26 February 2015

PL/SQL Championship for 26 February Postponed

We will NOT hold the championship today.

Even if the website becomes available within next two hours, I do not want to take a chance at starting the competition and then having problems before it is done.

We will reschedule for a day and time in March.

Participants will receive an email for a new date and time soon.

But based on requests from the last one, I will put this out idea out now:

What do you think of holding the championship on Saturday?

More specifically, please post a comment here if you are participating in the 2014 PL/SQL championship and you cannot or do not want to compete on Saturday

Three Out of Four Isn't Too Bad

We held two annual championships last week (SQL and Database Design).

We held a third this week on Logic.

They all went pretty smoothly.

In 2.5 hours it is time for the grand finale: the PL/SQL Championship.

And the PL/SQL Challenge website just went down. Possibly another DDOS attack.

I suppose I should feel proud that our website is so high profile, so mission critical, that someone thinks it is worth their time to attack it.

Except I know the site is not all that high profile and is definitely not mission critical.

So I am just really irritated.

Well, worst comes to worst, we will just reschedule.

That's better than having the championship start and then the site goes down.

Because in that case, I have to produce new quizzes. That would be a serious hassle.

24 February 2015

Results of First-ever Database Design Annual Championship

You will find below the rankings for the 2014 championship; the number next to the player's name is the number of times that player has participated in a championship.

Congratulations first and foremost to our top-ranked players:

1st Place: Sean Molloy of United States

2nd Place: Pavel Zeman of Czech Republic

3rd Place: Justin Cave of United States


As you can see in the table below, the ranking was very tight, with the top two players both getting 91% correct, and the next four all with 87% correct.

Next, congratulations to everyone who played in the championship. I hope you found it entertaining, challenging and educational. And for those who were not able to participate in the championship, you can take the quizzes next week through the Practice feature. We will also make the championship as a whole available as a Test, so you can take it just like these players did.

Thanks and congratulations to the Database Design Quizmaster, Chris Saxon, also our brand-new Oracle Developer Advocate for SQL.

Steven Feuerstein

Rank Name Country Total Time % Correct Total Score
1Sean Molloy (1)United States23 mins 21 secs91%2657
2Pavel Zeman (1)Czech Republic38 mins 25 secs91%2596
3Justin Cave (1)United States23 mins 14 secs87%2457
4Elic (1)Belarus28 mins 30 secs87%2436
5mentzel.iudith (1)Israel28 mins 34 secs87%2436
6Sandra99 (1)Italy34 mins 22 secs87%2413
7Stelios Vlasopoulos (1)Belgium35 mins 22 secs83%2259
8Viacheslav Stepanov (1)Russia20 mins 06 secs78%2220
9Andrey Zaytsev (1)Russia35 mins 43 secs78%2207
10Eric Levin (1)United States38 mins 55 secs78%2194
11Christoph Hillinger (1)Austria15 mins 06 secs78%2190
12Michal Cvan (1)Slovakia36 mins 31 secs78%2154
13Siim Kask (1)Estonia20 mins 26 secs74%2118
14Jan van Overveld (1)Netherlands23 mins 26 secs74%2106
15Niels Hecker (1)Germany36 mins 56 secs78%2102
16Ivan Blanarik (1)Slovakia19 mins 30 secs74%2072
17Chad Lee (1)United States32 mins 45 secs74%2069
18_tiki_4_ (1)Germany08 mins 35 secs74%2066
19Kuvardin Evgeniy (1)Russia28 mins 49 secs74%1985
20Chase Mei (1)Canada07 mins 58 secs70%1968
21Joaquin Gonzalez (1)Spain16 mins 33 secs70%1934
22danad (1)Czech Republic30 mins 46 secs70%1927
23Maxim Borunov (1)Russia35 mins 53 secs70%1906
24Pavel Noga (1)Czech Republic39 mins 31 secs70%1892
25Oleksiy Varchyn (1)Norway12 mins 57 secs65%1848
26Jan Šerák (1)Czech Republic29 mins 45 secs65%1831
27Leszek Grudzień (1)Poland18 mins 23 secs65%1826
28Manfred Kleander (1)Austria36 mins 13 secs70%1805
29Rytis Budreika (1)Lithuania07 mins 16 secs65%1771
30Michal P. (1)Poland22 mins 26 secs65%1760
31Anna Onishchuk (1)Ireland15 mins 50 secs65%1737
32Marcus Matzberger (1)Germany22 mins 19 secs61%1661
33Sachi (1)India11 mins 00 secs57%1606
34Henry Abeska (1)Czech Republic13 mins 08 secs61%1597
35Mehrab (1)United Kingdom39 mins 16 secs61%1593
36Naresh Kumar (1)Malaysia30 mins 22 secs61%1579
37Krzysztof Helbin (1)Poland19 mins 07 secs61%1574
38PZOL (1)Hungary34 mins 30 secs61%1562
39Tobias Stark (1)Germany27 mins 01 secs57%1542
40dannyg64 (1)United States19 mins 14 secs57%1523
41João Barreto (1)Portugal30 mins 57 secs57%1476
42MarkM. (1)Germany28 mins 53 secs48%1184
43Ravshan Abbasov (1)Uzbekistan28 mins 13 secs43%1087
44Scott Wesley (1)Australia00 mins 45 secs17%397

21 February 2015

Results of Annual SQL Championship for 2014

You will find below the rankings for the 2014 SQL Championship; the number next to the player's name is the number of times that player has participated in a championship.

Congratulations first and foremost to our top-ranked players:

1st Place: Andrey Zaytsev of Russia

2nd Place: Pavel Zeman of Czech Republic

3rd Place: Chad Lee of United States


Next, congratulations to everyone who played in the championship. I hope you found it entertaining, challenging and educational. And for those who were not able to participate in the championship, you can take the quizzes next week through the Practice feature. We will also make the championship as a whole available as a Test, so you can take it just like these players did.

Thanks and congratulations to the SQL Quizmaster, Kim Berg Hansen, and Oracle Developer Advocate for SQL, Natalka Roshak, for creating such excellent quizzes! Finally, no championship of this quality could ever happen without the careful work of our amazing reviewer, Elic (aka, Vitaliy Lyanchevskiy).

Steven Feuerstein

Note: Below the table of results for this championship, you will find another list showing the championship history of each of these players.

Rank Name Country Total Time % Correct Total Score
1Andrey Zaytsev (1)Russia44 mins 20 secs84%5373
2Pavel Zeman (1)Czech Republic44 mins 38 secs84%5371
3Chad Lee (2)United States35 mins 15 secs82%5259
4Niels Hecker (2)Germany42 mins 23 secs82%5230
5Christoph Hillinger (2)Austria19 mins 57 secs80%5170
6Jerry Bull (2)United States35 mins 43 secs80%5107
7Stelios Vlasopoulos (2)Belgium43 mins 09 secs80%5077
8Rytis Budreika (2)Lithuania18 mins 56 secs77%5024
9Scott Wesley (2)Australia22 mins 45 secs77%5009
10Tobias Stark (2)Germany43 mins 56 secs77%4924
11Ivan Blanarik (2)Slovakia26 mins 51 secs73%4693
12Justin Cave (2)United States38 mins 34 secs73%4646
13Anna Onishchuk (2)Ireland16 mins 53 secs70%4582
14Oleksiy Varchyn (1)Norway20 mins 38 secs70%4567
15Sean Molloy (2)United States27 mins 45 secs70%4539
16gobruins (1)United States30 mins 11 secs70%4529
17Leszek Grudzień (2)Poland24 mins 31 secs68%4402
18Jason H (2)United States26 mins 00 secs68%4396
19Michal Cvan (2)Slovakia38 mins 35 secs68%4346
20mentzel.iudith (2)Israel41 mins 04 secs68%4336
21Eric Levin (2)United States42 mins 17 secs68%4331
22Viacheslav Stepanov (2)Russia29 mins 24 secs66%4232
23AndreyBerliner (1)Ukraine32 mins 13 secs66%4221
24Sandra99 (1)Italy34 mins 09 secs66%4213
25swart260 (2)Netherlands35 mins 57 secs66%4206
26tonyC (1)United Kingdom39 mins 06 secs66%4194
27_tiki_4_ (2)Germany11 mins 16 secs64%4155
28Rakesh Dadhich (2)India22 mins 09 secs64%4111
29Ravshan Abbasov (1)Uzbekistan33 mins 29 secs64%4066
30Pavel Noga (1)Czech Republic44 mins 53 secs64%4020
31Yuan Tschang (2)United States44 mins 51 secs61%3871
32Chase Mei (2)Canada29 mins 30 secs59%3782
33Kuvardin Evgeniy (2)Russia30 mins 56 secs59%3776
34Hertha Rettinger (2)Germany31 mins 29 secs57%3624
35Mehrab (1)United Kingdom44 mins 48 secs57%3571
36Arūnas Antanaitis (1)Lithuania16 mins 45 secs55%3533
37VictorD (1)Russia24 mins 43 secs55%3501
38Krzysztof Helbin (2)Poland26 mins 24 secs55%3494
39NarendraReddy (1)India21 mins 30 secs50%3214
40Sachi (2)India44 mins 42 secs41%2521

Championship Performance History

After each name, the quarter in which he or she played, and the ranking in that championship.

 
Name History
Andrey Zaytsev2014:1st
Pavel Zeman2014:2nd
Chad Lee2013:31st, 2014:3rd
Niels Hecker2013:7th, 2014:4th
Christoph Hillinger2013:2nd, 2014:5th
Jerry Bull2014:6th
Stelios Vlasopoulos2013:27th, 2014:7th
Rytis Budreika2013:22nd, 2014:8th
Scott Wesley2013:12th, 2014:9th
Tobias Stark2013:39th, 2014:10th
Ivan Blanarik 2013:15th, 2014:11th
Justin Cave2013:17th, 2014:12th
Anna Onishchuk2013:28th, 2014:13th
Oleksiy Varchyn2014:14th
Sean Molloy2013:30th, 2014:15th
gobruins2014:16th
Leszek Grudzień2013:8th, 2014:17th
Jason H2013:26th, 2014:18th
Michal Cvan2013:18th, 2014:19th
mentzel.iudith2013:4th, 2014:20th
Eric Levin2013:19th, 2014:21st
Viacheslav Stepanov2013:21st, 2014:22nd
AndreyBerliner2014:23rd
Sandra992014:24th
swart2602013:37th, 2014:25th
tonyC2014:26th
_tiki_4_2014:27th
Rakesh Dadhich2014:28th
Ravshan Abbasov2014:29th
Pavel Noga2014:30th
Yuan Tschang2013:24th, 2014:31st
Chase Mei2013:11th, 2014:32nd
Kuvardin Evgeniy2014:33rd
Hertha Rettinger2013:36th, 2014:34th
Mehrab2014:35th
Arūnas Antanaitis2014:36th
VictorD2014:37th
Krzysztof Helbin2013:25th, 2014:38th
NarendraReddy2014:39th
Sachi2013:9th, 2014:41st

20 January 2015

Participants and Dates set for (four!) 2014 Annual Championships

2014 is a thing of the past, but there are at least four more 2014-related activities to do: the annual championships.

With the expanding selection of weekly quizzes come an expanded set of annual championships.

This year we have four, and here are the dates and times:
  • SQL Championship - Tuesday, February 17, 14:00 UTC
  • Database Design Championship - Thursday, February 19, 14:00 UTC
  • Logic Championship - Tuesday, February 24, 14:00 UTC
  • PL/SQL Championship - Thursday, February 26, 14:00 UTC
Once again, my apologies to those of you who must participate at an awkward and dark hour.

And now for the lists of participants....

SQL Championship - Tuesday, February 17, 10:00 UTC

The following players will be invited to participate in the 2014 championship. The number in parentheses after their names are the number of championships in which they have already participated. See the FAQ for an explanation of the three ways a player can qualify for the championship. And congratulations to all listed below on their accomplishment and best of luck in the upcoming competition!

Name Rank Qualification Country
Stelios Vlasopoulos (1)1Top 50Belgium
Rakesh Dadhich (1)2Top 50India
mentzel.iudith (1)3Top 50Israel
swart260 (1)4Top 50Netherlands
Naresh Kumar (1)5Top 50India
james su (1)6Top 50Canada
Rytis Budreika (1)7Top 50Lithuania
_tiki_4_ (1)8Top 50Germany
Ivan Blanarik (1)9Top 50Slovakia
Niels Hecker (1)10Top 50Germany
Oleksiy Varchyn (0)11Top 50Norway
Justin Cave (1)12Top 50United States
Milibor Jovanovic (1)13Top 50Serbia
Chase Mei (1)14Top 50Canada
Viacheslav Stepanov (1)15Top 50Russia
Henry Abeska (0)16Top 50Czech Republic
Scott Wesley (1)17Top 50Australia
Sean Molloy (1)18Top 50United States
Andrey Zaytsev (0)19Top 50Russia
Krzysztof Helbin (1)20Top 50Poland
Hertha Rettinger (1)21Top 50Germany
Maxim Borunov (0)22Top 50Russia
Sachi (1)23Top 50United States
dmitrysk (1)24Top 50Russia
yonderboi (0)25Top 50Russia
Leszek Grudzień (1)26Top 50Poland
Dipendra Thapa (0)27Top 50India
Arūnas Antanaitis (0)28Top 50Lithuania
Ravshan Abbasov (0)29Top 50Uzbekistan
Sameer Chaudhari (0)30Top 50India
Pavel Zeman (0)31Top 50Czech Republic
Pavel Vorontsov (1)32Top 50Russia
Pavel Noga (0)33Top 50Czech Republic
tonyC (0)34Top 50United Kingdom
Anna Onishchuk (1)35Top 50Ireland
Jerry Bull (1)36Top 50United States
fsqatech (0)37Top 50United Kingdom
Sandra99 (0)38Top 50Italy
Kuvardin Evgeniy (1)39Top 50Russia
gaurav kowale (0)40Top 50India
Jason H (1)41Top 50United States
Christoph Hillinger (1)42Top 50Austria
gobruins (0)43Top 50United States
Livio Curzola (0)44Top 50Luxembourg
Chad Lee (1)45Top 50United States
Eric Levin (1)46Top 50United States
Michal Cvan (1)47Top 50Slovakia
NarendraReddy (0)48Top 50India
Tobias Stark (1)49Top 50Germany
VictorD (0)50Top 50Russia
Yuan Tschang (1)69CorrectnessUnited States
Mehrab (0)77CorrectnessUnited Kingdom
AndreyBerliner (0)89CorrectnessUkraine

Database Design Championship - Thursday, February 19, 10:00 UTC

The following players will be invited to participate in the 2014 championship.The number in parentheses after their names are the number of championships in which they have already participated - they are all zero because this is the very first championship for this quiz!

See the FAQ for an explanation of the three ways a player can qualify for the championship. And congratulations to all listed below on their accomplishment and best of luck in the upcoming competition!

Name Rank Qualification Country
mentzel.iudith (0)1Top 50Israel
Siim Kask (0)2Top 50Estonia
Justin Cave (0)3Top 50United States
Elic (0)4Top 50Belarus
Stelios Vlasopoulos (0)5Top 50Belgium
Niels Hecker (0)6Top 50Germany
Joaquin Gonzalez (0)7Top 50Spain
Milibor Jovanovic (0)8Top 50Serbia
Krzysztof Helbin (0)9Top 50Poland
yonderboi (0)10Top 50Russia
Chad Lee (0)11Top 50United States
Sean Molloy (0)12Top 50United States
Sandra99 (0)13Top 50Italy
Sherry (0)14Top 50Czech Republic
Pavel Noga (0)15Top 50Czech Republic
Ivan Blanarik (0)16Top 50Slovakia
Manfred Kleander (0)17Top 50Austria
Rytis Budreika (0)18Top 50Lithuania
Jan van Overveld (0)19Top 50Netherlands
Maxim Borunov (0)20Top 50Russia
Leszek Grudzień (0)21Top 50Poland
Tobias Stark (0)22Top 50Germany
Scott Wesley (0)23Top 50Australia
Pavel Zeman (0)24Top 50Czech Republic
Viacheslav Stepanov (0)25Top 50Russia
Christoph Hillinger (0)26Top 50Austria
Marcus Matzberger (0)27Top 50Germany
Jerry Bull (0)28Top 50United States
VictorD (0)29Top 50Russia
MarkM. (0)30Top 50Germany
Pavel Vorontsov (0)31Top 50Russia
João Barreto (0)32Top 50Portugal
_tiki_4_ (0)33Top 50Germany
Anna Onishchuk (0)34Top 50Ireland
dannyg64 (0)35Top 50United States
Andrey Zaytsev (0)36Top 50Russia
danad (0)37Top 50Czech Republic
EdgarsP (0)38Top 50Latvia
Ravshan Abbasov (0)39Top 50Uzbekistan
Sachi (0)40Top 50United States
Eric Levin (0)41Top 50United States
Oleksiy Varchyn (0)42Top 50Norway
JasonC (0)43Top 50United Kingdom
Chase Mei (0)44Top 50Canada
Henry Abeska (0)45Top 50Czech Republic
Naresh Kumar (0)46Top 50India
Kuvardin Evgeniy (0)47Top 50Russia
PZOL (0)48Top 50Hungary
Michal P. (0)49Top 50Poland
Michal Cvan (0)50Top 50Slovakia
Mehrab (0)51CorrectnessUnited Kingdom
Dan Kiser (0)106CorrectnessUnited States

Logic Championship - Tuesday, February 24, 10:00 UTC

The following players will be invited to participate in the 2014 championship. The number in parentheses after their names are the number of championships in which they have already participated. See the FAQ for an explanation of the three ways a player can qualify for the championship. And congratulations to all listed below on their accomplishment and best of luck in the upcoming competition!

Name Rank Qualification Country
Jerry Bull (1)1Top 50United States
mentzel.iudith (1)2Top 50Israel
Köteles Zsolt (0)3Top 50Hungary
Stelios Vlasopoulos (1)4Top 50Belgium
Chad Lee (1)5Top 50United States
Viacheslav Stepanov (1)6Top 50Russia
AndreyBerliner (0)7Top 50Ukraine
Milibor Jovanovic (1)8Top 50Serbia
Niels Hecker (1)9Top 50Germany
Elic (1)10Top 50Belarus
Kanellos (1)11Top 50Greece
Naresh Kumar (1)12Top 50India
Peter Chenery (1)13Top 50United Kingdom
Rich Dellheim (1)14Top 50United States
Sandra99 (1)15Top 50Italy
Mehrab (1)16Top 50United Kingdom
james su (1)17Top 50Canada
gobruins (1)18Top 50United States
katuinbouter (1)19Top 50Netherlands
Kuvardin Evgeniy (0)20Top 50Russia
Christoph Hillinger (1)21Top 50Austria
mark kavalaris (0)22Top 50United States
Alex Stirbu (0)23Top 50Romania
Pavel Zeman (0)24Top 50Czech Republic
Rytis Budreika (1)25Top 50Lithuania
umir (1)26Top 50Italy
Margit Biróné Sonkoly (0)27Top 50Hungary
Sean Molloy (1)28Top 50United States
craig.mcfarlane (0)29Top 50Norway
Pavel Vorontsov (1)30Top 50Russia
MarkM. (1)31Top 50Germany
NickL (0)32Top 50United Kingdom
Eric Levin (0)33Top 50United States
Yuan Tschang (1)34Top 50United States
Zoran Krekic (0)35Top 50Croatia
Dipendra Thapa (0)36Top 50India
JasonC (1)37Top 50United Kingdom
danad (1)38Top 50Czech Republic
tommyTT (0)39Top 50Poland
Jason H (1)40Top 50United States
Henry Abeska (0)41Top 50Czech Republic
Vijay Mahawar (1)42Top 50India
Cristinel Boboc (1)43Top 50Romania
kias (0)44Top 50Czech Republic
Telmoc (0)45Top 50Portugal
Krzysztof Helbin (0)46Top 50Poland
Justin Cave (1)47Top 50United States
Oleksiy Varchyn (0)48Top 50Norway
Cor van Berkel (0)49Top 50Netherlands
Hamid Talebian (0)50Top 50Netherlands
Jennifer Schiltz (0)51CorrectnessUnited States
Dan Voiculet (0)63CorrectnessRomania

PL/SQL Championship - Thursday, February 26, 10:00 UTC

The following players will be invited to participate in the 2014 championship for the PL/SQL Challenge.

The number in parentheses after their names are the number of championships in which they have already participated. Wait a minute, they are all 0s. Well, we've done plenty of championships for PL/SQL, but they were for the daily quiz. So this is the first for the weekly quizzes.

See the FAQ for an explanation of the three ways a player can qualify for the championship. And congratulations to all listed below on their accomplishment and best of luck in the upcoming competition!

Name Rank Qualification Country
swart260 (0)1Top 50Netherlands
Rakesh Dadhich (0)2Top 50India
Stelios Vlasopoulos (0)3Top 50Belgium
Viacheslav Stepanov (0)4Top 50Russia
mentzel.iudith (0)5Top 50Israel
Rytis Budreika (0)6Top 50Lithuania
Niels Hecker (0)7Top 50Germany
Siim Kask (0)8Top 50Estonia
Milibor Jovanovic (0)9Top 50Serbia
Ivan Blanarik (0)10Top 50Slovakia
Jerry Bull (0)11Top 50United States
Krzysztof Helbin (0)12Top 50Poland
Maxim Borunov (0)13Top 50Russia
Kuvardin Evgeniy (0)14Top 50Russia
james su (0)15Top 50Canada
Chad Lee (0)16Top 50United States
Sherry (0)17Top 50Czech Republic
Pavel Noga (0)18Top 50Czech Republic
Leszek Grudzień (0)19Top 50Poland
Yuan Tschang (0)20Top 50United States
gobruins (0)21Top 50United States
Ravshan Abbasov (0)22Top 50Uzbekistan
VictorD (0)23Top 50Russia
Oleksiy Varchyn (0)24Top 50Norway
Chase Mei (0)25Top 50Canada
Justin Cave (0)26Top 50United States
Marcus Matzberger (0)27Top 50Germany
Karel Prech (0)28Top 50Czech Republic
João Barreto (0)29Top 50Portugal
Jason H (0)30Top 50United States
Andrey Zaytsev (0)31Top 50Russia
Joaquin Gonzalez (0)32Top 50Spain
Michal Cvan (0)33Top 50Slovakia
Jeroen Rutte (0)34Top 50Netherlands
dmitrysk (0)35Top 50Russia
Manfred Kleander (0)36Top 50Austria
Patrick Barel (0)37Top 50Netherlands
Christoph Hillinger (0)38Top 50Austria
Sean Molloy (0)39Top 50United States
Alex Stirbu (0)40Top 50Romania
_tiki_4_ (0)41Top 50Germany
Pavel Vorontsov (0)42Top 50Russia
Anna Onishchuk (0)43Top 50Ireland
Margit Biróné Sonkoly (0)44Top 50Hungary
Livio Curzola (0)45Top 50Luxembourg
Henry Abeska (0)46Top 50Czech Republic
Ingimundur Gudmundsson (0)47Top 50Norway
Martin_Scholz_Berlin_Berlin (0)48Top 50Germany
tonyC (0)49Top 50United Kingdom
Paolo Zaffaroni (0)50Top 50Italy

05 January 2015

Happy New Year, and....New and Revamped Quizzes for the New Year

Happy new year to the thousands of Oracle technologists who played a quiz or otherwise visited and benefited from the PL/SQL Challenge in 2014.

The Challenge continues into the very frosty New Year (as I write, it is 0 degrees Fahrenheit here in Chicago), but first, let's do (some of) the numbers from 2014.

Over 4000 Oracle technologist took at least one quiz in 2014. 

Altogether players at the PL/SQL Challenge submitted over 114,000 answers to quizzes (including practice quizzes and tests).

Along the way, we had lots of help from several reviewers. Elic was our superstar, the main reviewer on PL/SQL and SQL quizzes. Livio Curzola helped Eli make sure that the Logic quizzes were top-notch. Many thanks to both of you, as well as players like Iudith Mentzel, who wrote several quizzes for PL/SQL Explore. 

Thanks also to Kim Berg Hansen, our SQL Quizmaster, and Chris Saxon, Mr. Database Design (and, as of 1 January our newest Oracle Database Evangelist!), for providing interesting and challenging quizzes all year.

Wow. That's a lot of devotion (writing quizzes, reviewing quizzes, playing quizzes) to improving one's skill set in SQL,  PL/SQL, Database Design and Logic.

Now let's take a look at 2015.

As you may recall, back in March, I rejoined Oracle after a 22 year absence. Not too surprisingly, I got really busy. One "victim" of my busy-ness was a decision to end the daily quiz after four years (whew). I really hated to do it, and consider that quiz one of my finest accomplishments.

So we shifted to three weekly quizzes and life went on. But since I was spending less time in every way on the PL/SQL Challenge and since it turned out that many players really thrived on the discipline of playing a quiz every day of the week (crazy people!), our numbers have dwindled a bit through 2014.

OK, fine, but what about 2015? The new year provides us with an opportunity to expand and reorganize our quizzes.

Why, you might ask, would we consider doing this? Let me count the ways.

1. We replaced the daily PL/SQL quiz with two competitive quizzes, PL/SQL Challenge and PL/SQL Explore. The former is written solely by me (Steven Feuerstein); the latter was intended to feature lots of quizzes by players, exploring "nooks and crannies" of PL/SQL. I have, however, written most of these quizzes, and there is no clear distinction in the content of the two.

2. The Oracle Database Evangelist team I have been tasked to build is now taking shape. This means that, among other things, Natalka Roshak is now a full-time SQL Evangelist, and part of that job (I have decided) is to write a weekly SQL quiz. That means that we will now have two SQL quizzes - so what will be the difference between these two?

3. We added a PL/SQL Deja Vu quiz, featuring a previously-played quiz. Now that the SQL quiz has been going on so long, perhaps we should add a SQL Deja Vu quiz as well.

We (myself, Kim Berg Hansen, Natalka Roshak, Chris Saxon and Dan McGhan) have been discussing these ideas and decided we'd generated enough interesting thoughts to share them with you for feedback.

I expect that we will start this new configuration on 1 April 2015, the start of Q2 and the fifth anniversary of the PL/SQL Challenge (!).

Here's what we are currently thinking about for....

PL/SQL Quizzes

1. PL/SQL Language quiz: covers the features of the PL/SQL language, including best practice, performance, etc. Pretty much what the PL/SQL Challenge has been. Primary author: Steven Feuerstein, others welcome! Rankings qualify for annual championship.

2. PL/SQL Built-ins quiz: focuses exclusively on the built-in or supplied packages. This would replace, in essence, PL/SQL Explore. Primary author: Steven Feuerstein, others welcome - especially with more specialized packages with which I have minimal experience. Rankings qualify for annual championship.

3. PL/SQL Deja Vu: as before, features a quiz from the past. Non-competitive.

SQL Quizzes

1. SQL Features quiz: covers the features of the SQL language, from DDL to DML. Primary authors: Kim Berg Hansen and Natalka Roshak others welcome! Rankings qualify for annual championship.This quiz would generally avoid performance-related features, because the second SQL quiz would focus on:

2. SQL Performance quiz: while I don't feel there is enough on PL/SQL performance to have a separate quiz just one that, it does seem more than possible to do this with SQL. And it certainly is a topic of endless interest and discussion. Rankings qualify for annual championship. Primary authors: Kim Berg Hansen, Natalka Roshak and Chris Saxon; others welcome!

3. SQL Deja Vu: features a quiz from the past. Non-competitive.
Database Design Quizzes

Stick with the current weekly quiz, but probably steer away from quizzes that focus primarily on performance, since the SQL Performance quiz will cover that. Rankings qualify for annual championship. Primary author: Chris Saxon, others welcome!

But we can also add a DB Design Deja Vu quiz.

Logic Quizzes

We are exploring replacing the competitive Mastermind-based quiz with a new logic quiz that uses different formats. Part of the problem with continuing with Mastermind, is that we have published (and others have no doubt built) automatic solvers.

And we can also add a Logic Deja Vu quiz.

Database Administration Quiz (?)

I have had several requests to start up a DB admin quiz, and am happy to do so, but we need someone to step forward and take overall responsibility for managing the quiz.

Any takers?

Names for Quizzes

As our quizzes grow in number, I'd also like to come up with less generic and more interesting names for our quizzes. Kim Berg Hansen offers a bunch of ideas below, to get the creative juices flowing. We'd love to hear your ideas!

1a: PL/SQL Language
1b: PL/SQL - Language par Excellence
1c: PL/SQL - Code of Choice
1d: PL/SQL Challenge
1e: PL/SQL - Code Genie

2a: PL/SQL Supplied Code
2b: PL/SQL - Don't Reinvent the Wheel
2c: PL/SQL - Already Invented
2d: PL/SQL - Modules Supplied
2e: PL/SQL Built-ins

3a: SQL Language
3b: SQL - The Way of the Set
3c: SQL - Set to Win
3d: SQL Magic
3e: SQL - Game, Set and Match
3f: SQL - When It's About Data
3g: SQL - Dancing with Data
3h: SQL - Mind Over Data

4a: SQL Performance
4b: SQL - Go to Warp 10
4c: SQL - Go to Warp 8
4d: SQL - High Speed Pursuit
4e: SQL - Data Formula One

5a: DB Design
5b: Database - Craft Your World
5c: Build a Better Database
5d: Database - Building Blocks
5e: Database - Data Builder

6a: DB Admin
6b: Database - Operational Administry
6c: Database - Operating Theater
6d: Database - Smooth Operator
6e: Database - Data Shaman

08 December 2014

Ideas for PL/SQL Championship(s) next year

For most of this year, we have offered two weekly, competitive quizzes on PL/SQL:

PL/SQL Challenge & PL/SQL Explore

But it doesn't really make sense to offer two different championships. At least, that's how I, the fellow who would write all those quizzes, feels about it.

There is, as one might expect, lots of overlap between the top 50 ranked players in the two quizzes: only 14 in PL/SQL Explore are not in PL/SQL Challenge's top 50.

It seems to me that it makes much more sense to have a single championship for PL/SQL, overall.

But our database design doesn't easily allow us to make that change (that is, one championship per domain with merged rankings).

So here is what I would like to do instead:

For the 2014 PL/SQL Championship, participants will be as follows:

1. The top 50 ranked players in the PL/SQL Challenge
2. The additional 14 in the top 50 of PL/SQL Explore
3. Up to 20 other wildcard and correctness players, all drawn from the PL/SQL Challenge

Then going forward, even though PL/SQL Explore will remain competitive, the PL/SQL Championship will be based only on your performance in the PL/SQL Challenge quiz.

What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks, Steven Feuerstein