The questioner listened to my arguments, watched the benchmarks and calmly replied that a programming language had nothing to do with performance. Also, he’d try out Typescript.
I was baffled. How could he say such a thing? Obviously the C programming language is much more performant than a scripting language like Python! Just look at all the bloat that gets initialized when Python code is interpreted. Everything is an object, there is a garbage collector, and don’t even get me started on typing!
After my presentation was finished, I confronted the questioner with my arguments. He asked me: “Philipp, think of the last time you wrote a slow application. Was it slow because you wrote it in Python rather than in C? Or was slow because you chose the wrong data structure to represent the data? Did you write the algorithm to manipulate the data yourself and messed it up, rather than using what the standard library provides you with? Did you hack together a database rather than putting some thought into a scheme?”
“You’re not Netflix”, he added. “Or Google or Facebook. Your applications are slow because you don’t know how to use your tools properly.”
I felt caught. He was right. My code is nowhere near the limit of what the languages I use can do. Instead of learning that exciting new language that’s 20x faster than what I use right now, I’m much better off refining my skills with the tools I use at the moment.
Images are taken from benchmarksgame-team.pages.debian.net. Copyright © 2004-2008 Brent Fulgham, 2005-2020 Isaac Gouy. All rights reserved.