We developers used to be obsessed with optimizations. Like a child with an Erector Set and a whole lot of spare parts, we always wanted to “make it better”. In our case, better was faster and using less memory/CPU resources. Where development came from – a few Kilobytes of memory, a much slower CPU, and non-optimizing compilers, this all made sense. But the rest of IT, and indeed, the business, didn’t want to see us build our Erector set higher, or make our code more complex buy more efficient, machines were speeding up at a relatively constant rate and the need was no longer there.

Flash forward to today, and we have multiple cores running at hundreds of times the speed of the 286 and 386 families, memory that would have been called “infinite” or “unbelievable” in those days, compilers that optimize, the web server and networking layers in front of most apps, and everything from the bus to the hard disk running faster. You would think that the need to optimize was 100% behind us, right?


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