Mon, 7 November 2011
Philadelphia Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise Conference
Speaker: David A. Black
Talk: Command Performance: The Why and Whether of Small-Scale Optimizations
Eighth in our ETE 2011 screencast series
We’ve all heard it: “Don’t worry about that just yet” followed by the famous Hoare and/or Knuth dictum, “Premature optimization is the root of all evil.”
So why does the dictum always feel neither exactly right, nor completely wrong?
Like soap operas, many software projects are engineered to go on forever. Releases more than a few months old seem already covered in cobwebs. Given such a paradigm for the project life-cycle, when does “premature” give way to “mature”? At what level of granularity in the project and/or the code does maturity emerge—and how do you know? Do rules rooted in the concept of “maturity” even have a place?
This talk will use some of these observations and questions as a point of entry for consideration of small-scale code optimizations. We’ll look at the ways in which most of us already optimize, sometimes unconsciously, and try to fit the pieces of the maturity/optimization puzzle together in a satisfying manner.
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