More Hardware Vicar?

I’m old school. I started in “Personal Computing” when 2K of RAM was the norm. When I started programming in COBOL on IBM mainframes, we had machines with 8, 16 or 32 Megabytes of RAM. Not Gigabytes. Processor speeds were in single digit MegaHertz – not GigaHertz.

Which is why I often despair when developers are so accepting of PPP (Piss Poor Performance) and are too quick to say “we need more/better hardware”. This is, in my experience, rarely the reality. All too often it simply comes down to badly written code and/or badly designed code. Or utter rubbish SQL … 🙂

An old accountant colleague of mine was a keen advocate of the “reasonableness test”. If a number didn’t seem reasonable then it probably wasn’t. I like to apply a similar thought process to performance in program execution.

So why don’t developers *know* when performance is just plain *wrong*? I think it all comes down to having nothing to compare it against and little or no appreciation of how long things should take.

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