Monday, June 11, 2012

It's Official - I am a Demigod

In its 11 June 2012 Database Application Developer Newsletter, Oracle writes  "The "PL/SQL 101" series, by PL/SQL demigod Steven Feuerstein, is the ultimate quick-start introduction to the language. Even if you are an experienced PL/SQL developer, you may find these articles a handy refresher on language fundamentals."

Yes! Finally, the official recognition for which I have so longed. I am a demigod.

I thought that was pretty good, but my longtime pal, Hugo Toledo, wrote to me:

I just learned about your demotion to "demi-god". Sorry! I don't know but I'm guessing this is just a term-of-art role-change, like Pluto went through a few years ago.

Well, just as Pluto continues its orbit blissfully unaware of what the IAU decided, I think you, too, should just keep doing what you do. Besides, unlike Pluto, you only dropped to the "demi" level. Pluto is a "dwarf" planet. Yikes! No doubt they took your physical stature into account when making their decision.

Regardless, I think i can speak for the rest of us when I say you are still a bonafide top-of-the-heap god to us.
Demotion? This is, possibly, a very alarming development. Is it really a demotion that I am now referred to by Oracle as a "demigod"? Is this Oracle's way of telling the world that my career is on a slippery slope downward to "legendary" or "once helpful to many"? But I am still so young, so vigorous, so anxious to shout from the mountaintops "PL/SQL is fantastic!"

No time to waste! It is time to check with Wikipedia, where I found the following:

The term demigod (or demi-god), meaning half-god, is commonly used to describe mythological figures whose one parent was a god and whose other parent was human as such, demigods are human-god hybrids. In some mythologies it also describes humans who became gods, or simply extremely powerful figures whose powers approach those of the gods even though they are not gods themselves.
Assuming that I my parents are actually my parents (neither of whom would qualify as gods, however wonderful they were and are), Oracle's designation clearly indicates that I have either ascended to god-hood or have such powers as to make the distinction of no importance. Hey, that's not so bad, really.

Monday, June 04, 2012

500,000 Answers on the PL/SQL Challenge!

Over the weekend of 2 June, we reached a major milestone on the PL/SQL Challenge: the 500,000th answer to a quiz was submitted!

Altogether, a total of 9,503 players from 120 countries have submitted (at the time of writing this post) 501,623 answers to quizzes. They used a total of 5770 days' time to decide on their choices and submit the answers.

Check out the PL/SQL Challenge blog for our Dedicated Players Roll Call - all players who have missed no more than 50 daily PL/SQL quizzes out of the 559 that have been played since 8 April 2010. Now, that's dedication!

Friday, June 01, 2012

PL/SQL Popularity

TIOBE tracks the "popularity" of programming languages.

To quote from their index page: "The TIOBE Programming Community index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages. The index is updated once a month. The ratings are based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors. The popular search engines Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube and Baidu are used to calculate the ratings. Observe that the TIOBE index is not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written."

It has been very gratifying to see that PL/SQL is doing much better than holding its own. It has moved up dramatically in the past year. Go, PL/SQL, go!