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How to Learn SQL Fast

Are you in a hurry to improve your data skills? I’ve got good news: you can learn SQL fast and move to a whole new level of data proficiency.

You work with data every day, but you've had enough of how long it takes to process your giant table in Excel. The time has come for a much better tool: SQL! But how long does it take to learn SQL? In this article, I'll show you how to learn SQL fast and become the Vin Diesel of data – how to become the "Fast and Querious".

Let's start from the very beginning: What exactly is SQL? SQL stands for “Structured Query Language”. It was developed in the 1970s by IBM employees Raymond Boyce and Donald Chamberlin to manage data stored in relational databases.

SQL has become the standard for communication with relational database servers. Many modern relational database systems use SQL to communicate with users, which is why it is often said that using relational databases is SQL.

One of SQL’s biggest advantages is that it has been standardized. Since 1986/87, SQL has been supported by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the American National Institute for Standardization (ANSI).

In 1992 and 2003, this standard was expanded to include further functions. However, SQL still retained its structure. This means that when you learn SQL, you can be sure that everyone in the world uses the same programming language. The knowledge you’ve acquired will not go out of use.

You can learn more about SQL from our YouTube channel, We Learn SQL. Remember to click ‘subscribe’!

How Popular Is SQL?

Is this 40-year-old query language still popular? Well, look at the independent Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2019. In the rankings – which are based on the responses of professional developers – SQL came third, ahead of Python, Java, C, C#, PHP, and others. Only HTML/CSS and JavaScript are more popular.

Most Popular Technologies

We can safely assume that SQL will be among the most popular languages for years and will not disappear from the market. Plus, it is extremely sought after by employers. Analysts, marketers, or accountants could use SQL as their ‘main language’ while programmers, system developers, and administrators could use it to complement their IT skill set.

Show Me the Money!

How much will I earn? The answer to this question can determine which programming language you learn. The same Stack Overflow study makes it clear: it's definitely worth learning SQL. Knowing SQL and working in the United States as an analyst or database administrator (DBA) can bring in an annual income of up to $110,000. That's a pretty reasonable salary! Imagine yourself writing database queries and getting a fat sum of money every month. Not bad! You can learn more about SQL jobs, roles, and salaries in Types of Database Jobs: Choose One of Them and Start Being Awesome.

How Hard Is It to Learn SQL?

Is learning SQL difficult? If you've ever tried to learn any programming language (even C, Python, or Java), you know you have to deal with difficult commands and functions. SQL is much simpler.

SQL is based primarily on logical sentences called queries. Instead of wondering how to extract data from a database, you just specify exactly what data you need and SQL will find it. This language uses natural words like SELECT and FROM. To start writing efficient queries, all you need are some SQL basics.

So, How Can I Learn SQL Fast?

It all depends on how motivated you are and which resources you plan to use. I recommend our LearnSQL.com courses. They are interactive and contain a lot of practical exercises. We believe that you can only learn SQL well by writing queries and practicing your acquired knowledge on real-life examples.

You can take various individual courses to start learning SQL. However, a much better idea is choosing the SQL Fundamentals track and then doing the SQL Practice track. Both contain the necessary basics and will get you writing SQL quickly.

SQL Fundamentals SQL Practice

Either way, make sure you start with the SQL Basics course. It teaches the basics of SQL syntax and quickly moves on to writing more complex queries. First, you’ll learn how to extract data from one table. Later, you’ll discover how to work with more than one table and group query results. All of this you can immediately apply in your everyday work (if you work with data, that is).

The SQL Basics course should take you a maximum of 10 hours to complete. During this time, you’ll see how to retrieve information from a database, build basic reports from scratch, and write complex WHERE conditions. You’ll also be able to combine multiple tables using JOIN, write simple subqueries, and group data using aggregate functions.

SQL Basics

Once you learn the basics, you'll be able to move on to more advanced topics. In the Standard SQL Functions course, you will learn how to utilize common SQL text and numeric functions, select and implement SQL date and time functions, and work with NULLs and advanced aggregate functions. You will get to practice your skills on 211 interactive exercises, which should take you about 18 hours.

The last course in the SQL Fundamentals track is How to INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE Data in SQL. Here you will learn how to use those SQL commands to correctly perform CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) operations. You will discover how to deal with auto-filling values. You’ll also combine SQL data manipulation commands with IDENTITY, SEQUENCE, and NEWID() and see how to modify data using default column values. It should take you no more than 8 hours to finish the 52 exercises in this course.

Then it's time for the SQL Practice track. It opens with the SQL JOINs course, which should take about 10 hours. JOIN functions are one of the most commonly used features of the SQL language. Knowing how to query data from multiple tables is an absolute must for every SQL user.

Next, you’ll practice all your new knowledge in the SQL Practice Set. There are 10 hours of well-designed exercises so you can see how much you’ve learned. It’s quite a comprehensive review!

SQL Practice Set

If we add up the hours needed to do the above courses, we get 56 hours. That's all it takes to learn SQL. If you did everything without stopping, it would take two and a half days. Of course, no one can sit in front of the computer for that long! You have to sleep, eat, and do other things. So, plan your study schedule well.

Plan to Study SQL Daily

Let's assume that we decide to devote two hours a day to learning SQL on the above track. Learning SQL well enough to use it for complex tasks would take about 28 days. That’s not even a full month. This is all that separates you from using one of the most popular languages in the IT industry.

When studying, be sure to manage your time. The most important thing is consistency. If you’re not sure how to schedule time every day for SQL, try an app. I use Google Calendar every day. It allows me to plan my day and reminds me of scheduled activities. There are many alternative applications for Android and iOS.

You can also check out Any.do, TimeTune, or Evernote. Most of these solutions can be used as browser add-ons. If you get distracted by the internet, you may want to explore some online distraction killers.

Motivation will also be important. Think about how your life will change as you learn SQL. Think about all that you can achieve. Each completed exercise will bring you closer to your goal.

Tell your family and friends that you are learning SQL. Such a public declaration will help you find the strength to continue. Others may support you and remind you of your purpose. It’s very helpful, especially if you start to doubt you’ll make it.

Why Use LearnSQL.com?

Now you know how long it takes to learn SQL. LearnSQL.com is one of the best places for achieving your goal. People from all over the world use our courses. The trust given to us by many professionals and major companies speaks for itself. Our courses are carefully planned, logically arranged, and full of real-world tasks. Plus, our experts are here to answer your questions and provide help on difficult tasks. There is also our vibrant Facebook community, who support each other and share their experiences.

What more could you want to learn SQL fast? Don't wait any longer. Start your journey today.

Summary

There are many ways to learn SQL. People might tell you to watch some YouTube videos or read a book. However, until you start writing SQL queries yourself, everything will just be theory. Practice is the key – and you’ll get plenty of that in LearnSQL.com’s courses. Then, go get your dream job and change your life. I did it, and you can too!

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