What is SQL? The Ultimate Guide For Beginners Of SQL And Database

Want to know everything about SQL programming?

Great !!! Let’s take a deep dive into it.


Step-by-step complete Guide for SQL beginners


But before that, here is an interesting fact that you should know-

Isn’t it a gigantic figure? Definitely !!!

Let’s come back to our topic- What is SQL? An Ultimate Guide For A Beginner of SQL Programming.

By the end of this SQL guide-post, you’ll understand pretty much everything about SQL and also why it’s a crucial skill for any programmer.

I would suggest you to save time by traversing the below Table of contents (TOC) in order to find your questions for SQL programming first.

 


 

#Q1 What is SQL?

Almost all the web applications, Android or iOS applications even a simple calculator’s functionality depend only on one thing – “The Data”. It’s a core part of all of them.

SQL programming language is used for Databases


That’s why, handling data becomes really essential in each and every scenario. Here, the Databases come into the picture. A database is a system that allows data to be easily stored, organized and fetched.

SQL stands for Structured Query Language, is the standard query language, which is used to save, manipulate and retrieve information directly from the databases.

It’s a powerful query language that is been there for a long time, a number of Tech Giants are actively hiring SQL developers and will remain there for the upcoming many years for sure.

#Q2 Is SQL a programming language?

SQL has been widely accepted as the language for data management, and there are a few implementations of the procedural language by different vendors to drastically enhance the capabilities of SQL.

  • T-SQL : Stands for Transact-SQL, developed by Microsoft. It’s a procedural language that adds some extra functionality in Standard SQL.
  • PL/SQL : By Oracle databases,
  • PL/pgSQL : By PostgreSQL database, and similar others.

But, What is PL/SQL (Procedural Language) used for?  PL/SQL enhances the capabilities of SQL with parameters, decision making, loops and others, which are the basic features of all the popular programming languages (Like- Python, Java, C, C++ and similar). That’s why, SQL is widely considered as a programming language too.

#Q3 How does SQL work?

Most of the beginners think about SQL in the same way as Python, Java or similar, but SQL is not like these programming languages.

SQL has its own keywords, markup and a style of writing code (more precisely Queries). Whenever we need to insert, update or search for an information, we use SQL programming to fetch it from the database.

 

SQL helps to search records from databases

 

Let say, we have a huge list of students, and we need the ranking of one of the students. So, in this case, we need to fire a ‘Select Query’ to a database which’ll search for the required information from a table-like structure and give you the desired results. That’s how the SQL works.

📊 Do you know?
In 1970 − Dr. Edgar F. Codd of IBM, best known as the father of relational databases, described a relational model for databases. After a few years, in 1974, SQL − Structured Query Language appeared for the first time.

#Q4 How do I start and use SQL?

The SQL is one of the most important skills for any programmer, irrespective of language, technology, framework, and domain.

So it’s absolutely worthful to start learning SQL programming. You can start and easily learn its basics within a week even if you are new in programming because it’s coding statements are more like any English sentence.

To start using SQL, First, you need to set up a database like MySQL or Oracle. Then, you’ll write queries (statements in SQL coding) and fire them against any database. The SQL and DB engine translates your query, fetches the data from one or more logical tables stored inside the database and returns the result in the form of a table.

Data in different tables are similar to information stored in different Excel spreadsheets, because both of them have rows and columns which ultimately create a tabular structure. I would recommend you, if you want to Start out strong, try to grab the big picture of what’s happening in the background and practice according to it.

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#Q5 What are the basic commands of SQL?

SQL is quiet a stable technology because it has been around for years, and it will definitely be needed in the upcoming future too. All of the core-commands of SQL are well categorized.

Here I’m sharing some crucial SQL commands with examples posted on my learning Github account. Written codes need time-to-time review as technology is changing everyday (recently reviewed in November, 2020). Here are the categories of the fundamental SQL commands:

Types of SQL Commands:

DDL : Data Definition Language commands, mainly used to create & modify the structure of databases and tables.

SQL Commands

  • CREATE : Command used to Create a new table, a view of a table, or other objects in the database.
  • ALTER : Command used to Modify an existing database object (table or similar).
  • DROP : Command used to delete an entire table, a view of a table or other objects in the database.

DML : Data Manipulation Language commands, used to Search, Save, Update or Delete the data.

SQL Commands

  • SELECT : Commands used to retrieve certain records from one or more tables.
  • INSERT : Commands used to save or create a record.
  • UPDATE : Commands used to modify records.
  • DELETE : Commands used to Delete records.

DCL : Data Control Language, basically used to provide and control the rights of the users.

SQL Command:

  • GRANT : Command gives a privilege to the user.
  • REVOKE : Command takes back the privileges granted to the user.

These are the SQL commands used to perform tasks such as creating, reading, updating, and deleting records in the tables in a database.

#Q6 How do I get good at SQL?

To be able to communicate with the databases directly, we majorly use the above fundamental SQL commands. But, for better SQL programming skills, there a are few important commands that you should know about.

Filters of SQL:

SQL provides some helpful clauses or commands using which we can easily filter the result.

WHERE clause

The WHERE clause is used to filter records that we’re fetching from different objects. Let’s say we have a table of Customers. If we want to filter a few customers that are from country “USA”, we use the WHERE statement-

SELECT * 
FROM Customers 
WHERE country = "USA";

 

AND, OR, and NOT

Using AND, OR, and NOT clauses, we can smoothly combine multiple conditions. For example, if you want customers from the USA or India, you use the OR statement.

SELECT * 
FROM Customers 
WHERE country = "USA" 
      OR country = "India";

 

Some other clauses:

  • ORDER BY – Used to sort filtered unsorted data.
  • BETWEEN – To select and choose the range.
  • LIKE – Helps to filter the table with a specific pattern.

Definitely, there are more other commands in SQL programming such as Joins, Aggregate functions, Indexes and Triggers, which help you to write SQL queries, design and develop beautiful Stored procedures.

But, don’t get afraid of them…

Just keep practicing step-by-step along with understanding the reasons behind using any command, and sooner you’ll definitely be better in SQL programming.

 

What is SQL - SQL translates data into understandable information


#Q7 Where can I practice SQL for free?

If you are a SQL beginner, and want to make your SQL programming journey a lot simpler, here is a helpful online resource for you, where you can practice SQL for free. It’s powered by the W3Schools (and shared by one of the members of ShubhamKLogic Facebook Group. say- ‘Thanks to Ahana‘).

Here, you’ll get a number of tables with hundreds of records in a virtual database for free. You can perform any SQL command on them such as INSERT / UPDATE / DELETE,  others and practice SQL for free.

#Q8 What is Database explain?

As the name suggests, it’s more like a base for any amount of data. A data becomes information when it is processed, and turned into something meaningful.

Like, based on the website’s cookie data, saved on visitor’s browser, if a website can analyze that generally, 90% men of age 20-35 visit our site more, this might be game-changing information for that site to serve better and user-targeted service to its visitors.

For easy maintenance, almost unlimited storage and complete protection, databases play an important role whether it’s a web app, mobile app or anything similar.

#Q9 Why do we need a database?

Database can be software-based or hardware-based, with one major purpose, storing the data. A Database is a collection of related data organized in a logical way that data can be easily accessed, managed and updated by another software or engineer.

  • Databases can store near to unlimited numbers of records efficiently.
  • With databases, it’s very quick and easy to find any information.
  • Databases provide reliable ways to add new data, to edit or delete old data.

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#Q10 Who uses a database?

Literally everywhere in the tech field. However, databases were designed keeping in mind to operate on large-scale computers.

But now, databases are used in a variety of areas-

In Enterprise Environment – Corporations rely on Databases as it’s their backbone. Often, these databases are stored on desktop, laptops, mini-computers even super-computers too.

In Departmental Environment – Marketing, Finance and similar other places where computers like a core-employee, databases play quiet a crucial role.

Others places – A number of digital devices, smartphones, tablets, workstations and what not.

#Q11 Do all databases use SQL?

If we see the Top 12 SQL and NoSQL Databases, 8 of them happily use the SQL. Here is A great report shared by the database ranking website DB-Engines. I decided to take a closer look of their top 12 Databases, which one uses the SQL:

A Report of Top Databases in 2020


Lion’s share in the industry-

  • Oracle 12c : Yes
  • MySQL : Yes
  • Microsoft SQL Server : Yes

Other DBs uses SQL or not-

  • PostgreSQL : Yes
  • MongoDB : No
  • IBM Db2 : Yes
  • Redis : No
  • Elasticsearch : No
  • SQLite : Similar to SQL
  • Cassandra : No
  • Microsoft Access: Yes
  • MariaDB : Yes

In this list of high performing databases of 2020, 8 among the top 12 use SQL as a language for communication.

#Q12 Is SQL enough to get a job?

SQL is a must to have and the most dominant skill in a programmers’ bag. Although there are a couple of alternatives to SQL, still it’s in high demand. Because a number of Tech companies including Amazon, Netflix, Uber, Google, Facebook and others are working with SQL for the past many years.

Let’s have a look at the Stack overflow’s 2020 reports-

Learning SQL is worthful as its in top 3 technologies of 2020 - StackOverflow
Report based on 1.2 Million Programmers – StackOverflow

According to the Survey of the Stackoverflow, SQL is in the Top 3 Technologies in the tech world.

Hundreds of Companies are happily paying $50k – $200k to a ‘real’ Data Scientist. If you want to be a Data Analyst or Data Scientist, learning SQL and having knowledge of a couple of databases would help you a lot.

Other Frequent Queries of SQL Beginners-

#Q13 Is SQL a good skill?

Definitely yes. SQL is like a silver bullet for any programmer who wants to build a career in the programming domain.

#Q14 Is SQL difficult to learn?

Honestly saying- No (for me). It’s just about how do you practice and follow the steps of learning any new skills. When I was learning SQL from scratch, It took almost 25-30 days with 4 hours a day to thoroughly understand this awesome query language. And it helps me a lot even today.

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#Q15 What are SQL skills?

Having SQL skills would help you to get useful information from any database. Like, How to insert records?, How to update a column?, What are the top 3 records in a particular table or result? and similar others.

#Q16 What are top 3 skills for data analyst?

Data Analytics has really become one of the most exciting fields in recent times, and SQL is a must to have skill for any Data Analyst. With SQL, having knowledge of databases and programming languages helps a lot to succeed in the field, exponentially.

#Q17 Is SQL harder than Python?

First and foremost, SQL and Python are two different kinds of technologies. It’s as good as comparing a super-car with a super-computer. But for your satisfaction, most of the programmers say that SQL is quiet easier than Python programming language.

#Q18 Is SQL the same as MySQL?

If you have carefully read this article, you would already have an answer for this. MySQL is an open-source (free to use) database that accepts SQL commands to give you any information.

Databases stores data of any form


#Q19 Can I learn SQL without any programming knowledge?

SQL is an English like language, used to query databases. So, Yes, you can learn SQL without any programming knowledge. However, having skills to code in Python, Java, C or any other core-programming language would take you to the next level of understanding it and to get good in SQL programming.

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We Learned Today 

Programming is like an ocean and there are thousands of different streams going outside from it. That’s why, I decided to write a complete post “What is SQL? The Ultimate Guide For Beginners Of SQL And Database”.

In this helpful post, I’ve shared Free SQL learning Resources, Facts and proven Tech statistics to help all the beginners of SQL stream and resolve their doubts that come into the mind while learning SQL programming.

I’d spent uncountable hours to save your time and provided solutions to all those questions of SQL programming, like, What is SQL and similar other.

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With a better fundamental practice and memorization of simple syntax, you’re industry ready to work comfortably with SQL and database systems.

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