My last name is valid

My last name is O'Leary. Spelling it over the phone is fun..."That's O, apostrophe, capital L, e a r y." Despite what many developers think, this is an entirely valid last name. I've dealt with folks too lazy to deal with a ' in a last name my whole life, which is one thing. I get it, SQL can be hard. But then many "solve" this problem through form validation that says "please enter a valid last name." Talk about invalidating someone's experience in life.

It's not the biggest deal, but I share because there are a LOT of less privileged people than me that deal with lots of ways that developers don't include them. Names, for instance, have a lot a variation but it doesn't end there. Accessibility is critical. Considering how your terminology may impact other people is essential. Without diversity of thought in your development teams, you risk causing this same problem repeatedly for people with more pressing concerns. So...don't be lazy.


If you follow me on Twitter, you'll sometimes see me post this when I find a new place my last name doesn't work. I hope to encourage people to consider those who are different than themselves who will one day (hopefully, if you're successful) be users of their app.

To see those examples, you can search for #oapostrophe from:@olearycrew on Twitter, or check out my collection below.

oapostrophe - Curated tweets by olearycrew