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How to Learn SQL Without Any Programming Knowledge

If you think that learning SQL is only for programmers, you are deeply wrong. This skill is totally within your grasp! SQL is not just popular and in demand; it’s also quite easy and intuitive to learn. Read on to find out more!

You’re searching for inspiration on how to start learning SQL. Maybe you want to change your job, or want to become more competitive in the job market. Maybe you’re dealing with huge amounts of data, analyzing them or collecting them, and you feel that an Excel file is not enough. If only there was a tool that could search databases for what is needed. Oh, wait! That is exactly what SQL does!

In this article, I will show you the best ways of learning SQL. I’ll especially discuss the use of online SQL courses, which are rich sources of knowledge and perfect places to practice your new skills. If this is your first time with SQL, check out our SQL Basics track. It’s a comprehensive training path that requires zero computer programming or IT experience.

You probably have many questions regarding learning SQL. I’ll focus on the main issues that all SQL beginners have.

What Is SQL?

Structured Query Language (SQL) is a programming language that can “talk” to databases. It is a powerful tool that can help you find needed details, compare them, and draw conclusions.

SQL was designed for managing and manipulating relational databases. It operates by using various commands to interact with the database; a few of these commands are SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE.

Does this seem too difficult? Think of a database as a huge library, where all the books are placed in catalogs of different subjects. Each subject represents a table in the database, and each book is like a row of data stored within the table. SQL is like the person who helps you find the book you need. You tell them what you're looking for, and they go through the catalog and tell you on which shelf you can find your book.

SQL can help you add new information to the database, update existing information, or delete information that's no longer needed. If you’d like more details about SQL, check out this article about SQL's history and many uses.

What Makes SQL Easy to Learn?

SQL was designed to be learned and used by non-IT professionals. It uses simple English-like phrases to describe database operations, so it's relatively easy to grasp the basic concepts and syntax of the language. Commands are designed to be easy to read and understand.

learn SQL without programming knowledge

SQL is also a declarative language. This means that you tell the database what you want it to do and it figures out the most efficient way to do it. This makes it easier for users to work with SQL because they don't need to worry about the technical details of how the database is actually performing the operations.

The big advantage of SQL is that there is a wealth of resources available. SQL has been around for decades and is widely used; that’s why there is a vast amount of resources to learn it. There are many books, online tutorials, and courses that will help you start learning.

How and Where to Start Learning SQL

You can learn SQL without any programming knowledge, but you need to be motivated and determined. When you’re starting from scratch, it is good to ensure that you use a reliable source of knowledge.

There are many ways of learning. You can start with books about SQL or watching tutorials on YouTube, but the most effective way to learn a skill like SQL is taking an online course. Such training is designed for all types of learners.

Why is a course like SQL Basics perfect for complete beginners? First of all, it has a complete set of theory and practice. You don’t need to figure out where to start your learning journey. The course is arranged so that you start with simple topics. This allows you to gradually understand how SQL works. Each topic comes with a bit of theory and an example. Then you exercise your knowledge by writing and running actual SQL queries. Sound a bit scary? Don’t worry – everything happens in an online environment that was created specifically for learners to try new things, make mistakes, and fix them.

How Do’s Courses Work?

First of all, you don’t have to install anything on your computer. With an online course, you will get all the tools needed. You just need a computer with an Internet connection and a browser. Find some quiet space or whatever place you like and start. With this course, you will learn really fast.

All courses from are interactive, so you will learn through practice. After completing the SQL Basics course, you will have written over 100 SQL queries! In each exercise, you do a little bit of reading, then you solve an exercise related to what you’ve read. The task in the exercise is to write actual SQL code. The platform runs your code on a real database, then checks your solution and tells you if it’s correct or not. Whenever you get stuck, you can use a hint. You can also discuss your tough questions with the learning community.

This online course basically teaches you how to get the data from a database. You will learn about fundamental constructions in SQL – how to fetch the data you want, how to combine data from multiple tables, how to do simple computations on data, and how to aggregate data. The data in the course and the exercises are designed to resemble real-world problems.

SQL Basics was designed for beginners, but is also good for people who already have some SQL knowledge but want to develop or sharpen their skills. This is a good way to refresh and consolidate your SQL knowledge.

learn SQL without programming knowledge

The course consists of 8 parts divided into short lessons. There are 129 exercises, and it takes about 10 hours to complete the course. If you want, you can easily finish it within a week.

Of course, you will achieve the best result when you adjust how you learn to your personal preferences. Consider how you learn most effectively. Pick the time of the day when your brain is ready to learn, and find a suitable space. Learn just as long as you feel is right. Don’t force yourself. If you can learn only half an hour per day, it’s fine. Do what you can to learn regularly and effectively. And have fun with it!

Learning with an online course always gives you the possibility to go back to lessons you want to refresh. You can learn at your own pace and take in as much as you need to for any given time.

After You Learn Basic SQL, What’s Next?

When you finish SQL Basics, it is important to continue learning. SQL is a language; if you don’t use it, you will easily forget it. Nurture your further development by exercising your SQL knowledge. In other words, practice – a lot.

Our SQL Practice Set is designed for people who’ve completed the SQL Basics course. It’s the perfect place to practice all basic SQL constructions. The course contains 88 exercises ranging from simple tasks like a SELECT … FROM  to more advanced problems involving multiple subqueries. This practice set will clearly show your strengths and weaknesses, so you can focus on where you need to improve. The estimated time to complete this practice set is also around 10 hours.

learn SQL without programming knowledge

When you feel more confident with core SQL topics, you can start sharpening particular skills. For example, you might decide to delve into joins, which allow you to access data from multiple tables. Our SQL JOINs course will give you extensive practice with SQL joins, which are often challenging to SQL beginners. This course has 93 exercises, with sections on different aspects of SQL JOINs.

Keep Learning SQL

Finally, if you want to practice regularly over the long term, try our Monthly SQL Practice challenges. Each challenge has a specific theme and contains 5-10 exercises that you can complete in an hour or so. The problems are always intriguing; so far, we’ve helped design a flower garden, learned some interesting facts about the cosmos, and explored some winter resorts in Tirol.

Besides online courses, you can check SQL tutorials for beginners, read books and blog articles, and constantly expand your knowledge. At the end, there is always a reward. It can be a satisfaction as well as a new SQL dream job. So don’t hesitate – start learning SQL today!