A different kind of programming contest

Nobody will argue that testing your code is an essential, but often neglected step to good development. Effective testing not of the whole application, but portions of it is the focus of the Oracle Development Tools User Group PL/SQL Test-A-Thon to be held Febuary, 28-March, 1 of this year in California.

Here’s how the challenge works:
After the end of sessions on the first day, you will be presented with four programs that perform typical operations—nothing exotic. Along with those programs come supporting test data, a list of tests that you need to perform, and the results you should get for each test (most will be successful, but some will fail). You will then have one hour to write a test to show which tests succeed and which fail for the programs. Your test results should be self-verifying. That is, we will not manually verify your tests to see if they worked or not.

Check out more about the contest and about the Oracle Development Tools User Group conference. While not overly active the Oracle Development Tools User Group site has some interesting content as well.

sql, plsql, oracle, development, software development, database, dba

3 thoughts on “A different kind of programming contest”

  1. Thanks for letting visitors know about our Test-A-Thon, Jon!

    I came up with the idea a few weeks ago. It’s always tricky doing anything hands-on when it involves code — writing software takes time….hopefully, if the contestants use the right tools, they can avoid writing tons of test code, and *still* get the job done.

    If this goes well, I will propose test-a-thons at other Oracle conferences and events. I believe that the lack of thorough unit testing is one of the biggest problems we face in the world of PL/SQL specifically and software generally. The more attention paid, the better!

    Warm regards,
    Steven Feuerstein
    PL/SQL Evangelist
    Quest Software

    PS – I hope you can make it to the conference!

  2. Steven,

    It’s an interesting idea and I’m curious to see the results! Unfortunately the timing (and location) is bad for me this time, but I hope the contest goes well. Good luck!

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