a […]

[…] has spoken in the past about our approach to Client Side performance, and a key part of our initial approach was implementing a rudimentary Content Delivery Network […]

1 February 2010 #

Hey Craig, I saw your presentation and was thoroughly impressed. So here I am implementing a LOT of your recommendations and I recall you mentioning a product that we can install on our server that will do most of the compression dynamically. If I recall correctly, it was made here in NZ… but I can’t for the life of me remember the name! Any chance you could email it to me?

Craig Walker
1 February 2010 #

Aptimize is the product/company you’re looking for (


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