Break New Ground

Introducing Dev Gym! Free Training on SQL and More

Steven Feuerstein
Developer Advocate for PL/SQL

There are many ways to learn. For example, you can read a book or blog post, watch a video, or listen to a podcast. All good stuff, which is what you'd expect me to say since I am the author of ten books on the Oracle PL/SQL language, and offer scores of videos and articles on my YouTube channel and blog, respectively.

But there's one problem with those learning formats: they're passive. One way or another, you sit there, and ingest data through your eyes and ears. Nothing wrong with that, but we all know that when it comes to writing code, that sort of knowledge is entirely theoretical.

If you want to get stronger, you can't just read about weightlifting and running. 

You've got to hit the gym and lift some weights. You've got to put on your running shoes and pound the pavement. 

Or as Confucius said it back in 450 BC:

Tell me and I will forget.
Show me and I may remember.
Involve me and I will understand

It's the same with programming. Until you start writing code, and until you start reading and struggling to understand code, you haven't really learned anything.  To get good at programming, you need to engage in some active learning.

That's what the Oracle Dev Gym is all about. And it's absolutely, totally free. 

Learn from Quizzes

Multiple choice quizzes are the core learning mechanism on the Oracle Dev Gym. Our library of over 2,500 quizzes deepen your expertise by challenging you to read and understand code, a great complement to writing and running code.

The home page offers several featured quizzes that are hand-picked by experts from the Dev Gym's library of over 2,000 quizzes.

Looking for something in particular? Enter a keyword or two in the search bar and we'll show you what we've got on that topic.

After submitting your answer, you can explore the quiz's topic in more detail, with full verification code scripts, links to related resources and other quizzes, and discussion on the quiz.

You accumulate points for all the quizzes you answer, but your performance on these quizzes is not ranked. To play competitively against other developers, try our weekly Open Tournaments.

Check out this video on Dev Gym quizzes. 

Learn from Workouts

Quizzes are great, but when you know nothing about the topic of a quiz, they can leave you rather more confused than educated.

So to help you get started with concepts, we’ve created workouts. These contain resources to teach you about an aspect of programming, followed up by questions on the topic to test and reinforce your newly-gained knowledge.

A workout typically consists of a video or article followed by several quizzes. But a workout could also consist simply of a set of quizzes. Either way, go through the exercises of the workout and you will find yourself better able to tackle your real world programming challenges. Build your own custom workout, pick from available workouts, and set up daily workouts (single quiz workouts that expire each day).

Check out this video on Dev Gym workouts. 

Learn from Classes

Perhaps you’re looking for something more structured to help you learn. Then a Dev Gym class might be a perfect fit.

You can think of these as "mini-MOOCS". A MOOC is a massive online open class. The Oracle Learning Library offers a variety of MOOCs and I strongly encourage you to try them out. Generally, you should expect a 3-5 hour per week commitment, over several weeks. 

Dev Gym class are typically lighter-weight. Each class module consists of a video or blog post, followed by several quizzes to reinforce what you've learned. 

A great example of a Dev Gym class is Database of Developers, a 12-week course by Chris Saxon, a member of the AskTOM Answer Team and all around SQL wizard.

Check out this video on Dev Gym classes. 

Open Tournaments

Sometimes you just want to learn, and other times you want to test that knowledge against other developers. Let's face it: lots of humans like to compete, and we make it easy for you to do that with our weekly Open tournaments.

Each Saturday, we publish a brand-new quiz on SQL, PL/SQL, database design and logic (this list will likely grow over time). You have until the following Friday to submit your answer. And if you don't want to compete but still want to tackle those brand-new quizzes, we let you opt-out of ranking.

But for those of you who like to compete, you can check your rankings on the Leaderboard to see how you did the previous week, month, quarter and year. And if finish the year ranked in the top 50 in a particular technology, you are then eligible to compete in the annual championship.

Note that we do not show the results of your submission for an Open tournament until that week is over. Since the quiz is competitive, we don't want to make it easy for players to share results with others who may not yet have taken the quiz. And since the quiz is competitive, we also have rules against cheating. Read Competition Integrity for a description of what constitutes cheating at the Oracle Dev Gym.

Work Out Those Oracle Muscles!

So...are you ready to start working out those Oracle muscles and stretch your Oracle skills?

Visit the Oracle Dev Gym. Take a quiz, step up to a workout, or explore our classes.

Oh, and did I mention? It's all free!


Join the discussion

Comments ( 2 )
  • Sunil Thursday, November 16, 2017
    Which one to use in my asp.net application as i am new with Oracle database.

    Oracle.ManagedDataAccess.Client or

    as my database is Oracle11g
  • Alex Keh Thursday, November 16, 2017

    I am the product manager for ODP.NET. Since you are new to Oracle, I recommend you use managed ODP.NET (Oracle.ManagedDataAccess.Client). It's easier to setup, deploy, and available via NuGet.
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