"We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil" - Donald Knuth
Most developers will never need for their apps to run in constrained environments, and most employers don't want to spend money to eek out performance when average performance is perfectly fine.
Too many programmers get caught up in trying to make something the fastest, or most memory efficient, or makes the best use of bandwidth. When most of the time, it just doesn't matter. Such things are expensive, and in the long run it's cheaper to be fast and sloppy than slow and lean.
Do you even know what the full quote is, or what the paper Donald Knuth wrote that in is about?
Here is the full quote:
"We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil. Yet we should not pass up our opportunities in that critical 3%. A good programmer will not be lulled into complacency by such reasoning, he will be wise to look carefully at the critical code; but only after that code has been identified." - Donald Knuth
So the quote you've used to back yourself up is completely and utterly against your argument. It actually makes a point for the skills that you say don't matter. I really can't even believe people modded this as insightful.....