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Six Months Using Firebase Web Performance Monitoring

November 19th, 2019

I don’t really think of Firebase as a performance monitoring tool (all I ever think about is auth and real-time data storage), but nevertheless, it totally has that feature.

Justin Ribeiro

[A] tool to track what real users in the wild are experiencing with easy setup? Yes, please. […] I’ve been using Firebase web perf tracking since June on this very blog. Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the downright confusing portions of the Firebase web performance monitoring.

Justin talks about the good and bad of this particular product, but what I think is notable about this kind of performance tooling is that it is reflective of real users using your production site. A lot of performance tooling tests is just fancied up WebPageTest that runs your site once on probably-simulated browser conditions. I don’t see as much happening in the real user performance monitoring space.

I think I’d rank performance testing by type like this:

  1. Run simulated performance metrics in CI. Stop merge requests that break metrics/budgets.
  2. Measure real user monitoring in production.
  3. Run simulated performance metrics in production.