Rob Farley Interview – Database Corruption Challenge

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After 10 weeks (or almost weekly) of corrupt databases, missing data and a challenging competition the Database Corruption Challenge, finally comes to an end. As part of the last week of the challenge I created a short blog interview for the participants.Rob Farley Interview

Rob Farley is the overall winner, the champion of the Database Corruption Challenge scoring more points than anyone else.  Congratulations Rob!

Rob was one of only 3 participants to complete all 10 challenges in the contest, the other two were André Kamman and Neil Abrahams.

Here are Robs statistics for the Database Corruption Challenge

Rob Farley Interview

What compelled you to want to participate in the Database Corruption Challenge?

Rob: I like challenges… but also, I wanted to be sure that my corruption-solving ability was right up there. It’s important for my business for me to be technically strong, and I thought this would be a good exercise for that. It didn’t worry me that I was putting myself out there – I told everyone I was going to sit the MCM exam before I actually did too.

What did you find the most interesting in the Database Corruption Challenge?

Rob: I was a bit surprised that more people didn’t try more of the challenges. The number of people that tried at least one is quite long, but many people didn’t try to solve many of them. I appreciate that everyone has a life to live – I’m no different – but in the same way that people take time out to exercise their bodies, I took time out to exercise my corruption-solving ability. I wish more people had tried more of them.

What did you learn in the Database Corruption Challenge?

Rob: I got a lot of confidence in my ability with hex editors and WRITEPAGE. I had only really dabbled with them before, but now it feels a lot more normal. I will still prefer to solve corruption using log restores and non-clustered indexes, but being able to hack pages has definitely become a more realistic option for me.

How many weeks did you participate in the Database Corruption Challenge?

Rob: All of them! It was important to me that I did. Only in week 10 was I online and able to start solving it right away, because of time zones, and family commitments – and in week 10 I was sick! I have a sinus and gland thing, which is making me feel rotten. I’m just lucky it wasn’t too hard.

Any suggestions to those who might want to give some of the 10 Database Corruption Challenge examples a try?

Rob: Just do it! And don’t look at the clues or answers…

What is your twitter handle, and your linked in url (if you have either)?

@rob_farley on Twitter. for LinkedIn
I blog at
My company, LobsterPot Solutions, is at


Rob has also written a blog post called “Corruption, corruption, more corruption” at his blog where he throws down a challenge of his own regarding the Database Corruption Challenge.

Related Links

Database Corruption Challenge Sponsored by Stedman Solutions, LLC.


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