The Four Database Design Principles You Should Be Using

“Obey the principles without being bound by them.”
-Bruce Lee


Do you have some guiding principles you use when designing a new feature or when implementing a new requirement?  I do.  And you should too.  I put them to paper a few years ago while we were undergoing a hiring binge and I wanted to make sure our entire team was on the same page with regard to a few core concepts.  These are the guidelines I use when evaluating my own work, before presenting it to someone else.  When there’s a fork in the proverbial road I use these design principles, in the order listed, to help guide my decision.


  1. Simplicity over complexity
  2. Maintainability
  3. Willing to sacrifice flexibility for simplicity and maintainability
  4. Scalability and performance


Disagree?  Would you order them differently? Have your own principles? Let’s hear it.

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