The Rails Performance Workshop

Instructed by Nate Berkopec
Offered by Speedshop
Got a slow Rails app? Not anymore. Join the hundreds that have taken this four-week bootcamp and made their Rails applications fast and scalable.

Rails Apps Don't Have To Be Slow

How did your Rails app get so slow? It didn't start that way. Your app started as a lean, mean web machine. Customers are complaining. The Redis server is on fire, and the database ran out of memory last week.

Or maybe you're worried about the future. Things are OK now, but what happens when that big client you signed turns on their service? Are you prepared for the traffic they're going to send your way, or are your servers going to crumble?

Do you wish you had more money and time to spend on other parts of your application? Does looking at your New Relic dashboard or your AWS bill give you the chills?

"Nate quickly helped us identify key bottlenecks in our application's infrastructure, as well as lay out a roadmap of future improvements to keep us scaling well past our engagement. His Rails Performance Workshop set our engineering team up with the knowledge and tools to move from reacting to performance problems to proactively preventing them with Rails best practices and a profiling-based, data-driven mindset."
- Joe Burns, TeePublic

A Step-By-Step Performance Training and Sprint

Let's introduce the Rails Performance Workshop. The workshop is a training program and guided roadmap for faster Rails apps that's been used by more than a hundred organizations.

The Rails Performance Workshop is a combination of training and a performance improvement plan. Using the Workshop, your team will improve your Rails app's performance as you learn the concepts taught within.

The Rails Performance Workshop is a combination of video, hands-on exercises, specific instructions and a guided plan for improving your own app, and a community of experienced Rails practicioners. Over about 4 weeks, you'll go from A to Z on how to make a Rails application faster for your customers and cost less to scale.

Here's just some of the things you and your team will not only learn how to do, but apply during the Workshop:

  • Lower your response times to 200 milliseconds or less.
  • Reduce how much you're spending on deployment, by as much as half.
  • Build a clear plan to scale for the next 12 months.
  • Apply the three-step "DRM" method to solve 80% of Rails performance issues quickly and simply.
  • Practice a simple, repeatable performance process to diagnose and solve any issue. No genius required.
  • Fix any N+1 scenario, even the weird ones that go 12 stack levels deep that you've never been able to figure out.
  • Set targets and performance budgets within your organization that make sense for you and your customers.
  • Learn how to diagnose performance issues anywhere in the stack: DB, Ruby itself, the browser, and more.
  • Understand what "breaks" simple preload/eager_load schemes and how to get around it.
  • Scale services mathematically without load testing.
  • Decipher metrics on services like NewRelic and Scout.
  • ... and a whole lot more.

Learn to Scale Your App in 4 Weeks

Modern platforms, like Heroku and AWS, have made it easier than ever to scale: just add more instances! But no one ever tells you how many, or how to scale them efficiently and correctly. This can cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

This workshop uses basic queueing theory to show you how to scale anything: your Rails app, your database, your load balancing. Fundamentally, all of these systems work the same way, and the workshop can show you how to scale each one.

The workshop also covers the specifics of scaling Rails, like database pools and concurrency settings. Incorrect database pool settings can bring your application to a complete standstill. Settings thread counts incorrectly can invalidate your metrics and double response times. We'll show you how to deal with all of it.

"If you haven’t checked Nate Berkopec's training, books and tutorials yet, then I highly recommend him as an expert resource with an organized set of performance diagnostics tools. His workshop shaved $7,000/year off our Heroku bills with one change."
- Ken Mayer

"After training from Nate and a concerted effort from a few engineers, we had performance improvements of 10-50% on key flows.
- Rory O’Connell, Grand Rounds

"I have a bunch of pull requests that came out of the workshop. I have more tools in my toolset that I could use for future consulting projects."
- Ernesto Tagwerker, Ombu Labs

A Proven Process Used By Hundreds

The Workshop is self-guided and can be done at your own pace. We suggest that it takes either about 5 days of full-time work to complete, or 4-6 weeks of "20% time", working on it one day every week.

The Rails Performance Workshop is meant for developers with Rails experience of a year or more. Although the course is aimed at Ruby and Rails, we've had many companies send front-end engineers and even engineers from other language stacks through the workshop, and they've also found it very valuable.

The Rails Performance Workshop started 2 years ago as an in-person, one-day event. However, over the years, after dozens of companies and hundreds of individuals have participated in various formats, we learned that a 4-week remote-only format, centered around video and hands-on exercises, was the most effective way for developers to learn.

Attendees of the Rails Performance Workshop have reduced server bills by tens of thousands of dollars, sped up critical endpoints by over 50%, solved bugs and N+1 issues that evaded them for years, and built critical capacity in their engineering teams.

The entire course is taught by Nate Berkopec, author of the Complete Guide to Rails Performance and maintainer of the Puma web server.

Delivered via CLI, Powered By Free Software

At Speedshop, we believe software should respect our freedom.

We're pretty sure this is the world's first educational product delivered at the command line. Using the GPL-licensed CLI client, you'll go through the Rails Performance Workshop in the environment where you're most comfortable as a developer: the command line.

Want to try the client right now?

$ gem install rpw && rpw list

In addition, while you need a license key to download course content, there is no DRM on any files you download, and all software that you need to consume this course is Free or Open-Source.

All course content is offline-compatible: you can download the entire workshop at once and then work offline, or you can download one lesson at a time.

Although we encourage you to take the workshop in about 4 weeks, you have access to the material forever, and can start or stop at any time.

Have a Team? Let Us Guide Your Perf Sprint

If you have a team of engineers, consider signed up for the enhanced Tiers of the Rails Performance Workshop. Higher Tiers get you hands-on, one-on-one instruction from course author Nate Berkopec.

The Guided Training Addon brings Nate on as your advisor for the 4 week period. You'll have weekly strategy calls and Nate will take a look at your metrics and give you feedback. The Consulting Addon embeds Nate full-time in your application as a consultant, making performance improvements and scaling changes himself.

We've found many companies make the most of their workshop time when they dedicate a 4-week period to a performance-focused "sprint". This allows all attendees to comfortably make the workshop their "full-time job", and results in the best outcomes.

Complete Syllabus

In case you were wondering, here's the complete syllabus:

Section 1: Performance Measurement
  • Understanding Requirements
  • Production Profilers (NewRelic, Scout, Skylight, DataDog, etc)
  • Assessing a Rails App for Perf
  • Live Example: CodeTriage
Section 2: Full-Stack Performance
  • How Front-End Perf Works
  • How To Optimize Page Load Time
  • How to Optimize Largest Contentful Paint
  • Using as a Synthetic Benchmark
  • Analyzing Interactions
Section 3: Ruby Benchmarking
  • Benchmarking and Profiling
  • Creating a Local Performance Environment
  • Using Apache Bench
  • Using benchmark-ips
  • Benchmarking Background Jobs
  • Benchmarking Rails' Boot
Section 4: ActiveRecord
  • "DRM": Database, Ruby, Memory
  • Profiling SQL with rack-mini-profiler
  • Fix N+1s
  • Diagnose unnecessary SQL
  • Understand Rails' Secret SQL Caches
  • Fix slow SQL queries
Section 5: Profiling
  • How Profiling Works
  • Stackprof and rack-mini-profiler
  • Profiling Background Jobs
  • Profiling test suites
  • Profiling Boot
  • Profiling Memory
  • Reviewing PRs For Performance
  • Optimize Any Rails Transaction
Section 6: Scaling
  • MMC Queues
  • The USE Method of Scale Analysis
  • When to Scale Up Or Down
  • Database pools in Rails
  • Understanding Threads and the GVL
  • Scaling in Miniature