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How Can SQL Developers Remember Everything They Learn?

Are you at the beginning of your SQL journey? Congratulations, great choice! But you may find the knowledge you gain leaks with time. Find out what SQL developers do to remember everything they learn for a long time.

If you learn SQL, the road to the expert level is long, winding, and bumpy. But don't worry – we've all been through it. You know perfectly well it's worth it. And if you don't already know, here are the reasons why you should start learning SQL NOW!

If you've already made your initial attempts to learn SQL, that's great. Your first experiences are of great importance in the future stages. Why? After all, you already know which learning methods are effective for you. Video tutorials? Interactive online courses? Or maybe just reading, taking notes, or creating artistic graphs?

Any of these may work for you. And they all have one thing in common: after a while, you may not remember what you learned at the beginning.

It's great you’re here! Because in this article, we explain how to learn effectively, how to remember all the secrets of SQL for infinity, and how to avoid making mistakes while learning.

Ready, set, go!

SQL Is Coming – Better Get This Party Started!

A SQL course is like a gym. You can come over and see what it all looks like. You can check out what machines (functions) there are, what type of people come there (jobs), and what effects they have on people (high salaries). But you won't gain much just from looking at it, right?

To be the best athlete at this gym, you need to exercise (practice SQL online or offline). Becoming one of the best ones takes a long time and a lot of effort. But as you can see, nothing is impossible – there are many great SQL athletes. Once you get to know the SQL syntax (learn how to use machines), everything becomes easier.

And it is with practicing you become successful! If you like taking on challenges, we have something special for you. Once a month, we share a special track that lets you review everything you have learned. And it's important to start your SQL adventure (choose the right gym) with...

The Right Source of SQL Knowledge

There are many great quality courses and tutorials on the Internet. But let's face it – anyone on the Internet can be an “expert,” not necessarily those who are right. So, choosing a good source of SQL knowledge is fundamental. Over time, you can distinguish between what is great for practical use and what is just empty talk.

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Courses from provide you with new knowledge and unique value. You practice SQL online on specific examples and real databases. In addition, you have access to hints and the option of contacting specialists directly.

It's hard to find a place where you can learn a lot and feel like you're having a good time. But there is one catch, just like in school: unfortunately, no one can open your head and insert a new skill. Life is not The Sims; unfortunately, it’s not enough to enter the code to develop faster. To remember, to use, and to earn money with SQL, you need to put a lot of time and effort into learning and practicing.

Start Using SQL Without the Stress and the Sleepless Nights

Stay calm. The huge amount of material is just an illusion. Or not?

On the plus side, most of the features you learn in the beginning appear later in everything you do. Even at an advanced level.

Hey, unlike some programming languages, such as JAVA or C++, SQL has a very simple syntax. You need just a few commands to start working with SQL. So, don't get upset. Practice. At your own pace. Without the pressure.

I can imagine it may be stressful. Especially when you learn SQL to improve the quality of your life. But try to take it easy. Stress is not good for learning, believe me. It doesn’t make it easier. Sleep well, take your time, try new methods of staying focused, and practice a lot.

But how do you practice when you are just starting to learn or are still at the SQL Basics stage? It is actually very easy.

Install a Relational Database Management System on Your Computer

Do you know you can install a database environment on your PC in less than 15 minutes? What's more, you can use them exactly the way that suits you best.

Here are our installation guides:

But to practice SQL, you don't need to install or set up anything on your computer. You just need a good online course.

Learn how to Practice PostgreSQL online. Writing SQL queries is the most effective way to practice SQL syntax. Practice both basic functions and more extensive queries.

Practicing on ready-made databases and courses is beneficial. This is how you learn to put theory into real life. You can build a practice database yourself or download it from GitHub or another developer platform. It’s crucial to become familiar with SQL from the practical side.

Communicate or at least observe the activity of professionals on SQL forums and sites. SQL practitioner communities can teach you much more than YouTube professors. But you don’t have to search for tasks on other pages. We have our valuable tracks for both PostgreSQL and MS SQL Server that get you up to speed quickly.

Find Your Own Method for Learning SQL

To the best of my knowledge, everyone has different stimuli. I know I'm not the second Columbus, but this obvious fact is very important. Well, when I started, I looked through a whole lot of text and video guides. I have the worst memories of these.

At that time, I found myself completely missing what the author had said as if he created a tutorial for himself and not for people who had no idea about SQL. I didn't remember what I just read/heard after 5 minutes. That just wasn't my method.

Had I known at the beginning of my SQL journey that I didn't have to force myself to listen to the guy in the video, I would have saved a lot of time and energy… as well as nerves and a sense of hopelessness. Not everyone learns at the same pace. Not everyone knows how to use databases and understands SQL syntax right away. For me, watching a video, listening to a podcast, or reading a few articles was definitely not enough.

Cheat sheets and other study aids are very important. You won’t get an F if you use them – it's not an exam. Learning SQL is about knowing which functions to use, when to use them, and how to use SQL syntax.

So, feel free to use our SQL Cheat Sheets. A good start is the one for SQL Basics, the one for Standard SQL Functions, the one for JOINs, and the one for SQL Window Functions.

When I learn SQL, I do it my way. You should, too. Even with cheating!

Concentrate and Remember New Things Better

Maybe you already know how you learn best. Trust your inclinations. If you like colorful notes, create them. If you learn by talking and passing on knowledge, torment your family and friends with fresh interesting facts from the world of SQL. There is no wrong way if you are learning new things. The most important thing is that it be effective.

Several methods can help you stay focused. As we all know, the more focused you are, the more you remember.

Listening to Good Tunes

According to research by Anastasia Kotsopoulou and Susan Hallam (available here), and my article, for some people, music is learning-friendly. If you are a music person, you surely appreciate the salutary influence of tunes on acquiring new knowledge. In my case, it’s essential. I can't motivate myself to learn or concentrate properly if I don't tune in to music.

So, play your favorite track and read on – it gets more and more interesting!

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Analyzing Queries and Using Real-Life Examples

Nothing is as good as analyzing real problems. If you want to see how you can solve a specific problem with SQL, all you have to do is visit appropriate websites.

I recommend browsing websites intended for database communities. These are where people dealing with SQL every day share their dilemmas and look for answers to complex questions. You can find both advanced SQL and novice threads there. Something for everyone!

Here’s a list of links to some websites worth visiting from time to time:

  1. We Learn SQL: A Facebook discussion group with people from all over the world. With various levels of knowledge of SQL. You find tips for beginners, but most of all, you can ask your own questions, which will surely be answered. Learn better in a group of people!
  2. Stack Overflow is a huge community of people who code professionally. You find a lot of valuable questions and comments about SQL, both from experienced professionals and those just learning. You find the answer to almost any question that ever comes to your mind (a similar place is Support at, which you can contact whenever you need to!).
  3. Forums of database management system vendors, such as Oracle or Microsoft: If you are learning on a specific DBMS, then using tips from their discussion forums is a sensible step. These forums are dedicated to solutions by specific vendors, so you avoid misunderstandings and hints that don’t work.
  4. com Cookbook: Specific questions with specific answers, along with sample queries and practical suggestions for solving problems. There is one for each DBMS in our offerings. Seriously, it's worth a look!

Taking Notes

It’s widely recognized – including in the scientific community – that learning by stimuli is the most effective. The biggest advantage of taking notes is that you put twice your effort into learning.

Let me explain: if you watch a video tutorial that lasts 30 minutes, you can't remember much. After all, it's 30 minutes of pure technical information. During these 30 minutes, you probably distract yourself a few times: remembering that you haven't paid your electricity bill this month or that you need to gas your car up.

Taking notes while learning not only allows you to focus more on the content (because you don’t want to omit any important stuff in your notes) but also repeats what you learn for the second time: once listening, the second time taking notes. The best is the third time when you look at your notes – you remember what was in the video, and it becomes easier for you to associate solutions!

Using Memory Methods

I can name at least a few effective methods for keeping focused. Music, relaxation techniques, planning the learning process, flashcards, memory tests, giving lectures for loved ones (even if they are not interested in the topic), associations, graphs, and mind maps.

I especially recommend planning the learning process and applying relaxation techniques. Besides music, relaxation techniques work great for me. Maybe for you, too? It’s worth a try.

Before you sit down to study, prepare your surroundings. Get rid of any distractions, mute your phone, and log out of social media. You can light incense or a candle with your favorite scent. Make yourself a cup of green tea, yerba mate, or coffee. Stretch before sitting at your desk (or couch). Eat something nutritious. I assure you – if you prepare your mind and body well for learning, the results are much better than if you have a spontaneous learning session.

Any Supportive Method Is Good. But SQL Practice Is the Best!

Find out what works best for you. There are articles on our blog with descriptions of the learning process from various people.

Once you've found the best way to learn, go ahead and acquire your new knowledge. Have fun completing tasks, reading, and taking notes. It's really helpful.

But remember, practice is key. I recommend working with SQL Practice at You can practice SQL online, with all the necessary tools you need in one place.

Without practicing queries, your new knowledge becomes obsolete. And there is a risk it gets replaced with something else. The human mind is very capacious and well organized. It's like an automated data storage tank (just like a DBMS!) that removes unused data to make room for something better.

SQL is valuable content that should have its place in your head. So, don't let the effort and the time you put into studying go to waste. I guarantee learning SQL and maintaining this knowledge will pay off in the future!