using an object before checking if it is null makes baby jesus cry.
c'mon people check your return value
- Before you start writing a method, decide whether it will ever return null. Document this decision in the @return section of the method's Javadoc.
- Never have a method return null unless there's a really good reason for it.
- If your method returns an array or a collection, there's no reason to ever return null. Return an empty array or collection instead.
- If you have a situation where null is a valid value for a variable, you can make use of the Introduce Null Object refactoring, to make the behaviour explicit.
Read more here.