Worth Reading: 10 Optimizations on Linear Search

Stumbled upon an article by Tom Limoncelli. He starts with a programming question (skip that) but then goes into an interesting discussion of what’s really important.

Being focused primarily on networking this is the bit I liked most (another case of Latency Matters):

I once observed a situation where a developer was complaining that an operation was very slow. His solution was to demand a faster machine. The sysadmin who investigated the issue found that the code was downloading millions of data points from a database on another continent. The network between the two hosts was very slow. A faster computer would not improve performance.

The solution, however, was not to build a faster network, either. Instead, we moved the calculation to be closer to the data.

Lesson learned: always figure out the real problem and what the most effective way of solving it as opposed to pushing the problem down the stack or into the cloud.


  1. A link at the end of the article points to an older article explaining the consequences of the delay-bandwidth product. A 5 minute refresher.
    You don’t know jack about Network Performance
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