The Pike rules for C programming
1. You can't tell where a program is going to spend its time.
Bottlenecks occur in surprising places, so don't try to second guess and
put in a speed hack until you've proven that's where the bottleneck is.
2. Measure.
Don't tune for speed until you've measured, and even then don't
unless one part of the code overwhelms the rest.
3. Fancy algorithms are slow when N is small (it usually is).
Fancy algorithms have big constants. Until you know that N is frequently
going to be big, don't get fancy. (Even if n does get big, use Rule 2 first.)
4. Fancy algorithms are buggier than simple ones
and they're much harder to implement. Use simple algorithms
as well as simple data structures.
5. Data dominates.
If you've chosen the right data structures and organized things well,
the algorithms will almost always be self-evident.
Data structures, not algorithms, are central to programming.
6. There is no rule 6