The relationship between tech stack and performance

October 08, 2018

An abbreviated rant (personal opinion) on the relationship between performance and tech stack.

One of my favorite things about being a Front End Developer is getting to experiment with new frameworks and tools. In a sea of choices, one thing is clear: modular UI component based architecture is here and it's not going anywhere.

I recently stumbled upon a tweet from Chris Coyier that made me pause and think 1. about the true meaning of performance and 2. it's relationship with today's tools:

This, like many tweets, can be taken out of context and interpreted in a myriad of ways, especially with regards to a hot topic like performance. For the record, I agree with Chris in that ultimately, whichever framework you choose to use, it's up to you (the developer) to make it as performant as possible.

Having said that, I do feel that there are open source projects and tools out there with so much performance that it makes it very difficult to build laggy websites/apps. Take Gatsby for example. Gatsby is an opinionated static site generator for React. It's a Progressive Web App right out of the box. And there's NPM packages like styled-components which allows you to write styles on a component level, as opposed to global styles which increase payload times and inevitably attribute to a laggier UX.

My abbreviated answer is: yes, humans control performance, but the performance of your app can be directly attributed to which tech stack you choose for your project.