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Ben Nadel at dev.Objective() 2015 (Bloomington, MN) with: Jake Morehouse
Ben Nadel at dev.Objective() 2015 (Bloomington, MN) with: Jake Morehouse ( @JacobMorehouse5 )

Working Code Podcast - Episode 017: Premature Optimization

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This week, the crew talks about "premature optimization". As I explained it to my wife, this is when you "solve problems that you don't have yet". But, what kind of problems are we talking about? Missing features? Missing methodologies? Missing performance characteristics? It seems that every aspect of the development life-cycle offers up potential pitfalls in which we may chase "perfection" needlessly when all we really needed was something that was "good enough." In the best case scenario, premature optimization is a waste of time. But, in the worst case scenario, premature optimization can kill a project before it ever gets off the ground.

Or, listen to the full audio:

Listen to Episode 017, with:

Triumphs & Failures

  • Adam's Triumph - For a long time, he and his team have been correcting a recurring data corruption issue by manually opening a record in their administrative user interface (UI) and then re-saving that record. It's easy to do; but it's tedious and frustrating. After recently completing some of his high-priority work, however, Adam was finally able to locate and fix the underlying cause (a race condition between two asynchronous API calls). This removed a small point of friction; but, it had an outside effect on the team morale!

  • Ben's Triumph (that's me) - After feeling gut-punched over the poor performance of my HTML Email DSL (Domain Specific Language) when running inside of a Docker container, I deployed a sanity-check experiment to production and found that ColdFusion custom tags ran 68-times faster in production when compared to my local development environment. This completely removed my fear of using ColdFusion custom tags to generate HTML emails; and meant that it is totally game on!

  • Carol's N/A - Unfortunately, Carol was out sick. Feel better Carol! We miss you and we hope you feel better soon!

  • Tim's Triumph - He's been working hard to find common ground with his customers during the ideation phase of Product development. And although he sometimes feels like a marriage counselor, he knows that the best way to achieve success is to include and consult with his customers, even if he suspects that the final outcome will be the same. Ultimately, customers just want to feel heard; and to feel like their needs are being addressed in some form or fashion.

For the full show notes and link, visit the episode page.

Follow the show! Our website is and we're @WorkingCodePod on Twitter and Instagram. New episodes weekly on Wednesday.

Reader Comments

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Ben Nadel