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Early in my programming career I just wanted to make things work. Once I had that down I started worrying--a lot--about performance. I wanted to be the super cool guy with the fast code, so I optimized everything. I even optimized things that didn't make it faster if it made the code consume fewer bytes: efficiency! I felt so awesome. And then I had to maintain my code. In short order I grew to loath optimizations. After a very brief time I took an about-face and adopted a new programming mantra which I still employ to this day: Screw performance. Your time, attention and brain cells are the biggest bottleneck you will have. If there's an actual runtime performance issue there's plenty of time to identify it and optimize it once the program is pretty well finished.
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Apr 5, 2010