You know how it is when management asks you to make an existing program go faster, it’s almost always a challenge which is taken up with enthusiasm. You get to explore the codebase, try out new approaches, fix those long clunky if statements, rationalize the code, all within the constraints of maintaining backward compatibility, and utilizing your advanced performance skill set. What fun!
You work hard. It might take you some time, but you more than double the speed of the program, everything continues to work as it should, just quicker, much quicker. It’s a feel-good factor like no other.
Time goes by.
The manager comes around some time later, and says: “You remember that program you doubled the speed of a few months ago?”. You smile unsuspectingly and nod “yeah, sure, it was hard, I squeezed every last drop of speed out of that code rewrite!”
The manager doesn’t blink, but replies: “Great, so I’d like you to do it again!”
You roll up your sleeves…