She is a contributing author for Human Capital Institute(HCI), OC Tanner, People Matters, BTN and more. Premature optimization is spending a lot of time on something that you may not actually need. Premature Optimization is a Real Problem. 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. While this might sound a bit harsh, it holds a lot of truth. We shoot down innumerable technology interventions worrying that they aren’t perfect. 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. “Premature optimization is the root of all evil” is a famous saying among software developers. To take advantage of this service, select your expression host when setting up a request using our online customer portal. Huh? Turns out, there lies very sound logic in sending imperfect products out into the world. Premature optimization is a subtle problem which isn't obvious to a novice. Premature optimization is a problem we developers must guard against. A glimpse into the mind of a divergent HR pro. Change ). 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. 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. Drop by for a new post every week and some extra sprinkles every now & then. An eccentric HR professional enjoying life in the madness, sharing thoughts & experiences with those running the same race as me. We worry about scale even before we know if our idea will gain traction with users. 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. Product feedback is almost always via anecdotal feedback collected from a small user base. Another pitfall is assuming that the code in question has enough impact on overall performance to be worth optimizing. That's why Donald Knuth chose to highlight it. The concept of premature optimization was first made prominent in the field of software engineering. There are probably more unknowns than knowns. We also know that known design flaws are common in the world of technology. Shift left and agile hardware development are new chances to break the cycle 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). a peer recognition platform only to have utilization follow a dying curve over the years? HR needs to take a leaf out of technology’s book. Premature optimization is the focus on making improvements to a product or service before it is appropriate to do so. Watch Queue Queue. Why would anyone not fix bugs before sending it out to the world? Interested in daily dose of short & crisp insights from the world of work? 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. Premature optimization is spending too much time optimizing features and specifications that might add minimal value to the product or service. 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. Validating user feedback needs to come first. 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. On the opposite, Premature optimization is spending a lot of time on something that you may not actually need. The quantity of experienced talent is at a low point and will continue to decline throughout the next 10+ years. We struggle to pull together the budget for the perfect tech solution. What is it supposed to mean? A software only product, such as PC desktop software or web back-end software may broadly and judiciously apply Knuth’s guideline. Both are usually attributed to Donald Knuth, but … Knuth has not only given us a snazzy sound bite (Premature optimization is the root of all evil! Knuth. Premature optimization is spending a lot of time on something that you may not actually need. The term is intended to mean that the implementation is NOT the optimal. 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. 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.”. Product feedback is almost always via anecdotal feedback collected from a small user base. Before you worry about handling millions of users, you need to make sure that 100 users even like and want to use your product. 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." D.E. To sum it up premature optimization is NOT the root of all evil, especially if we're talking SW development. The postings on this site are my own and are not the positions, strategies, or opinions of the organization that I work for. There is a famous saying that "Premature optimization is the root of all evil". “Premature optimization is the root of all evil” is a famous saying among software developers. This video is unavailable. It is based on my thoughts and ideas related to HR and leadership in the workplace. Privacy Policy. HR needs to take a leaf out of technology’s book. Let me introduce you to the concept of premature optimization. We shoot down innumerable technology interventions worrying that they aren’t perfect. Premature optimization is the root of all evil-- DonaldKnuth. Follow The HR Business Partner Story on WordPress.com. 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. a peer recognition platform only to have utilization follow a dying curve over the years? The origin of premature optimization. Why would anyone not fix bugs before sending it out to the world? How many times have you started designing a product with scale in mind? By continuing you're agreeing our, NEXT STORY: Innovation: A driving force for employees in the post-COVID-19 era. Does that not make for a better customer experience? 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.”. However, there are stages in an embedded systems project where “premature optimization” is absolutely required. 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 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 … 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. “Premature optimization is the root of all evil” is the root of evil by Oleksandr Kaleniuk. 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. 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. 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. As Johnson states in the previously cited book, "Few things in programming are harder than optimizing existing code. 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. Turns out, there lies very sound logic in sending imperfect products out into the world. Optimization: the action of making the best or most effective use of a situation or resource. We know that developers are expensive and their time valuable. 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. Remember, no premature optimization doesn’t mean no optimization. Premature optimization hits both. 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. Ltd. All rights reserved. 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 shoot down innumerable technology interventions worrying that they aren’t perfect. 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. We also know that known design flaws are common in the world of technology. 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. 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. Software optimization is no different than any other type of applied optimization. The same principle applies while discussing scale. Ankita is a HR professional based out of Dublin, Ireland. Premature optimization: Learning from software development. How many times have you started designing a product with scale in mind? Let me introduce you to the concept of premature optimization. Premature optimization is spending too much time optimizing features and specifications that might add minimal value to the product or service. 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. 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. ... premature optimization is the root of all evil. What we do not know when releasing a feature for the first time is whether customers will actually use or like it. ( Log Out /  We worry about scale even before we know if our idea will gain traction with users. The phrase "premature optimization" is an oxymoron. Watch Queue Queue Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Validating user feedback needs to come first. I'd like to see some rules of thumb or red flags which signal that an optimization is premature. 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". Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. She was identified as one of the top 50 HR influencers by SHRM India and the top 20 influencers by The Economic Times, India. By clicking “Subscribe” button above, you are accepting our Drop me a note at [email protected] There are famous software examples of teams embracing agile. 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. Construction technology innovation has exploded and is continuing to accelerate. 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. The same principle applies while discussing scale. View all posts by Ankita Poddar. It's a hidden pitfall to assume that (supposedly) performance-optimized code is actually your first priority, above correctness, clarity, testability, and so on. 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. ( Log Out /  “A programmer is a wonderful machine that converts coffee into software.” – Unknown. Explanation []. There’s a grain of truth in each one, the problem is that the following has no grain of truth. I had a 20k rep user today tell me that using a HashSet instead of a List was premature optimization. This web-site uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our web-site. “Premature optimization is the root of all evil” is the root of evil. This statement is both lauded and demonized by programmers of all kinds of backgrounds and experience levels. Unfortunately, this is why optimization is uniquely satisfying to any programmer's ego. Terms & Conditions and What we do not know when releasing a feature for the first time is whether customers will actually use or like it. Copyright 2020 People Matters Media Pvt. 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. 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. Optimizing Objective-C programs is, in the end, not necessarily hard. We struggle to pull together the budget for the perfect tech solution. Why is premature optimization bad? We know that developers are expensive and their time valuable. 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. Its source is credited to Donald Knuth . We struggle to pull together the budget for the perfect tech solution. How many times have you launched a product e.g. 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. P.S. A common quote linked with Donald E. Knuth of TeX fame is “premature optimization is the root of all evil”. P.S. "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 root of all evil” is a famous saying among software developers. HR needs to take a leaf out of technology’s book. 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. Premature Optimization "Premature Optimization" gets redirected to this page - I don't think it should. This is a personal blog. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Performance as an asset. Does that not make for a better customer experience? ... Let me introduce you to the concept of premature optimization. Ankita is also closely associated with SHRM and is a part of their Blog Squad. The Fallacy of Premature Optimization by Randall Hyde. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Given that definition how can optimization ever be done "too early"? The use case in question was a statically initialized collection thats sole purpose was to serve as a look-up table. In 2016, Ankita was identified as one of the top 15 emerging HR leaders in India. She is passionate about all things HR and social psychology. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out /  How many times have you launched a product e.g. 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." Premature optimization is spending too much time optimizing features and specifications that might add minimal value to the product or service. Sound bite ( premature optimization '' is an oxymoron Institute ( HCI ), you commenting! 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