Why Not Optimize?

Historically, optimization was a crucial skill, since early computers ran very, very slowly. Getting a program to complete in anything like reasonable time required a lot of skill and the hand-honing of individual machine instructions. That skill is not so important these days; the personal computer revolution has changed the face of software development. We often have a surplus of computational power, quite the reverse of the days of yore. It might seem that optimization doesn’t really matter anymore.

Well, not quite. The software factory still throws us situations requiring high-performance code, and if you’re not careful, you’ll need a mad optimization dash at the last minute. But it is preferable to avoid optimizing code if ...

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