software development, politics adjacent, long 

Potentially controversial opinion: I think that "making software more efficient" is the wrong thing to focus on right now.

There's a significant kernel of truth to the idea that "it's easy to make good code performant, but it's hard to make performant code good" - and so before going all-in on optimizing code as the primary objective, we should make sure that we're optimizing the right thing.

And right now, we're not. We're very much not.

There are significant problems to be solved in how we address software development, and the power dynamics embedded into it - the most obvious example would be the still-widespread fear of dependencies, which actively interferes with making software work better for people, and results in an endless treadmill of broken shit.

And guess what, there *are* significant efficiency benefits to be gained here - everybody using the same well-optimized implementation is going to be much better than everybody using their own homegrown half-optimized "clever" implementation.

But by putting all the focus on software efficiency and performance as the #1 priority, we risk removing all the oxygen in the room for figuring out better ways to deal with dependencies and many of the other industry-wide problems I haven't even mentioned here yet, and ending up in a *worse* place (even efficiency-wise!) than where we *could* be if we started with other problems first.

TL;DR: software efficiency and performance is important, but if you treat it as a goal to chase directly, you will end up with broken and faux-simple software that isn't even as efficient as it could be. Fix the big problems with software first, *then* think about how to optimize the remainder.

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software development, politics adjacent, long 

(Another way to look at this, is that "just write efficient code" is an attempt to solve a collective problem with an individualist solution, and I hopefully don't need to explain why that is doomed to fail)

software development, politics adjacent, long 

@aeva Not really, no; games are a special case where performance is a much higher priority than in most other kinds of software :)

The issues (eg. with dependencies) that I'm describing *do* apply to game development to some degree as well, but the whole recent "we must prioritize efficiency above all" phenomenon is a decidedly non-game thing

software development, politics adjacent, long 

@aeva That's what the original toot is about; trying to target that as a primary objective involves *significant* tradeoffs, that will interfere with other, much more important systemic problems in software that still need to be solved

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