Methods that return collections should never return null, ever. At the very least, an empty collection is returned. For plain objects, employ the Null Object Pattern. In case of Java, Optional class is what you should be looking for. 🙂
This is exactly what I was looking for, how to handle plain objects. Thank you, Andre.
Will definitely be implementing these where possible.
There is the null object pattern for this situation, which returns something that shouldn't break your existing code and only requires minimal changes to your methods which return objects.
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