With over two decades in Data Engineering, I’ve uncovered a secret to clear and consistent database columns: classwords. This favorite technique of mine isn’t widely known, but I’m eager to share its practical benefits with you. Let’s dive into why classwords could be your next big database management tool.

Krzysztof K. Zdeb

Towards Data Science

Classwords — My Favorite Convention for Naming Database Columns | by Krzysztof K. Zdeb | Mar, 2024 - image  on https://aiquantumintelligence.com
A great book of classwords | Image by DALL·E

To me, classwords aren’t just a naming protocol; they represent a clear communication tool that ensures each column’s purpose and content are immediately understandable. The core idea is simple: make sure that the name of each database column conveys what the data inside it represents. Whether it’s identifying a specific type of information like a date, a textual description, or a numerical value, classwords make the intent behind each piece of data unmistakable.

This convention works beautifully with any naming style you prefer — camelCase, PascalCase, or snake_case. In this article, while I lean towards snake_case for its legibility and popularity, the essence of using classwords transcends these syntactic choices.

Delving a bit deeper, there’s a personal reflection I’d like to share about the process of applying classwords. Whenever I have to assign a classword to a column name, it forces me to pause and think deeply about the data that column will hold. What does this data truly represent? Do I fully understand the nuances of my data? This moment of introspection is invaluable. It’s not just about naming; it’s about ensuring that I, and anyone else who works with this database, have a comprehensive understanding of its contents. This practice of thoughtful naming with classwords has, in my experience, been instrumental in fostering a more intuitive and effective data management environment.

Classwords are essentially keywords, suffixes that we append to the names of database columns to signify the type of data they contain. This convention serves as a bridge between the data’s form and its function, enabling anyone who interacts with the database to immediately grasp the…

Source link