Just finished another lengthy debugging session, helping resolve a problem with null handling. Nulls can be a struggle at times in DataStage, but that is hardly the issue. It’s painful for every part of our industry. Do a search on “problems with nulls” — you’ll get hits with subjects on just about every database, product offering, language and package that exists. Five minutes reading and you’ll find lengthy diatribes on both sides of the fence (liking or disliking) regarding nulls and null handling. I remember in the early 80’s how “nulls” would simplify many types of processing, improve the quality of COUNTs and averages, and make lives simpler and applications more manageable. I wonder in hindsight how many billions of dollars in man-hours have been spent (wasted!) trying to correct the problems introduced by nulls in the past 25 years, the incompatibility of null handling among tools and processes, and the errors introduced by the disparity of skill sets and expertise that exists across the spectrum on this topic. I at least hope that I’ve been able to clear the smog surrounding nulls in my little world here on this blog (I have an entry on NULLs and their impact on XML)….