The PL/SQL Challenge offers cash prizes and may become a means for programmers to establish or improve their reputations as PL/SQL developers. It is serious stuff, in other words. And that means that it is possible someone will try to cheat or "game the system" to improve their chances of winning a prize and elevated status. We have given lots of thought to the ways that people could cheat. We have taken several measures to minimize the chance of successful cheating. And we have decided on the following consequences.
If you violate any of the rules of the PL/SQL Challenge or cheat in the process of submitting your answer, then you will lose all your points for the current month (any previously submitted and any others submitted for the rest of the month). If this occurs a second time, your account will be closed and all accumulated points lost.
Here are what we consider to be examples of cheating (this list is by no means exhaustive; if you find another way to cheat and it is not on this list, you will still be penalized when - not if - you are discovered):
• Creating multiple accounts: you may only create one account for yourself in the Challenge.
• You take the quiz in one account, taking your time to look up the answer, study the code, etc. Once you are sure of the answer, you log into your "real" account and submit your answer quickly, to game the timing algorithm.
• You copy the contents of the quiz page into the clipboard, paste it into your PL/SQL environment and run the code. Two notes regarding this: 1. You should not be able to copy and paste; most quizzes present code as an image; 2. It is not cheating to type the code yourself and execute it to determine the result. This is a great way to learn and the time it takes to write the code will diminish your score.
• You receive the quiz from someone else, study and determine the correct answer, and submit your answer quickly, to game the timing algorithm.
• You initiate or participate in any sort of discussion forum/thread/SMS on the quiz during the day in which the quiz is active. Feel free to discuss the question and answers after once that quiz is "history." While people can still answer it, however, please refrain from publishing information or discussion about it.
• You use any kind of a "bot" to submit your answer or answers.
• You use a software algorithm to solve Logic quizzes. The whole point of this domain is to strengthen your own mind's ability to think logically. Having a computer do this for you violates the whole point of these quizzes.
• If you violate any of the rules of the PL/SQL Challenge or cheat in the process of submitting your answer, then you will lose all your points for the current month (any previously submitted and any others submitted for the rest of the month). If this occurs a second time, your account will be closed and all accumulated points lost.
See the FAQ item regarding very fast answers and how we deal with those.