An often mentioned issue within software development is premature code optimization, which happens when a developer makes too many assumptions about the future context of what they are currently developing. It can make a codebase confusing when someone else is trying to interpret functionality later on.
I had a situation where I opted to optimize Rails controller code before I had to, but I think it was the correct decision, but first the code snippets:
Code before the optimization:
def accept_client_credentials_grant org_options = OrganizationOptions.find_by!(uuid: params[:uuid]) response = OauthAccessGrant.create_and_update_client_credentials(org_options, grant_params) render json: response end
Code after the optimization:
def accept_grant org_options = OrganizationOptions.find_by!(uuid: params[:uuid]) case params[:grant][:grant_type] when "client_credentials" response = OauthAccessGrant.create_and_update_client_credentials(org_options, grant_params) else StandardError.new("OAuth Grant Type Not Supported") end render json: response end
In the code examples above I ended up switching the
accept_client_credentials_grant controller method to
accept_grant and then used a case statement as a proxy to determine what the app should do based on the
grant_type that was sent to the app through
This controller was an OAuth controller, which has established workflows. I was only building this OAuth server to handle one workflow, but given that the app I built on has many different customers, many of which have unique auth needs, I felt it made sense to add this proxy now.
This early optimization prevents the situation of a different developer needing to update this method later on and not knowing what the value for
grant_type would exactly look like. For all they know the param value could be “Client Credentials”, “CLIENT_CREDENTIALS” or any number of other options. Given that I knew of future potential workflows in advance and could see a future issue for other developers, I chose to optimize this code early, but in my opinion not prematurely.