I must admit that when I look back over the last year, it is easy for me to see that I really had no idea what I was getting into when I decided it would be very "cool" to offer a daily quiz.
Easy to say. Hard to do! Hard to write interesting, bug-free quizzes. Hard to build a website that makes it easy to play quizzes, see results, and learn from quizzes. Hard to suddenly be responsible for a production, 24x7 application.
But it was and still is worth it. In fact, the PL/SQL Challenge to be one of the most interesting and rewarding projects I've ever worked on - and I fully expect that it is only going to get more interesting and more rewarding in the coming years.
While the PL/SQL Challenge has certainly kept me busy, it has taken the efforts of many other people to make the PL/SQL Challenge what it is today. And so my deepest thanks and gratitude go out to:
- PL/SQL Challenge players: without your interest and daily efforts, the website would be of little value. I have been truly amazed at the level of engagement by so many Oracle technologists around the world. We have created a new kind of community, one which I hope to grow in many ways in the coming year.
- Apex Evangelists: John Scott, Dimitri Gielis and Paul Broughton have been absolutely key to both launching the PL/SQL Challenge website and keeping it up and running. If you ever need any kind of help with APEX development, I encourage you to consider hiring Apex Evangelists.
- Our reviewers, Michael Brunstedt, Ken Holmslykke, Darrel Hurley: In the early months of the PL/SQL Challenge, we were quite honestly plagued by mistakes. I reviewed the quizzes myself (and didn't even put in place a requirement to build and run verification code for each quiz) - which is a foolish and doomed strategy. Once I had independent reviewers, the number of mistakes plummeted.
- Our premier sponsors: as you all know, the PL/SQL Challenge is completely free, so sponsors play a critical role in supporting this initiative. Thank you, O'Reilly Media! Thank you, Quest Software! Thank you, Oracle Technology Network! Thank you, ODTUG! (Note: later this year, I plan to offer a membership option to the PL/SQL Challenge. Pay a membership fee, get access to member-only and very fantastic features!)
- Finn Ellebaek Nielsen: Finn helped me launch the PL/SQL Challenge and while he could not stay on the project after the initial months, his contributions without a doubt helped ensure the success of the PL/SQL Challenge.
Ah, there's so much more to say - but I am kind of busy right now implementing version 2 of the PL/SQL Challenge, which will (I predict) amaze and challenge you in ever new ways. So I am going to get back to work.
Please feel free to add your comments about how the PL/SQL Challenge has helped you in your career as an Oracle technologist (and any ideas you have for improving the site).