Will SQL be relevant in the future? Does it make sense to dedicate time to learning SQL? The answer is an unquestionable YES! SQL will likely become even more relevant in the future.
SQL is a language aimed at helping users manipulate data from relational databases. While data is the currency of the future, SQL seems to have a positive outlook.
What Is SQL?
It sounds weird, but Structured Query Language (SQL) is 48 years old! It firstly appeared in 1974 and was developed by IBM. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standardized SQL in 1986. It has evolved over the years and fostered an active user community.
SQL handles data, but this data should be stored and manipulated within a management system. That’s why SQL works with a Relational DataBase Management System (RDBMS). The most common RDBMSs are:
You have likely heard others use SQL and MySQL interchangeably, but they are different. SQL is a query language, while MySQL is a famous RDBMS. Keep in mind that this article will help you learn SQL.
Reasons and Tips to Learn SQL
With the exception of HTML, you need months to gain a good understanding of a coding language. We refer to the average guy/gal, but you could be an exception, so strive for fast and better results!
SQL is an in-demand skill, so it’s good for your career to have some familiarity with it. As a backend developer, SQL is at least desirable, if not mandatory.
However, the most exciting aspect of learning SQL is that this language is massively used in data manipulation. Everyone needs data, so, more or less, everyone needs SQL.
Taking into account that all the forecasts mention a meteoric rise in data quantity, there will be a high demand for data scientists. Learning SQL secures your position and gives you a competitive advantage in the present, and also in the future.
Tools to Learn SQL
Learning SQL doesn’t require sophisticated setups, but it does have different requirements than scripting languages. You can use common text editors like Visual Studio Code or Atom.
However, you’d be better off using a dedicated text editor like DbVisualizer. It has a free version with limited functionality that should be enough to get an idea of it.
DBeaver is another widely used tool to write SQL commands. It works with both Mac and Windows, free of charge. The scripts can be neatly organized and exporting them is a matter of just a few clicks.
Valentina and SQLGate are two alternatives that come in both free and premium versions.
Grab your coffee or tea, schedule a few hours a week to learn SQL, and pick up one of the following resources to start your learning journey.
Fortunately, content creators produce plenty of learning resources for not only newbies but also intermediate to advanced users. You can go with complex resources—a mix of videos, blog posts, and coding challenges.
Alternatively, hundreds of video courses cover all the aspects of SQL. Prefer reading? No problem; many quality books are written to explain the ins and outs of this language.
I hope that the following suggestions will satisfy all your demands.
Learn SQL by Codecademy
- Accessing and manipulating data from a database;
- Performing complex queries;
- Making calculations using SQL commands;
- Manipulating databases, including multiple tables.
You have to solve a small exercise to complete a lesson for each module. In addition to these exercises, you also have to complete four projects.
SQL Tutorial by W3School
SQL Tutorial by W3School – Check out this class to learn SQL at your pace, step-by-step, backed up by tons of practice. The short and concise explanations, the numerous examples, and the attractive quizzes are the plus of this class.
W3School is a popular resource for learning how to code. A certificate guaranteed by W3School is an attention-grabbing item on your CV. Follow this course and pay to get certified as an SQL expert.
Furthermore, you need to pass an exam to get the certificate, so you’d better learn SQL like a pro before paying to take the exam.
Intro to SQL by Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a great learning hub—you can learn anything from US history to cryptography, from differential equations to SQL. The library of programming courses isn’t as rich at Khan Academy, but the SQL course is a valuable place to learn the first SQL commands.
It’s an introductory class that starts with familiarizing the students with the SQL basics and some advanced queries. Relational queries and modifying databases are the next topics. The course ends with a few suggestions for students to improve their SQL skills.
SQL Course – This website contains two parts: Beginner and Advanced. Beginner SQL presents the basics of this language in a very concise way. If you are committed to learning SQL fast, then this resource is for you.
Each lesson includes a few simple exercises—don’t skip over them! The Advanced section features advanced concepts and follows the same format as the Beginner part.
SQL Bolt – This class doesn’t have fancy videos and exercises, but it’s an excellent choice for people who lack spare time and prefer a succinct way of learning. It starts with a primer to SQL—20 lessons to learn the basics.
These are followed by modules on:
- Intermediate SQL topics.
- Unions, Intersections, and Exceptions.
The explanations are clear and simple exercises back the theory to check your understanding.
Go from SQL Beginner to Expert
Go from SQL Beginner to Expert – Do you want to learn each and every aspect of SQL? Do you have the time and patience to pay attention to all the details? The Go from SQL Beginner to Expert class is all you need in this instance!
It encapsulates 20 hours of quality explanations and a few practical exercises. 320K+ students have used the program to learn SQL and thousands have rated it as exceptional.
Besides, companies like Nasdaq, Volkswagen, and Eventbrite purchased this course for their employees. In these conditions, you shouldn’t worry about the class quality.
The Complete SQL Bootcamp
The Complete SQL Bootcamp – This is another bestseller class on Udemy for people willing to learn SQL. It has only nine hours of video explanations – less than the previous Udemy suggestion, but enough to get a solid grasp on SQL. The number of students enrolled and the rating are similar.
No prior knowledge is required and at the end of the class you will be able to do the following:
- Have a strong command of SQL syntax;
- Create databases and tables;
- Learn to perform GROUP BY statements;
- Use logical operators in your SQL queries.
To get the certification of completion you do need to pass three assignments.
SQL Programming Basics
SQL Programming Basics – Check out this course if you want to learn SQL basics as fast as possible—it takes only an hour and a half to complete it. Despite its short format, you don’t need any prior knowledge.
It’s a good class, but be aware that it doesn’t offer exercise to practice your skills. On the other hand, you can learn basic SQL in one evening if you are entirely focused on the class videos.
The Advanced SQL Course
The Advanced SQL Course – You need elementary SQL knowledge to get the most from this class.
It covers data cleansing and manipulation, regular expressions, analytical functions, hierarchical queries, and common table expressions.
Your CV can be enhanced by adding a certificate of completion to pique employers’ interest.
SQL in a Nutshell
Book lovers should give SQL in a Nutshell, a try. The fourth edition consists of ten chapters and covers SQL in its entirety. It starts with a short history of the language and SQL syntax.
Next, you learn how to structure, read, manipulate, and secure data. SQL functions, JSON, and XML format are the final chapters of the book.
The book is available for sale on multiple platforms, in both physical and digital formats.
Practical SQL, Second Edition
Practical SQL, Second Edition – This is the most complete book on this list—it packages plenty of explanations, examples, and exercises. You will learn all the SQL secrets and how to use SQL in statistics and data analysis. The book offers real-world examples.
For instance, you will manipulate data from the US census demographics. This book can be difficult to read and understand. Re-read challenging passages, be patient, and ask for help when needed. However, you will become a genuine expert by understanding this book.
SQL for Data Analysis
SQL for Data Analysis – Your desire to learn SQL is probably for a specific purpose, such as becoming a data analyst. It’s not an easy path, but data analysts have a solid demand.
Hence, this book may represent the starting point of a new promising career.
You should be familiar with SQL before starting this book, as it begins directly with data analysis fundamentals.
Over to You
Becoming well-versed in SQL requires motivation, patience, the right resources, and maybe a few sleepless nights. Don’t expect fast results and focus on practice.
Companies need SQL professionals and they pay well for experts. It is therefore in your best interest to master this language from start to finish.