06 September 2011

Finding Quizzes in Play a Quiz

Since the upgrade to v2 of the PL/SQL Challenge quiz platform, we have taken advantage of its flexibility to add several new quizzes: weekly SQL, PL/SQL and logic quizzes; the newest, Toad for Oracle weekly quiz; the Oracle Magazine PL/SQL 101 quiz.

As a result, the Play a Quiz table on the home page has gotten very full and busy. Players have been complaining about not being able to find the quizzes they need to take, or recently took. We are looking at a number of changes to avoid this confusion. In the meantime, here is an explanation of the steps you can take right now to gain clarity.

The Play a Quiz table has two tabs: Current and Upcoming. Current shows you all open quizzes that you can take, as well as some that you recently completed. You can use the Filter to restrict which quizzes are shown. You can also see other "current" quizzes by clicking on the right arrow in the bottom right corner of the table. Finally, the "View All Competitions" will take you to an Interactive Report that will allow you to search for any quiz that has already been played.

Use the filter to show quizzes for a specific technology, only those that are still open or only those for a technology in which you have expressed interest ("My Technologies"; more on this below).

My Technologies

As you can see, we offer quizzes for PL/SQL, SQL, APEX, Logic and Toad for Oracle (with more likely to come!). By default, we show quizzes for all technologies on the page. And if you take a quiz for one of these technologies, we automatically update your profile, adding this technology to your list.

If you choose "My Technologies" in the filter list, then only those quizzes for your technologies will appear. So if you are not an APEX developer and you've never played an APEX quiz, that is the quickest way to make APEX quizzes disappear from Play a Quiz.

Note: we will likely add the ability to save your Filter by selection so you do not have to keep changing it when you get to the Home page.

To modify your technology list, visit your Account (click on "Account" in top right corner) and then click on "Technologies for Play":

You can then add or remove the technologies as desired:

I hope this information helps you get the most out of the PL/SQL Challenge generally, and the Play a Quiz table more specifically.

Please offer any suggestions you have for improving how this works.

Cheers, Steven


  1. Looks good. Suggestion, when a new type of quiz is added, show automatically on first visit the Technology table?

    Another suggestion, make it easier to find the played quizzes. With the weekly, monthly, daily quizzes and other periods, I never know which quizzes I must inspect to see how well I did.

  2. A couple of small suggestions that I personally would find helpful:

    1) Three tabs in "Play a quiz": Current, Past and Upcoming. Move the "Completed" or "Finished" quizzes presently in the Current tab to the Past tab. That way Current tab is only those current quizzes a player have not yet played.

    2) Sort the Current tab with "My technologies" first (order by MyTech.IsPrimary DESC NULLS LAST :-) (Or perhaps even change "IsPrimary" to an integer Priority and order by that?)

  3. We will add the Past tab; that's an excellent idea. I was also thinking about adding a PL/SQL tab - heck, it IS the PL/SQL Challenge. :-) Automatically show just plsql quizzes.

    We also plan to to move Play a Quiz on top of the dashboard and set the default right on the page. I will post new screenshots with that soon.

    Wim mentioned "easier to find played quizzes." We are looking at a number of issues around "flow" on the site.

  4. Hello All,
    Wow ... Wim, what a lucky personality you have ... waiting (patiently ?) for browsing the library to see how well you did :) :)

    I am not able to do this any more ... I should check everything out immediately, by myself, otherwise the waiting can become maddening ...
    and sometimes it is a weekly quiz ...

    Regarding the separate tab for PL/SQL,
    "let's give to Cesar what belongs to Cesar" :)
    yes, it could be nice to have a separate tab for each technology ... but let's hope that the number of technologies will exceed the number of manageable tabs :) :) :)

    In fact, the interactive reports offer a high degree of flexibility, I sometimes try some of them and they are really a great feature !

    Best Regards,

  5. And by the way - did you change the sort order of the Current tab about the same time you upgraded your Apex?

    I seem to remember that the PL/SQL daily quiz used to be on top as the first quiz on the current tab. Now it is the last of the un-completed quizzes.

    And I think that change happened about the time of the upgrade?