Good Engineering is not Premature Optimization Subscribe to my feed

written by Max Chernyak on 10 Oct, 22

The term premature optimization” is often misused. It’s supposed to be about trading simplicity for unnecessary performance gains. Instead, it’s used as a blanket dismissal of anything unfamiliar. That’s both inaccurate, and hostile to good engineering. Throughout my career, I’ve heard every one of these situations referred to as premature optimization”. None of them are.

It’s not premature optimization when:

…and they did that within the allotted time.

Respectively, it’s not premature optimization when:

…and it takes an acceptable amount of time to accomplish.

Lumping good engineering with premature optimization is a sure way to discourage engineers, and push the codebase quality towards the lowest common denominator. Don’t do that.