11 September 2010

Change in policy for awarding prize for identifying mistake in quiz

On the Rules page you will find this:

If you are the first person to identify a mistake in a quiz that affects the ability of players to answer correctly (typos, for example, may not apply), then you will win an O'Reilly ebook.

I have had several complaints about this rule, along these lines: "You should do something about the 'first to report mistake.' I and most others in Europe are sound asleep, taking a shower, eating breakfast or driving to work during the first eight hours of a quiz day. The chance that any of us will be the first with anything is pretty slim."

My response has generally been unsympathetic: "If a European really wants to 'win' this prize (and some have), they should hover over their machines at midnight...."

But I have given it more thought and have decided that what is important to recognize and (potentially) reward is not that a person found the mistake "first," but that they are paying enough attention to the quiz to notice the problem.

So from now on I will award a prize for finding a mistake in my quiz by selecting a player randomly from all those who reported the problem before the quiz ends for that day.

Keep those ideas coming! The PL/SQL Challenge is so much better for all the feedback and critiques I have received from players over the last five months.

Thanks, SF


  1. Hi Steven,

    Thanks for your great efforts.

    1 question:

    You said " ... before the quiz ends for that day."

    Do you mean the mistake in today's quiz should be reported today itself? Can it be reported after you publish the result? Many a times we recognize a mistake in quiz, after seeing the result, for E.g. length of sqlerrm and dbms_utility.format_error_sack - I didn't find any 'mistake' in the quiz until you published the answer.

  2. This makes sense. Thanks Steven for your thoughtful consideration and efforts.