One more proof that speed is the core of Dareboost values: Boris Schapira has joined us for only a few days and he is already on our blog for an interview! Let’s (re)discover this expert whose main mission will be to help Dareboost customers achieve their web performance goals.
Let’s start from the very-beginning: Boris, who are you? Tell us about your previous experiences.
Before anything else, I’m a dad and a husband. But even before, I was and still am an ESIEE engineer. My interest for consulting came up with my internship at Microsoft France Consulting Services. Afterwards, I worked for a few years at Nexeo Conseil, a company specialized in Market Finance, and then I joined Clever Age where I spent 7 years discovering – and exploiting – the huge potential of the Web.
Over the years, I have collaborated with companies from various sectors: Finance, Industry, Retail, Health, public or private transportation… Every time, I used my skills to listen, advise, manage and develop projects for my clients, depending of the nature of the existing technical and functional infrastructure. I have worked on different types of architecture and solutions, including (CMS, DAM, OVP) or software development of customized solutions (in .NET or PHP). Last but not least: I have audited a lot of websites regarding quality and performance.
Web Performance is one of you area of expertise. What is your professional point of view?
One first feeling can never be changed. When a user loads your website, you only have one chance to offer him the best experience you can. That’s why I have decided five years ago to study web performance. I went on with accessibility and, more generally, web quality. Then I passed the Opquast (for Open Quality Standards) certification and obtained the “expert” grade. Even with that background, I still have the feeling that I have discovered only the tip of the iceberg. There are still so many things I could learn regarding web performance and quality!
Besides, I deeply think that web performance is a matter of ethic. French people are very lucky. Our national network offers a great range of connectivity ( ADSL, cable, optical fiber) and we often enjoy the web, a television access and the telephone over a single domestic connection. For us, Internet is a right. For the large majority of the world, accessing the web, even with a low-bandwidth connection, remains difficult, if not a nearly unreachable goal. As Web professionals, we have to take responsibility and offer the fastest websites with the smallest carbon footprint we can.
I’m deeply convinced there is a real untapped opportunity around web performance. By observing the average global measurements, one could easily assume that nobody cares about it: web pages have never been so cumbersome and so slow to download! Yet, a deep look at the market reveals the truth: the leaders always ensure a qualitative user experience, including performance.
It is time for web performance to become a major stake for the development of web infrastructures. Especially since its implementation is not difficult if it is taken sufficiently upstream. All the actors need to identify the best practices and have an effective follow-up of what is produced.
How have you discovered Dareboost?
Dareboost is in my web performance analysis toolbox for a couple of years now. As a lot of professionals, I discovered it in late 2013, via a post of Raphaël Goetter published on the Alsacréations forum. I have created my free account in 2015, when one of my colleague told me about it once again.
I remind me wanting to push the tool to its limits… So I compared the audit I was conducting for one of my clients against the Dareboost analysis. I was surprised, and a little upset, to see that some parts were better explained in the report than in my own deliverable! Fortunately for my ego, at that time, the tool missed some issues so, as a matter of fair-play, I contacted the team to suggest improvements. That’s how we met!
As you join the Dareboost team, what is your external point of view about the service? Which are your favorite features?
I have a long experience with web performance optimization. I started before the birth of Dareboost and still carried out audits during my recruitment. While optimization techniques have evolved over the past decade, the technical and functional fundamentals remain the same. Much of what was valid then is still valuable today. Suffice to say that the issue is not and has never been purely technical.
Like many quality-related objective, web performance optimization sometimes requires technical skills, but it is more usually a matter of pedagogy, endurance and good governance. Raising an issue is only the beginning of the process: the problem must be explained until it is comprehensible by all and, consensually, you need to tackle its resolution while measuring gains.
As I view it, Dareboost is exactly that: a tool that helps its users to understand what needs to be corrected, helps them to start a dialogue, and gives them the keys for the follow-up over time. Furthermore, Dareboost helps them to anticipate future quality tampering.
Can you explain your role at Dareboost, as a Customer Success Manager?
For years, I have helped my clients fulfill their web performance objectives: taking into account their needs, setting up an analysis, preparing the steps of the corrective process and measuring the results. To make it simple: I will continue to do so! My goal is for our clients to improve their websites’ performance. I will analyse our customer journey(s) by gathering their feedbacks, then check with customers to ensure that they are on track with their performance objectives and, if not, see if I can help with an even broader use of Dareboost.
Some clients may require support for setting up a user journey monitoring or creating a customized dashboard. I will do anything that can provide our users with the information they need to build the most effective corrective strategy in line with their objectives and schedules!
As I have always had a passion for writing, you also may read a few posts from me here or elsewhere. Everything is quite new, we still have to talk about it with the Marketing team, but those who have met me know that it will be difficult to silence me!
Finally, I intend to help the technical team on the R&D. I don’t want to lose sight of the current or future technical challenges. Although I am familiar with the mechanisms of web performance, I am always humbled when discussing with my new colleagues. I still have a lot to learn compared to them!
One last question to challenge your new collaborators: what do you think you can bring to Dareboost and its team?
A whole lot of dad jokes!
More seriously, I have a lot of admiration for the service offered by Dareboost but I think I can enhance the user orientation, having been “on the other side” of the market for many years. I hope to become a helpful contact for our customers and a real force of proposal to always improve the best practices repository and the services offered by Dareboost.
I am delighted to see more and more agencies coming out of a purely handcrafted web and using tools to guarantee a better quality of their websites. Soon, the whole market will industrialize its monitoring toolbox. Within this dynamic, I will ensure that Dareboost remains an essential tool for all Web professionals.