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Paul Nielsen

If SQL was an Olympic sport…

we’d be judged by how well we nailed the disconnect.

Seriously, my Olympic pet peeve is that the gymnasts do these amazing twists and defy gravity, and then the major point of their score is whether they move a foot when they land. It makes no sense to me.  


Published Thursday, August 14, 2008 11:47 PM by Paul Nielsen



Adam Machanic said:

If SQL was an Olympic sport you would be 13. :-)

August 15, 2008 10:17 AM

Scott R. said:


I agree.

I heard a description of Olympic gymnastics scoring the other day while watching an event: start with the 10.0 perfect score, subtract for each “flaw”, and finally add the difficulty factor (relatively new in recent years) for a final score.  As you said, it emphasizes the negative instead of the positive.  Go figure!

Seems typical for the subjectively measured events (gymnastics, figure skating, etc.), in contrast to the objectively measured events (track and field, baseball, tennis, etc. - based on time or score – more concrete measures).

The apparent range of the base score (0-10) is misleading to the uninformed: most base scores will be in the 9-10 range, or you are not really competing.  The measure that has widened the range of final scores is the recently introduced difficulty factor, with an apparent range of several points between observed extremes.

Scott R.

August 15, 2008 10:53 AM

jchang said:

in wrestling, it was figured out that the old style of scoring, 3 point for take down, 2 for reversal etc, led to boring matches, emphasizing not making mistakes. So this was changed to the wrestler must initial the move to score a take down, if person initiating the move goofed and got taken down, it doesn't count. This made taking daring risks common, with no penalties for failure. If only dba world was the same!

August 15, 2008 11:51 AM

Steve Dassin said:

jchang said:

>This made taking daring risks common, with no penalties for failure.

>If only dba world was the same!

I agree with you, I think:) Perhaps you could explain just what you have in mind. What do you mean by a more daring plan of action for a dba. What would be an example of a more aggressive plan/attitude that

a developer could take. Doesn't IT reward the passive and punish the aggressive? But can progress really be made if everyone maintains the status quo? I think you're really trying to tell us something. And some of us are listening:)

August 15, 2008 7:56 PM

Paul Nielsen said:

Within IT there's a natural tension between development and production. Development means innovation and risk. Production's goals are stability and calm.

Taking greater risks in devlopment can be a very good thing, so long as it eventually leads to more stability in production.

August 16, 2008 11:23 AM

bhovious said:

Yes!  I am delighted someone else is disturbed by the dismount being such a huge part of the event, when it has nothing to do with performance on the bar itself.  Also, "sticking" a dismount is dangerous to the athlete who has even a minor knee or ankle injury.    Why not make the initial part of the landing be a roll into a flip up off the floor, to let them bleed off most of the impact?

August 22, 2008 7:02 PM

Steve Dassin said:

Paul writes:

>Taking greater risks in development can be a very good thing,..

Perhaps a log reader from MS might be some encouragement to go outside the box:)

August 30, 2008 1:01 AM
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About Paul Nielsen

Paul Nielsen believes SQL is the romance language of data. As such he’s a hands-on database developer, Microsoft SQL Server MVP, trainer, and author of SQL Server Bible series (Wiley). As a data architect, he developed the concepts of Smart Database Design and Nordic – an open source O/R dbms for SQL Server. He lives in Colorado Springs.

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