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Best Ways to Learn SQL to Become Database Expert

This blog post is going to talk about some of the best ways to learn SQL to become a database expert. Before we talk about those ways, let’s first talk something about SQL.

What is SQL?

SQL stands for Structured Query Language which is used to manage the databases. You can create, update and even insert data into the tables of Database. It is a query language that makes your work easier to manage your database.

What is a Database?

You just learned about SQL, and there you got another term Database. There is a high probability that you know about Database but if you don’t, let me tell you that Database is the collection of information stored in table form.

The database makes things easier to keep the records and information in a systematic manner from which you can fetch any detail anytime using SQL queries.

There are some main commands of SQL that are used both in basic and complex queries to manage databases. To name a few, INSERT, SELECT, UPDATE, DELETE, DROP, CREATE TABLE, etc.

Look at some basic SQL Queries:

INSERT INTO extable(column_1, column_2) VALUES(Value_1, Value_2)

This basic command will insert the values into the specified extable’s column_1 and column_2.

Similarly there many other queries both basic and complex.

SELECT Column_1, Column_2 FROM extable

This command will fetch the data from the column_1 and column_2 of the table extable

Let me give a realistic example.

Suppose India is a table of a particular Database and in the columns, there are written state and city names. And, here in the column1 and column2 has StateNames and CityNames respectively. Then what will be the query to fetch the details and what will be the result?

SELECT StateNames, CityNames FROM India

This SQL query will fetch all the state and city names of the column1 which is StateNames and Column2 which is CityNames.

All of these examples look very simple, but there are many more concepts such as SQL Joins and all that are used to manage complex databases. If the database is complex, then fetching data as per the requirements and conditions, you need to write complex SQL Queries. Therefore to become a database expert, you need to learn SQL from the beginning.

What are the Best Ways to Learn SQL?

Learning anything requires patience, hard work, and consistency. There are many ways you can learn SQL. Either you can take offline classes from any SQL learning centre, or you can try learning SQL on your own with the help of the internet, or you can try some books. Nowadays, there are many courses available as well on popular online courses sites such as Udemy, Khan Academy, etc. and you can even get these courses for free or at very low prices by using online course coupon codes.

Let’s talk about some of those ways to learn SQL in a bit detail.

How to Learn SQL using books?

There are many books you can find on Amazon or on offline book stores that you can buy to learn SQL but you need to find the best SQL book for beginners first, and when you are a bit confident, you can start reading advanced SQL books.

Below are few books which I would advise you to check them out and select one that fits your requirement:

  1. Sams Teach Yourself SQL in 24 hours

When I was studying, I bought many books of Sams, and they were pretty good. However, they wrote “in 24 hours” that doesn’t mean you have to do it in that time frame. You can take your time, and read each and every lesson carefully. Along with reading, try the examples by practically doing on the computer. For that, you have to install SQL Server software.

This book is really nice, and I am sure if you religiously follow this book along with practical, you will have a good grip over SQL. Moreover, once you complete this book, you can go ahead with more advanced books from Sams as well because they have different editions releasing time to time. You can get this book on Amazon by visiting this link.

  1. Head First SQL: Your Brain on SQL — A Learner’s Guide

This book is another excellent resource to learn SQL by reading and practising. Lynn Beighley authored this book. In this book, proper visuals are created so that you understand things quickly. The book has received very good ratings on Amazon.com, and the comments are positive as well. These all show that the book is a real masterpiece, and you must not miss to read it. It has great SQL tutorial for beginners. Get this book here.

Apart from these, there are hundreds of books available to learn SQL. You can start reading and learning by reading one by one.

Books are not the best way to learn SQL but a great way for sure if the learner is serious about learning. If you are not the one that is consistent and patient, then learning from the book alone is tough for you. You can check out online courses that I am going to discuss further in this post.

While learning SQL through books, you must keep in mind that SQL is not a theoretical subject so it doesn’t require only reading but it requires you keep reading and try all the queries by creating dummy databases as well so that you can learn about the errors you get while executing the queries. All these help you learn things in a better way.

How to Learn SQL using Online Courses?

There are many free and paid online courses available in the form of videos and practical. You can try them to learn SQL as well. Many online SQL Tutorials for beginners are there online.

Below are few of those courses:

  1. Codecademy

Codecademy offers a well-structured tutorial course that you can learn by reading the explanation of the commands and queries. And, the best thing is you can practice the same in real time on this site’s online editor. Though I haven’t tried learning SQL on Codecademy, I completed HTML/CSS course on this site, and the learning was fun and easy. In my opinion, this is the best SQL tutorial for beginners. If you are starting out, go ahead, join Codecademy, and start learning SQL.

best way to learn SQL

Just look at the above screenshot, in which you will see the very first thing “Learn” under which you will get to read something about the lesson, and then you will see “instruction” which you have to check, and do accordingly in the code editor. And then click on “Run” once it is successfully executed, you will see green check under the instruction. Also, result will be displayed on the right side, and at the end, the database schema is also given that tells you what type of data stored in the database. This is the example of first code. Once you are done, you can click “Next” to move to the next lesson. I love Codecademy because learning with this is fun and it makes things simpler as well. This is the complete syllabus of SQL on Codecademy:

best way to learn sql

Few lessons are free, and few lessons are paid. Start learning here.

  1. Khan Academy

Khan Academy is renowned for offering various learning courses. It provides practice exercises and instructional videos to make you learn the subject lesson by lesson. Check out this link to know the syllabus of SQL on this website. You will see that they have everything covered which means you can start learning from scratch and become expert gradually.

However, this is a paid course. If you got some budget, you can try this online course as well.

Apart from these, there are many other online courses for SQL are available on sites like Udemy, Lynda, etc.

These are the SQL tutorials for beginners as well as the one who have already learned basics. This is surely the best way to learn SQL because you get proper instructions and learning material.

Learning SQL from Offline training and coaching

Not everyone can self-learn SQL or anything. So that for them, offline coaching classes can work well in which they are taught by a teacher or trainer. There are many offline SQL training and certification centres you can find around you. Pick the one that has the best SQL faculties, and join to start learning.

Final Words

As I said at the beginning of this post, there are many ways you can learn SQL. The thing matters is which way is fit for you. Everyone is different from each other. Hence the way of learning for each of them is different as well. So, whichever way to learn SQL fits for you, you should choose that.

My personal opinion is, you should first try with online courses and books. Try learning consistently using them at least for a month and see if you are actually learning it or not. If you find it boring and are not learning properly, then go ahead with the offline coaching. Even there are many online tutors available who can give you one to one classes on Skype. You have to look for such tutors on Google.

If you have any question, do write in the comments, and let me know which one is the best way to learn SQL in your opinion? Or if you have some other best way to learn SQL then do share that too in the comment section.

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