Recent Alex's Soapbox

Alex's very own soapbox for all things software and technology.

Feb 2012

Database Changes Done Right

by in Alex's Soapbox on

Throughout my software development career, I’ve seen my fair share of debates over how databases should be developed. And like most disagreements over technical pedantry, the participants are generally well-intentioned but grossly inexperienced. So much so that it wouldn’t matter if they use foreign keys or not. Though “elegant”, their software will become an unmaintainable mess after a few short years. But regardless, one counter-argument that constantly rears its ugly head goes something like, “but what if we have to change it later?”

In other debates, that question can be quickly rebutted with “uh, we just change it then,” but when the discussion is on databases, it actually holds water. It’s as if the database is a marble statue that, once shipped to production, should never be changed... and if it must, there had better be a damn good reason.