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.