Performance Is Overrated

Ryan Sonnek bio photo By Ryan Sonnek

Let me get one thing clear: Software performance _is_important, but it’s also _completely_overrated.

Why is it that in nearly every code inspection, the _first_comment I hear is related to performance? Is performance somehow _the_most important software metric? Are educational institutions forcing programmers to believe that fast procedural code is all that matters? Hell, it might be time to throw out Java for good old assembly! I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard something like, “If I loop through this collection twice, it will be slower.” So what!

Sure, your code may_be faster, but will it be more clear? More testable? More understandable? Give me clean _slow_code any day of the week. In the end, your fast code doesn’t matter to me unless you can _prove that it’s faster.

“Early optimization is the root of much evil.”