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Poll Result: Developers Highlight the Importance of Performance and Scalability

Posted by editor on May 28, 2013 at 3:54 PM PDT

In the just-completed Java.net poll, most developers identified performance and scalability as being strong determinants of the success of the applications they develop. A total of 242 votes were cast in the poll. The exact question and results were:

How critical is performance/scalability to the success of the apps you develop?

  • 45% (110 votes) - Absolutely critical - we spend lots of time and effort tuning performance
  • 27% (66 votes) - It's important - profiling performance is part of our normal development process
  • 12% (29 votes) - We probably should allocate more time to performance issues
  • 7% (17 votes) - Performance doesn't matter that much for our apps
  • 7% (16 votes) - I don't know
  • 2% (4 votes) - Other
  • Summing the top three options yields 84% of the voters indicating that performance is important -- compared with only 7% who think they work on applications where performance doesn't matter that much. Of course, saying that "performance doesn't matter that much for our apps" actually implies that they already run fast enough to meet the needs of the users. Break that performance in a new release, and performance might suddenly matter quite a lot!

    72% of the voters indicate that performance tuning and/or performance profiling are regular activities in the process of developing their apps, or new releases. The 12% who indicated that they probably should allocate more time to performance issues perhaps don't that right now due to their company wanting to put out new releases sooner.

    It is somewhat risky, though, to put out a new release without being sure that a new modification or enhancement hasn't drastically undercut the application's performance. Having customers be the first ones to notice a performance problem typically does not produce a satisfying result.

    In addition, it's one thing for a customer to discover an obscure bug, and another thing entirely if a new version performs poorly. A bug can typically be isolated, fixed, and a new software release can be quickly delivered. Diagnosing the cause of a previously unknown, serious performance issue is another thing entirely. It's typically not going to be a quick fix.

    But, based on the results of this poll (which is, of course, not scientific), it sounds like a lot of developers understand the importance of monitoring and tuning performance. That's a good thing!

    New poll: Java and the JVM 15 years from now...

    Our current poll asks you to look into the future and tell us what you see... The poll asks: Will Java and other JVM languages still be widely used for new software development projects 15 years from now?. Voting will be open until Friday, June 7.


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    -- Kevin Farnham (@kevin_farnham)

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