20 December 2013

Improving Website Performance: An Update

I announced earlier this week that I was suspending all work on new features until we improved the performance on the site.

Since then we have done the following:
  • Reduced by .5 seconds each and every page load time.
  • Optimized an LOV on the home page, resulting in faster load time.
  • Optimized the Library query so that you will see quizzes much faster.
  • Changed the Switch Quiz LOV on the Quiz Details page to improve load time on that page.
We will continue to seek out opportunities to streamline processing on the site. Please feel free to post a comment on this blog with any other suggestions for places on the site to focus our efforts.

Many thanks for your patience!
Steven Feuerstein

16 December 2013

PL/SQL Challenge Website Now Available

Just in time for Tuesday!


Well, you know how you just sometimes have one of those days?

This was one of mine.

I am still analyzing the full extent of my stupidity and incompetence (and I fear the results may be classified).

But I can say this:

First of all, thank you, John Scott, for being available and so, well, non-judgmental, as you once again bailed me out.

Second, we now do hope and expect that the website will stay up and you can take your quizzes. I will look into extending what is now yesterday's quiz so it can be played today as well (an excellent idea urged by Iudith Mentzel).

My apologies for inconvenience and any mental anguish,
Steven Feuerstein

Poor, Sad Website: Voiding Today's Quiz

At 9:45 AM Chicago time, the PL/SQL Challenge website became unresponsive. It looks like we were and are being hammered by bots. We have been unable to stop the onslaught and so after a few hours of on again, off again access, I must announce with great sadness that we will void the results for today's quiz.

This means they will not be included in rankings for the quarter.

Now, having said that, I plan - when the site and backend become available again - to see how easily we can extend the end date for today's quiz....to tomorrow (make it a "two day quiz").

If that is possible (it should be, but you know how it is with unique indexes and constraints and code), then anyone who couldn't get to the quiz today, can do it tomorrow and then I will not void the results.

In the meantime, I will go take a walk in 12 degree weather (crisp but clear).

ALSO: make sure to follow PLSQLChallenge @ twitter.com so you can receive announcements about site status.