You can do lots to optimise your code, but ultimately it’s not your code that’s occupying most of the runtime. Whatever language you use, most of the runtime is occupied by the virtual machine, library or game engine. That’s why optimising the underlying core is essential for improving your application’s performance.
At the recent ZendCon, David Stewart gave a technical talk where he explained the implications for PHP developers seeking high performance. As well as offering tips on how to measure performance improvements over time, he shared a simple trick called Profile Guided Optimisation that he has used to speed up a WordPress workload by 7 per cent. Instead of creating a generic build of the core (in this case PHP) technology, it uses instrumentation to create a build that is optimised for your actual workload.
Whatever your choice of language, David Stewart’s short report on his talk is thought-provoking, and for PHP developers his guide to using Profile Guided Optimisation is essential reading.
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