Once you start thinking about structuring your code to use Option in languages which have built-in support for it, you’ll find yourself dreaming about such patterns in other, less fortunate languages. It’s really sort of bizarre how much this little device can open your mind to new possibilities. Take my code, and give it a try in your project. Better yet, implement something on your own which solves the problem more elegantly! The stodgy old Java “best practices” could use a little fresh air. P.S. Yes, I know that the original implementation of this was actually the Maybe monad in Haskell. I picked Option instead mainly because a) I like the name better, and b) it’s Scala, so it’s far more approachable than Haskell.