Performance optimization and management

Performance optimization and management is apparently the new black in the IT world, or so I am told. However, it is not an easy topic to understand, even when you have worked in the area for a long time, as I have.

My interpretation is this. Performance optimization is all about making your code do what it should do, in the most efficient way, nothing more, or less. But what does that mean exactly? Are we back to the point where we should start programming in assembly again? Sure, it would be very efficient, if done correctly, but it take a massive amount of time to, especially when talking about larger projects, and code maintenance is nearly impossible. Therefore I’m forced to conclude that my interpretation is wrong and thus the term performance optimization make no sense at all, I think.

Then there’s the question of performance management, which is entirely different and yet, apparently exactly the same, as I understand it. As always it is all about reducing the number of performance problems and other problems, and thus tuning the software as a whole.

But how then is performance optimization different from performance management? Isn’t it one and the same when apparently the approach and the goals are the same? I’m certainly confused.

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