Efficiency vs Quality in Software Development

Implicit in Taylor’s approach is the idea that management always aims at the single goal of effciency (understood as labor productivity). But efficiency is just one of several possible competing goals that management might pursue. Profitability, customer satisfaction, or maintaining good community relations can always conceivably outweigh the goal of efficiency. Later management theorists have argued that Taylor’s obsession with efficiency came at the expense of the goal of quality.

— Matthew Stewart, “The Management Myth,” p 54

I cannot help but read that paragraph and think of software development practices. We want efficiency of algorithms, but the quality of the code (understood as its comprehensibility and maintainability by other programmers) is an equally important goal.

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