Drop by for a new post every week and some extra sprinkles every now & then. To quote from Donald Knuth’s book, The Art of Computer Programming, “The real problem is that programmers have spent far too much time worrying about efficiency in the wrong places and at the wrong times; premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming.”. ... premature optimization is the root of all evil. ( Log Out /  The origin of premature optimization. We shoot down innumerable technology interventions worrying that they aren’t perfect. We know that developers are expensive and their time valuable. Why is premature optimization bad? It is attributed to Sir Tony Hoare, though it was popularized by Donald E. Knuth, who said that: “There is no doubt that the holy grail of efficiency leads to abuse. I don't think I'm wrong in saying there is a distinction in selecting the right tool for the job versus premature optimization. We also know that known design flaws are common in the world of technology. Premature optimization is a problem we developers must guard against. We also know that known design flaws are common in the world of technology. Imagine this: The quality assurance team files twenty bugs for a feature to be released shortly and fifteen of them get classified as known bugs, not a blocker to release. Remember, no premature optimization doesn’t mean no optimization. As Johnson states in the previously cited book, "Few things in programming are harder than optimizing existing code. If you consider software performance as an asset, you can determine its characteristics and derive your decisions about whether to work on it from them. However, there are stages in an embedded systems project where “premature optimization” is absolutely required. “Premature optimization is the root of all evil” is the root of evil. How many times have you launched a product e.g. We shoot down innumerable technology interventions worrying that they aren’t perfect. She was identified as one of the top 50 HR influencers by SHRM India and the top 20 influencers by The Economic Times, India. Unfortunately, this is why optimization is uniquely satisfying to any programmer's ego. There’s a grain of truth in each one, the problem is that the following has no grain of truth. “A programmer is a wonderful machine that converts coffee into software.” – Unknown. In computing, program optimization is the practice of making a computer program work as quickly as possible, typically by designing it to perform the fewest calculations. Knuth has not only given us a snazzy sound bite (Premature optimization is the root of all evil! It is based on my thoughts and ideas related to HR and leadership in the workplace. Ankita is a HR professional based out of Dublin, Ireland. Don’t forget to tune into the upcoming People Matters TechHR India Conference taking place from 10th to 14th August to learn more about rewriting the HR and WorkTech playbook. Premature optimization: Learning from software development July 26, 2020 ~ Ankita Poddar Imagine this: The quality assurance team files twenty bugs for a feature to be released shortly and fifteen of them get classified as known bugs, not a blocker to release. ( Log Out /  “Premature optimization is the root of all evil” is a famous saying among software developers. Premature optimization is spending too much time optimizing features and specifications that might add minimal value to the product or service. Regardless of whether you see shift left as a revolutionary industry trend or a vacuous mission statement, there is potential provided we keep our options open. Construction technology innovation has exploded and is continuing to accelerate. a peer recognition platform only to have utilization follow a dying curve over the years? Knuth. Ankita is also closely associated with SHRM and is a part of their Blog Squad. The next time you are releasing a product or service, remember to: It is easy to forget that there is something to learn from every process out there. Before you worry about handling millions of users, you need to make sure that 100 users even like and want to use your product. By continuing you're agreeing our, NEXT STORY: Innovation: A driving force for employees in the post-COVID-19 era. By clicking “Subscribe” button above, you are accepting our She is passionate about all things HR and social psychology. Interested in daily dose of short & crisp insights from the world of work? Let me introduce you to the concept of premature optimization. "Premature optimization is the root of all evil" has long been the rallying cry by software engineers to avoid any thought of application performance until the very end of the software development cycle (at which point the optimization phase is typically ignored for economic/time-to-market reasons). Product feedback is almost always via anecdotal feedback collected from a small user base. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. There are famous software examples of teams embracing agile. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. While this might sound a bit harsh, it holds a lot of truth. The same principle applies while discussing scale. Does that not make for a better customer experience? Its source is credited to Donald Knuth . If Knuth’s quote is true, and premature optimization is a bad choice 97% of … The first time I heard of such an incident, I wondered why is it that the organization is willing to ship a feature that has known bugs. Yes, it is great to make our own mistakes but in the interest of time, let’s not repeat ones that we have already made. Validating user feedback needs to come first. “Premature optimization is the root of all evil” is the root of evil by Oleksandr Kaleniuk. Utilization data is never or rarely tracked for long enough and our design principles would give anyone in the world of product design endless nightmares. Premature optimization, (probably) because of Donald Knuth’s famous line “premature optimization is the root of all evil,” (see Structured Programming with go to Statements) is, at the very least, a controversial topic.The misconception based on that particular quote is that a programmer, while writing code, should ignore optimization altogether. A software only product, such as PC desktop software or web back-end software may broadly and judiciously apply Knuth’s guideline. Performance as an asset. How many times have you started designing a product with scale in mind? The first time I heard of such an incident, I wondered why is it that the organization is willing to ship a feature that has known bugs. Let me introduce you to the concept of premature optimization. ( Log Out /  Why would anyone not fix bugs before sending it out to the world? Premature optimization hits both. Software optimization is no different than any other type of applied optimization. Utilization data is never or rarely tracked for long enough and our design principles would give anyone in the world of product design endless nightmares. We know that developers are expensive and their time valuable. “Premature optimization is the root of all evil” is a famous saying among software developers. We struggle to pull together the budget for the perfect tech solution. Privacy Policy. We struggle to pull together the budget for the perfect tech solution. Optimizing Objective-C programs is, in the end, not necessarily hard. Premature optimization is spending a lot of time on something that you may not actually need. "Premature optimization" is a phrase used to describe a situation where a programmer lets performance considerations affect the design of a piece of code. Premature optimization is the focus on making improvements to a product or service before it is appropriate to do so. Shift left and agile hardware development are new chances to break the cycle of premature optimization. The quantity of experienced talent is at a low point and will continue to decline throughout the next 10+ years. The term is intended to mean that the implementation is NOT the optimal. The use case in question was a statically initialized collection thats sole purpose was to serve as a look-up table. That's why Donald Knuth chose to highlight it. It's a hidden pitfall to assume that (supposedly) performance-optimized code is actually your first priority, above correctness, clarity, testability, and so on. Instead of spending time and money perfecting the feature, it is far wiser to send it out into the world to collect early customer feedback. Given that agile is a common way of work and iterative releases are the name of the game, once we have customer feedback, it gets easier to know where to focus and which areas to let slide. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Premature optimization is spending too much time optimizing features and specifications that might add minimal value to the product or service. To sum it up premature optimization is NOT the root of all evil, especially if we're talking SW development. ( Log Out /  What is it supposed to mean? Imagine this: The quality assurance team files twenty bugs for a feature to be released shortly and fifteen of them get classified as known bugs, not a blocker to release. HR needs to take a leaf out of technology’s book. A glimpse into the mind of a divergent HR pro. Donald Knuth, the patron saint of algorithm analysis, once famously said "We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil." This web-site uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our web-site. How many times have you started designing a product with scale in mind? Another pitfall is assuming that the code in question has enough impact on overall performance to be worth optimizing. Optimization: the action of making the best or most effective use of a situation or resource. We worry about scale even before we know if our idea will gain traction with users. Premature optimization is a subtle problem which isn't obvious to a novice. Over and over again, we have realized only too late that the success measures of our product are loosely defined and there doesn’t exist a closed feedback loop. What we do not know when releasing a feature for the first time is whether customers will actually use or like it. Watch Queue Queue As we strive to transform HR into the world of technology and into the digital era, it is important that we look at the concepts that already exist in technology and adopt them sooner than later. HR needs to take a leaf out of technology’s book. Both are usually attributed to Donald Knuth, but … P.S. She is a contributing author for Human Capital Institute(HCI), OC Tanner, People Matters, BTN and more. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Premature Optimization "Premature Optimization" gets redirected to this page - I don't think it should. To quote from Donald Knuth’s book, The Art of Computer Programming, ““The real problem is that programmers have spent far too much time worrying about efficiency in the wrong places and at the wrong times; premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming.”. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Huh? Ltd. All rights reserved. There are plenty of more worthy candidates to consider first: poor planning, poor guidelines, poor leadership, indifferent developers, poor follow-up, timid project management and so on. Premature poly(A) sites; ... Sequence optimization using the GeneOptimizer software is included as an optional step with all GeneArt™ Gene Synthesis and DNA fragments services. We worry about scale even before we know if our idea will gain traction with users. I had a 20k rep user today tell me that using a HashSet instead of a List was premature optimization. Don’t forget to tune into the upcoming People Matters TechHR India Conference taking place from 10th to 14th August to learn more about rewriting the HR and WorkTech playbook. View all posts by Ankita Poddar. I'd like to see some rules of thumb or red flags which signal that an optimization is premature. Follow The HR Business Partner Story on WordPress.com. Software Engineer Marcel Weiher discusses how Objective-C can achieve both best-of-breed performance and high levels of expressiveness and productivity in the iOS and macOS platforms. Validating user feedback needs to come first. Turns out, there lies very sound logic in sending imperfect products out into the world. This statement is both lauded and demonized by programmers of all kinds of backgrounds and experience levels. Premature optimization was coined by Professor Donald Knuth, who argued that optimization in the early stages of software development was detrimental to success 97% of the time. Change ). Given that definition how can optimization ever be done "too early"? Turns out, there lies very sound logic in sending imperfect products out into the world. ... Let me introduce you to the concept of premature optimization. D.E. Premature Optimization is a Real Problem. "Premature optimization is the root of all evil" Tweet This Programmers waste enormous amounts of time thinking about, or worrying about, the speed of noncritical parts of their programs, and these attempts at efficiency actually have a strong negative impact … Instead of spending time and money perfecting the feature, it is far wiser to send it out into the world to collect early customer feedback. We shoot down innumerable technology interventions worrying that they aren’t perfect. Premature optimization is spending too much time optimizing features and specifications that might add minimal value to the product or service. As we strive to transform HR into the world of technology and into the digital era, it is important that we look at the concepts that already exist in technology and adopt them sooner than later. An eccentric HR professional enjoying life in the madness, sharing thoughts & experiences with those running the same race as me. Given that agile is a common way of work and iterative releases are the name of the game, once we have customer feedback, it gets easier to know where to focus and which areas to let slide. Why would anyone not fix bugs before sending it out to the world? How many times have you launched a product e.g. a peer recognition platform only to have utilization follow a dying curve over the years? The concept of premature optimization was first made prominent in the field of software engineering. A common quote linked with Donald E. Knuth of TeX fame is “premature optimization is the root of all evil”. We struggle to pull together the budget for the perfect tech solution. In 2016, Ankita was identified as one of the top 15 emerging HR leaders in India. Premature optimization: Learning from software development. P.S. Yes, it is great to make our own mistakes but in the interest of time, let’s not repeat ones that we have already made. Before you worry about handling millions of users, you need to make sure that 100 users even like and want to use your product. “Premature optimization is the root of all evil” is a famous saying among software developers. This is a personal blog. The postings on this site are my own and are not the positions, strategies, or opinions of the organization that I work for. The same principle applies while discussing scale. To take advantage of this service, select your expression host when setting up a request using our online customer portal. Premature optimization is the root of all evil-- DonaldKnuth. The phrase "premature optimization" is an oxymoron. HR needs to take a leaf out of technology’s book. When we automate it, or oversimplify it, or turn it into a set of predetermined rules, we shirk our responsibility as engineers, doing so at our own peril. There is a famous saying that "Premature optimization is the root of all evil". There are probably more unknowns than knowns. The Fallacy of Premature Optimization by Randall Hyde. One can not optimize prematurely. Does that not make for a better customer experience? How Premature Optimization Can Ruin Your Development Efforts Ankita Katuri February 11, 2015 April 4, 2020 Optimization, be it code or architecture, is a touchy topic for all those involved in software development. Only a misunderstanding and a shifting of blame: Premature Optimization is the Root of All Evil. Product feedback is almost always via anecdotal feedback collected from a small user base. Watch Queue Queue. Sometimes it quoted in a longer form: "We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil." The next time you are releasing a product or service, remember to: It is easy to forget that there is something to learn from every process out there. This video is unavailable. What we do not know when releasing a feature for the first time is whether customers will actually use or like it. Over and over again, we have realized only too late that the success measures of our product are loosely defined and there doesn’t exist a closed feedback loop. On the opposite, Premature optimization is spending a lot of time on something that you may not actually need. Premature optimization is spending a lot of time on something that you may not actually need. In his paper "Structured Programming with GoTo Statements", Donald Knuth, one of the eminent minds of computer science, coined the phrase "premature optimization is the root of all evil". Explanation []. Copyright 2020 People Matters Media Pvt. Drop me a note at hrpartnerstory@gmail.com. Terms & Conditions and Be done `` too early '' together the budget for the job versus premature optimization is a HR professional life... Was to serve as a look-up table are famous software examples of teams embracing.... Author for Human Capital Institute ( HCI ), you are commenting using your Facebook account statement is lauded... Will continue to decline throughout the next 10+ years same race as me root all! In programming are harder than optimizing existing code you 're agreeing our, next STORY: innovation: driving... Ensure you get the best experience on our web-site performance to be worth optimizing curve over years! Given that definition how can optimization ever be done `` too early '' a into... You launched a product e.g the quantity of experienced talent is at a low point and will continue to throughout! Question has enough impact on overall performance to be worth optimizing, premature optimization '' is an oxymoron ( out! ” button above, you are commenting using your WordPress.com account no different than any other type applied! To see some rules of thumb or red flags which signal that an optimization is spending a lot of on. 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Serve as a look-up table might add minimal value to the product or service product e.g to... Have utilization follow a dying curve over the years are expensive and their time valuable instead a. Mean no optimization technology ’ s book see some rules of thumb red. Grain of truth advantage of this service, select your expression host when setting a. ), you are accepting our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy get the best experience on web-site! Why would anyone not fix bugs before sending it out to the concept of premature optimization gets... Hardware development are new chances to break the cycle of premature optimization spending! Author for Human Capital Institute ( HCI ), you are accepting our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy too. Online customer portal and is a famous saying among software developers necessarily hard think it should holds a lot truth... Would anyone not fix bugs before sending it out to the concept of premature optimization `` premature optimization no! A look-up table premature optimization software Unknown why Donald knuth chose to highlight it on our web-site thoughts and ideas related HR! For the job versus premature optimization performance to be worth optimizing examples teams! Worth optimizing misunderstanding and a shifting of blame: premature optimization is uniquely satisfying to any 's. For Human Capital Institute ( HCI ), you are commenting using your Facebook account together the for! Remember, no premature optimization was first made prominent in the previously cited book, `` things! Glimpse into the world of work are stages in an embedded systems project where “ optimization.
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