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Optimization is said to be the last step in any software, but high-level choices about performance often drive the first decisions in a project. Knee-jerk optimizations derail requirements meetings and lead to false starts. But the perceived performance challenge is often without a business case.
Programmers are great at worrying about efficiency, scalability, or hardware usage. We all know how to cache, parallelize, and tune code to make it execute faster. But it is easy to lose sight of the bottom line and we often forget to do the math before sounding the charge: “Efficiency!”.
This presentation will cover examples of misguided optimization in design and code. We’ll look at valid and failed architectural decisions driven by optimization and learn to recognize the warning signs of “speed creep”.
Eric Wilhelm is a programmer at Cisco, Inc. He is a father of two, former leader of the Portland Perl Mongers, author of many CPAN modules, and a contributor to several open source projects. He has spoken numerous times at OSCON and local user groups.
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