Efficiency vs. Effectiveness

In software development, I feel like there’s too much focus on being efficient, and too little focus on being effective. Many people seem to believe that efficiency is synonymous to effectiveness. Alas, it is not.

Efficiency is a measure of velocity; how fast you get things done. Effectiveness, on the other hand, is a measure of quality; how well you get things done, and that you’re doing the right thing in the first place.

There’s no use in being efficient if you’re doing the wrong thing. It doesn’t matter how well you cooked that steak, if your customer craves lobster.

Be effective first, efficient second.

“Id.” is Short for “Identifier”

As you can see, my OCD acts up when I see WordPress using uppercase “ID” in core function names, such as the get_the_ID() function.

“Id.” (note the period), as used here, is an abbreviation (contraction) of the word “identifier.” It is not an acronym, nor a “multi-word abbreviation” (i.e. for something like “Identity Document”), so it should not be all uppercase.

Also, according to WordPress’ own naming conventions, all function names should use lowercase letters and underscores for separating words.

Use lowercase letters in variable, action, and function names […]

And I wonder why I never get anything done …

Less Wrong

I recently discovered the Less Wrong online community.

To quote their front-page:

Less Wrong users aim to develop accurate predictive models of the world, and change their mind when they find evidence disconfirming those models, instead of being able to explain anything.

That’s a noble goal for an online community.

I’ve only been lurking so far, but chances are that I will stick around.

There are a lot of interesting articles and discussions going on over there, so I highly recommend checking it out for yourself.