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How did Basic RUM begin?

Hi everyone!

I’m Tsvetan, and a few years back, I started working on Basic RUM as a fun side project.

In 2019, I joined Akamai, but in 2017, I was part of a team running a webshop using Magento. We wanted to find ways to make more revenue, so I wondered if making the webshop faster would help.

Our backend servers were already pretty well optimized, so I started looking at other things. I learned about ways to make the website faster for users. These tricks went beyond just the Time to First Byte stuff but were touching the front-end. The catch was, my colleagues and I were used to working with backend code, and these new tricks were about the front-end of the website.

We thought about learning these cool front-end tricks, but then we asked ourselves, “How can we prove they actually make things better?” Also, I remember reading that moving all the JavaScript to the end of the webpage could make the page show up faster. But a few months later, I read that people were saying this was a bad practice.

At the same time, we had a bunch of other things to work on for different departments. I wanted to make sure our ideas made sense and fit with the company’s plans.

That’s when I realized we could really use something that measures how fast the website feels for the end user. Well, that’s what Real User Monitoring (RUM) is all about.

I looked into different products that provide RUM, but most of the options were too expensive for our budget back then.

So, during my free time, I started learning about Boomerang JS, which is a tool that grabs information about how fast a website works from people’s web browsers. I also figured out how to collect and show the data in dashboards.

And that’s the story of how Basic RUM came to be – a project that started from my curiosity and turned into something pretty cool!