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Evidence based approaches 12/11/2011:13:26:08

Some people optimise code by guesswork, which is possibly why a lot of people recite "premature optimisation is the root of all evil". There is no good way past the obvious platform specific hints to optimise a codebase unless you first know how much time is being spent where. You must profile. You must gather data.

In these posts by Drew Thaler evidence is used to find the real culprit. Without evidence, in both cases, the assumptions would have blocked the real reason from sight forever.

http://altdevblogaday.com/2011/06/14/real-unusual-io-slowdowns-part-2/
http://altdevblogaday.com/2011/07/16/real-unusual-io-slowdowns-part-3/