Saturday, December 18, 2010

Release 1.8 of PL/SQL Challenge in Production

We just upgraded PL/SQL Challenge to release 1.8, which includes these significant new features and changes:

* Remember Me: a long-requested enhancement, you can check the "Remember me" box before you login. We will then automatically log you in to the PL/SQL Challenge on subsequent visits to the website. If you do not visit the site for seven days, you will be prompted to login again.

* Public Profile: you can now record much more information about yourself and your career as a PL/SQL developer. This information is then made available on a public player profile page - but only if you explicitly approve the publication of that content. All player names on the site are hyperlinked to this page. We also provide you with a public URL so that this profile can be accessed from outside of the PL/SQL Challenge website (such as from your blog).

* Streamlined "Take the Quiz" process: You no longer have to scroll down through assumptions and advice. You can choose to view the information or simply press the Play Now button to get right to the quiz.

* Post-Quiz Survey and Player Notes: after you take the quiz, we now invite you to provide us with feedback on the quality of the quiz. You can also record notes regarding that quiz for future reference. The notes will appear on the Past Quiz page. You can also take the survey at any time after you take the quiz.

* Submit Your Own Quiz Idea: you can now submit your own idea for a quiz directly from the website, both from the "Submit Quiz Idea" on the home page and from several other places on the site as well. If your quiz is accepted, your name will be posted the day the quiz is taken. Get creative and share your expertise with us and players from around the world!

* Reorganization of Rules and Assumptions: the Rules page is gone, long live the Rules page! Most of the content of that page is now available in the FAQ. In addition, rules, assumptions and advice for the quiz is provided on the Take the Quiz page.

I am most excited about the ability to create and publish a player profile.Several players have already reported that their record on the PL/SQL Challenge has helped them get new jobs or get certified in PL/SQL. I hope to see lots more of that happening/ The profile provides a way for the PL/SQL Challenge to help you promote your accomplishments - so fill up your profile!

I am very pleased with how the PL/SQL Challenge website is progressing. Eli is doing a fantastic job as an APEX developer, and also picking up more and more PL/SQL skills along the way. Paul of Apex Evangelists continues to play a crucial, albeit part-time role in handling the more complex requirements for the site.

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