NetFlix and Null

There are some progressive companies out there, and I think they are doing some very interesting things with how they treat employees and work with them. One thing that Netflix does, and I’ve seen others do, is eliminate the tracking of vacation time. They hold people responsible for getting work done, and if you don’t do the work, you get to move on to another place of employment.

That got me thinking after following the debate about logic, mathematics and NULL in the SQLServerCentral forums. It’s a fascinating view in how some people look at NULL in databases, and worth reading.

I started to wonder what the proper value would be for these fields?

  • Netflix.VacationHoursAccrued
  • Netflix.VacationHoursUsed

Would you set them to 0? Or inifinity, maybe marked by something like 99999?

Or would you use NULL? With the idea that you don’t know, and more importantly to me, you don’t care? I think that the proper design would depend on what you plan to do with the data. It’s not being used, so my opinion is that NULL works fine, and the NULL bitmap could potentially use less space.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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