Pythian and NoCOUG Announce the Third International SQL Challenge

Posted in: Technical Track

For the third consecutive year, NoCOUG is hosting an international SQL challenge. Last year we ran into a small difficulty where the international DBA community proved too clever and solved the challenge before we could properly publicize it.

A good DBA learns from her mistakes, and this year we are pre-announcing the challenge:
It will be revealed on Monday, May 21 at 9 AM PST at

Bookmark the location and check the challenge at 9am, or risk being late to the party. And speaking of parties… In this challenge, the Wicked Witch of the West needs help in creating a magic spell to ensure that the Third Annual Witching & Wizarding Ball is a grand success.

The winner will receive the August Order of the Wooden Pretzel in keeping with the Steven Feuerstein’s observation that “some people can perform seeming miracles with straight SQL, but the statements end up looking like pretzels created by somebody who is experimenting with hallucinogens.”

There are currently four knights of the August Order of the Wooden Pretzel: Alberto Dell’Era (Italy), who won the first challenge in 2009, and Andre Araujo (Australia), Rob van Wijk (Netherlands), and Ilya Chuhnakov (Russia), who won the second challenge in 2011.

In recognition that SQL is not the only language in which enterprising developers can create pretzels on hallucinogens, the challenge is also open to NoSQL solutions. In this case, we will want to see creative use of non-relational data models. The inclusion of NoSQL can also be attributed to the fact that one of the judges is a big fan of NoSQL databases. I’m a very unbiased judge, by the way, and can only be bribed with the finest scotch.

May the quickest, most entertaining, most educational, most creative, and somewhat readable solution prevail!

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1 Comment. Leave new

NoCOUG contest take #1: the Es-cu-el spell | The Pythian Blog
June 2, 2012 10:28 am

[…] heralded by Iggy Fernandez and Gwen Shapira, NoCOUG has launched its Third International SQL vs. NoSQL […]


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