Conor Cussell

The Tab

Full-stack Engineer
Oct 2016 - Present

The Tab is an online news site which gets over 8 million unique visits per month. It's stories are written by its network of authors from over 100 universities across UK and the US, and a main editorial team based in London and New York.

I work on its platform for writers and editors, Rosebud.


The technology used is a server side of Node JS and Express which acts as a proxy api and also for server-rendering React views, image editing and authentication.

The client side is powered by React, Redux, React Router and various other libraries and tools.


For writers the platform's features include a rich text editor and a dashboard for viewing performance of their published stories or the status of their drafts.


For editors Rosebud features tools for managing new writer applications, viewing and giving feedback on stories and collaborating on the stories which are produced.


Upon joining the project no attention had previously been paid to performance optimisations. I focused on reducing the bundle size of the application. First by replacing large monolithic libraries like Moment JS with smaller modular replacements which had the effect of reducing the bundle by 50%.

I then used Webpack's code-splitting functionality to split our bundle on a per route basis, which further reduced the amount of JavaScript being loaded and parsed per page and gave noticable improvements in time to interactive.

In addition to this focus on asset reduction, I also introduced a caching layer of Redis in front of our api requests, which resulted in a 10x decrease in response times and led to a much snappier feeling experience.