Ben inherited a an application from a fellow employee on the fast track to retirement. How fast? Well, these are some sample methods in a thousands-of-lines-long class file called, appropriately, "Functions".
```	public static string ReturnEmptyStringIfNullElseValue(string value)
{
if (value == null)
{
return "";
}
else
{
return value.ToString().Trim();
}
}
```

That isn't the worst, most useless block of code possible. Neither was his method to turn `string`s into `int`s.

```		public static int ReturnIntValueOfString(string value)
{
if (value != null)
{
if (value.ToString().Trim().Length == 0)
return 0;
else
{
int tmpValue = 0;
// This will fail if a decimal number is passed in
if (int.TryParse(value.ToString().Trim().Replace("\$", "").Replace(",", ""), out tmpValue))
return tmpValue;

// Let's handle decimals now
decimal tmpDecimal = 0;
if (decimal.TryParse(value.ToString().Trim().Replace("\$", "").Replace(",", ""), out tmpDecimal))
tmpValue = Convert.ToInt32(Math.Round(tmpDecimal, 0));

return tmpValue;
}
}
else
return 0;
}
```

Or these twin functions:

 ``` public static decimal ReturnDecimalValueOfString(string value) { if (value != null) { if (value.ToString().Trim().Length == 0) { return 0M; } else { decimal tmpValue = 0M; decimal.TryParse(value.ToString().Trim().Replace("\$", "").Replace(",", ""), out tmpValue); return tmpValue; } } else { return 0M; } } ``` ``` public static byte ReturnByteValueOfString(string value) { if (value != null) { if (value.ToString().Trim().Length == 0) { return 0; } else { byte tmpValue = 0; byte.TryParse(value.ToString().Trim().Replace("\$", "").Replace(",", ""), out tmpValue); return tmpValue; } } else { return 0; } } ```

Now, Java doesn't have a built-in "isNumeric " function. Ben's codebase wasn't actually in Java, but Ben's predecessor had to implement his own anyway. He found one of the more… clever approaches to the problem.

```		public static bool isNumeric(string value)
{
bool isNum = true;
for (int i = 0; i < value.Length; i++)
{
if (!"1234567890".Contains(value.Substring(i, 1)))
{
isNum = false;
}
}
return isNum;
}
```
Hey, you. Yeah you. The one reader on Google+. I don't think you've followed us yet.