When is a number not a number

There is a standard Rookie mistake in website development when storing people’s information. A phone number, looks like a number, so people think they can use an integer to store it. The problem is that integers, as implemented on most modern computer systems and environments, have a maximum value of 2147483647. The results of this:

Somewhere in Dallas, some poor bastard is wondering why his phone rings off the hook with calls for the Nevada Division of Mental Health & Developmental Services, the Jackson County Florida Chamber of Commerce, a yacht club in New York…..

It’s even funnier because I’ve got a friend that ran into the same issue when working on a project as an undergraduate, it happens more often than you think.

One thought on “When is a number not a number”

  1. Yea, we totally walked right into that one. Thankfully, I can file it under “mistakes made while a student”, which is basically a total free pass. Hopefully, we’ll see less of that as more people use frameworks that come with good data modeling.

    Like

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