When it comes to web performance, you could easily call Tammy Everts an expert. As the senior researcher and evangelist at SOASTA, a performance analytics company, she spends her days managing original research, as well as corralling awesome research done by other folks. You can find a lot of that research in articles she’s written for a variety of publications and on The Performance Beacon, a blog she runs dedicated to web performance and analytics.

You’ll also have the chance to hear about her work first-hand at Web Unleashed this fall. She’ll be leading a session on How Slow Load Times Hurt Your Bottom Line. We caught up with Tammy to get to know her a bit better and to find out why you should hit up her session at Web Unleashed.  

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love finding new data that really resonates with people – not just folks at SOASTA, but people anywhere. There are a lot of folks out there who care about how the performance of their websites and apps affects users. I love giving them fodder they can use in their efforts to make the web faster.

Tell us a bit about what you’re working on.

Right now I’m collaborating with some of my fellow SOASTAns to create a brand-new end-user-oriented metric around web performance. It’s top secret right now, but we’ll be announcing it in mid-October. I’m REALLY excited by it, because it should revolutionize how non-technical people think about and measure the performance of their sites.

Who inspires you? Links are welcome!

So many people! Courtney Nash is one of the co-chairs of the Velocity Conference, the number-one event for people in the web performance space. She’s super-smart, incredibly helpful, and an insanely hard worker, and she makes it all look very easy. The same can be said of Lara Hogan, another hero of mine. She’s a senior engineering manager at Etsy, and she’s done a ton to revolutionize the way web designers tackle performance. And she’s possibly one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I’m inspired by women in tech in general, especially those who are vocal and honest about their experiences, both good and bad. That takes a lot of guts. 

How do you stay on top of your field?

There are a lot of smart people in my industry who are incredibly generous about sharing their knowledge. I follow as many of them as I can on Twitter, and try to stay up to date with what they’re thinking and writing about. Because a lot of my focus is on two overlapping fields – user experience and web performance – following people in both fields lets me spot interesting new connections.

Why should people come to your session at Web Unleashed?

Most websites and apps are too slow. When sites are slow, users suffer, and ultimately the site owner suffers. These are qualitative and quantitative truths. My session will cover all this, and I’ll also tell people the most common mistakes sites unwittingly make. I’ll also talk about how to create a business case to convince your boss to invest in performance optimization.

One fun question: what’s your fav book?

That’s a tough one. I read a lot, so usually it’s the last really great book I’ve read. So right now that would be ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ by Jonathan Safran Foer. Though if you pressed me to name my all-time favourite novel, it would have to be ‘Pride and Prejudice’. I’ve read it at least a dozen times.

You can find Tammy on Twitter @tameverts.