Rick Jelliffe proffers his advice on how to write fast Java desktop applications. It’s poor advice. He calls his approach “defensive programming”, though I really don’t see much that’s defensive about it. Defensive programming is about adding in code to handle unexpected cases and recover from errors. Rick’s advice is an attempt at optimizing code before you’ve even written it and determined that it’s not fast enough. It’s worth noting that I write Java desktop applications, I don’t do much server side work and I certainly don’t write small applets, so Rick’s complaint that everyone assumes your a server side developer doesn’t apply here. It also doesn’t apply too much in real life – fast code is fast code. In desktop development you get more “time off” or more code that’s not on the critical path because you only need to go as fast as the user. On the server side you need to process pretty much everything as fast as you can because there’s always more requests to get started on if there’s a hold up with this request.