Hi, I need help on simplyfying this Update query!

Posted in: Technical Track

I would not wish this task on my worst enemy. My friend, good luck and best wishes but I’m afraid I just can’t help you, because that much suffering is way too much for me.



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About the Author

As Pythian’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul leads this center of excellence for expert, outsourced technical services for companies whose systems are directly tied to revenue growth and business success. His passion and foresight for using data and technology to drive business success has helped Pythian become a high-growth global company with over 400 employees and offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Paul, who started his career as a data scientist, founded Pythian when he was 25 years old. In addition to driving the business, Paul is a vocal proponent of diversity in the workplace, human rights, and economic empowerment. He supports his commitment through Pythian’s hiring and retention practices, his role as board member for the Basic Income Canada Network, and as a supporter of women in technology.

4 Comments. Leave new

Shakir Sadikali
March 19, 2008 11:12 am

Haha, i was about to send this off to Rob Hamel. If he can’t do it, no one can! :-)


I wish that instead of giving a query that doesn’t work, people would show their data structure and explain what they need to retrieve from it. In plain language. You need to understand the problem you are trying to solve, not the failed attempts to solve it.


John, I’m totally with you, but tell me the truth – if you took a new job or appeared at a client site and this was the task they assigned you – tell me you wouldn’t desperately clutch at straws and scratch at the coffin in hopes of getting someone else to do that for you.


If this is SQL 2005 use Common Table Expressions (CTE) if it is Oracle 10 use WITH …
(which is along the same lines) and if you want, throw it through the advisors in both and see what they say.

I agree with John and Paul, knowing what it is trying to retrieve is normally the first step to getting a handle on the SQL.

I am worried Paul has just found a new interview question for getting a job with Pythian…
Simplify this SQL. You have 1 hour ;)


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