Learning SQL programming is valuable for our career and might help to increase our incomes but most importantly it will be the best investment you will make for yourself. However, beginners don’t know the exact starting point to begin learning the SQL language. Learning SQL depends entirely on your effort and desire, and other things are just details. This article will give some tips on how to learn SQL without going into technical details so that so you can get started in learning SQL right now.
What is SQL?
SQL is the abbreviation of Structured Query Language. SQL, in its simplest definition, is used to manipulate, store and retrieve data from the relational database systems and it is pronounced as “ess-que-el”. In 1970, Edgar F. Codd invented the relational database model for the database systems, and then Dr. Donald Chamberlin and his colleagues have developed a Structured English Query Language which is an ancestor of today’s modern database query languages. SQL was standardized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1986. The common and popular relational database management vendors (Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, etc) are still using SQL but some of them develop their extended and featured version of the SQL. For instance, T-SQL (Transact-SQL) is an extended implementation of the ANSI SQL that is used to query and manage Microsoft SQL Server.
In the next sections of the article, we will particularly talk about how to learn T-SQL.
The first step to SQL programming
First of all, you need high motivation to achieve learning SQL because you might fail to learn some topics in this journey, but it doesn’t matter, and you never forget that all SQL gurus go through the same ways and experience tons of fails in their SQL learning adventures. Learning SQL may help to land us a job or help to move up the career ladder more fastly. You need to spend time and make effort to learn SQL, for example, if you spend a lot of time on TV, you can get rid of this habit and use this time to learn SQL.
Where should you start learning SQL programming?
The best way to start to learn SQL is to practice by yourself. Therefore, installing a free version of a database provides an environment in which you can practice a lot. SQL Express edition is the free version of the SQL Server so you can install this version and can start practicing with it. Along with this, you can need a graphical user interface so that you can progress faster in learning SQL. The following tools are the most popular ones to improve our skills in SQL.
What is the best strategy to learn SQL programming?
In my opinion, learning SQL does not require any algorithm or programming knowledge, only understanding the relational database concept will help to figure out the SQL query’s logic. As possible, you can start SQL learning with simple queries. For example, you can try to write a very simple select statement and try to execute it. A select statement is used to retrieve data from a table data and it is the “Hello World” program of the SQL. As a second step, you need a proper and basic resource that helps our SQL learnings. Some website authors write incredible simple article series that tell all basic concepts about SQL programming step by step and they are totally free. The Learn SQL article series by fellow author Emil Drkusic is one of the best and you can start your journey with this series. While reading the articles, you should not forget to practice the given examples in articles by yourself.
The second method, you can take online courses if you don’t like reading. At this point, you can choose Udemy or Coursera but you should consider that the course level suits you and includes enough examples. As we have indicated practicing is a vital part of SQL learning.
Another alternative method can be to buy a SQL programming book. However, all these methods will not work unless you don’t write a query with yourself.
After you start learning SQL, you will surely have some questions in your mind. Stackoverflow is the largest community for software programmers and you can find tons of well-explained answers to questions.
How long does it take to learn SQL programming?
This time can be changed according to your learning effort but an average learner can complete learning the basic query syntax of the SQL in two or three weeks.
In this article, you learned some beginner-level tips about SQL programming. Learning SQL is not rocket science and everybody can learn SQL if you have a little interest in computer programming. Here are the summarized tips, we learned in this article:
- Take your time and desire to learn SQL
- Install a free version of a database and practice with it by yourself
- Start with the basic queries
- Read articles, watch online courses or buy a book
- Try to write queries on your own
- Feel free to ask questions on SQL platforms