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Kickstart SQL Learning with Our SQL Basics Course

Updated on: February 19, 2024

Why learn SQL from our interactive online courses? Two reasons: 1) Power up your career. 2) Avoid being a noob.

What does it mean to be a noob? “Noob” comes to us from the world of computer games. It’s a combination of “newbie” and “beginner”. It’s not a very nice word. It means that someone has found you an inexperienced player and (even worse) resistant to learning. This resistance is what’s important. Everyone starts as a beginner, but only some people are noobs. Noobs act stupid. Noobs ignore the rules. Each experienced player will forgive a beginner for their lack of experience, but not wanting to improve your skills is the unforgivable crime of “noobility”.

When it comes to your career, you don’t want to be a noob. In this article, I will tell you how to prevent career noobility by learning SQL – and why our SQL Basics course is a good choice to support your goals.

Start Learning with Our SQL Basics Course

How to Learn SQL and Avoid Being a Career Noob

Many people who know the benefits of learning SQL decide not to do anything about it. They can be told that the modern world is based on data and that it's good to know how to use it. They know that learning SQL often means you can get a better job and earn more. You can tell them all of this, and they'll decide to ignore it and do their thing anyway. Why? Because they are SQL noobs.

I don't want you to become one of them, so I decided to create a recipe for gaining experience points and reaching your next career level. But we will not use illegal cheat codes in this game. Get ready for some solid learning and leveling up!

Level 1 - Create a Hero

As cliche as it sounds, the first step to stopping SQL noobdom is to decide that you don't want to be a noob anymore. You don’t have to dramatically shout out your oath on the shore of the ocean. Just think about what you can gain – a new skill, the ability to draw interesting conclusions from data and make better strategic decisions for your business.

If you are not convinced by arguments about personal development, maybe cash will convince you. Employers are looking for people who know SQL. I wrote an article about the different options called Types of Database Jobs: Choose One of Them and Start Being Awesome.

Start Learning with Our SQL Basics Course

But you don't have to give up your current path to profit from SQL knowledge and the ability to work with relational databases. Maybe you’re an accountant or a marketer. Or maybe you have a website or a car wash. Learning SQL will come in handy in your business. For example, see how SQL makes you a better boss.

Whatever goal you set yourself when you start learning SQL - remember it. This memory will be useful in times of motivation crisis (and we all get them).

Decision made? Cool. In our game, you gain 1,000 experience points and advance to the next level.

Level 2 - Select Your Battlefield

In our game, learning is a battle against time, motivation, and money. These are resources that you need to manage and put into the right things. That being said, there is nothing worse than wasting time on a poor tutorial or an inaccurate knowledge source. You have several options if you want to learn SQL, so it's worth knowing which one to choose.

Start Learning with Our SQL Basics Course

First, you can watch tons of YouTube videos. I’ll warn you right away: this is not my favorite method. It has many disadvantages. Clips are usually long and not very engaging; you have to watch a ton of them before you really understand specific topics. And there is no way to test your acquired knowledge in practice. I know some interesting YouTube channels that teach SQL, but it's much better to do an interactive course. If you want to check those Youtube tutorials read on of those:

You can sign up for an SQL bootcamp in your area. However, these are usually expensive and somewhat inconvenient; you have to get there through traffic jams, etc. It’s a lot of effort. For people who normally work full time and have children, a bootcamp or physical course can be almost impossible to fit into your schedule.

But don't worry. Interactive online SQL courses are another option. But even these come with some downsides. To avoid common mistakes, I recommend that you prepare well. Here are 5 steps to becoming an effective learner.

The only thing left to do now is choose the platform you will learn on. My colleague Kamila made a great comparison of the most popular SQL e-learning platforms that offer SQL courses. compares really well with the competition. The courses are well planned and logical, and completing them gives you a recognized certificate. Plus, it’s convenient; you do not need to install or configure anything to take the course. All you need is a web browser and you can start learning and writing code.

We put a lot of emphasis on practice, so from the very beginning, you will be writing SQL queries in our console. Exercises based on real examples and business scenarios will help you spread your career wings. Learning SQL will pay off for sure; it will affect your daily work.

By reaching this point, you gain another 2,000 XP. Level up! Now it's time to choose your inventory.

Level 3 - Weapons and Armor

Start Learning with Our SQL Basics Course

At the beginning of your SQL journey, you have to decide what you want to do with your knowledge. Only then can you choose the appropriate courses. In the gaming world, it's like the choice between being a warrior or a mage. Both character classes have their own characteristics. One will use a sword and a shield, the other will use a staff and spells. This doesn't mean that a mage won't learn fencing and or a fighter won’t learn the art of healing. (If you're a gamer like me, you know the second one is a paladin.)

Let's bring it back to SQL. You have a choice between the analytical path and the engineering path. What is the difference?

Warrior - Analysis and Reporting

In the analysis learning path, you’ll learn the basics of the language and its syntax, including how to write SQL queries and use SELECT, GROUP BY, and WHERE commands. A bit further along, you’ll be introduced to common table expressions and window functions, which help you aggregate and summarize data in different ways. Finally, you’ll get a close look at using SQL reporting to analyze business metrics and customer behavior.

Remember, every journey starts with the first step. In this case, the first step is the SQL Basics course. You may have no idea what SQL is. You may have zero IT experience or have never written a single line of code. No worries - the course is designed to help you understand everything from scratch. You will discover new topics one by one and practice writing SQL queries in our console.

Start Learning with Our SQL Basics Course

For more info, see Why Take the “SQL Basics” Course at It’s an interview with the course creator and it really highlights how is different from the other online SQL courses out there.

Once you get to know the basics of SQL, you can move on to intermediate and advanced subjects. For a closer look at everything in the LearnSQL analysis learning path, see this article.

Sorcerer - Storing and Managing Data

If you dream of being a data engineer or a database administrator and you already know a bit of SQL, choose our engineering path. In the Creating Database Structure track, you will learn how to create and manage tables, views, and indexes. You’ll also discover the different data types and when and why to use them. This is important knowledge presented in a logical and organized way. For a sample on creating your first database table, see this article.

An increasing number of companies are looking for data engineers. It is a career where you won’t have to worry about a lack of job opportunities. To learn more, read these articles on what it means to be a data engineer and how much you will earn in this role.

Level 4 - Boss Fight

Now you have a clear vision of your development path and you know what to expect. It's time to face the monster: just start learning. How long does it take to learn SQL?

The answer depends on your motivation and the time you devote to action. Exact calculations are presented in this article. The estimated time to complete the 129 exercises in the SQL Basics course is around 10 hours. Of course, no one does it in one go. Assume it will take you a week. It's not much, but think how much you can gain. You are one week from a complete SQL noob to a beginner analyst. Cool!

Start Learning with Our SQL Basics Course

In computer games, you usually get an artifact after defeating a boss. In this case, you get a certificate after completing each of our SQL courses. You can easily add it to your LinkedIn profile. That's what professionals do. (If you want to see how easy it is to add a certificate to LinkedIn, see the guide.)

After You Learn SQL, What’s Next?

Once you know some SQL, start using it! Using SQL in your daily work makes you more efficient. Our SQL Cookbooks contain ready-made solutions for the most common SQL problems. When you get some solid SQL experience under your belt, you can look for a new job or start earning extra money as a SQL freelancer. Regardless of what you do next, you will surely find that it paid to learn SQL. Here you have more resources to grow your SQL skills:

Want extra XP points? How about our free SQL Skill Assessment? This hands-on test consists of 18 tasks which evaluate your SQL skills across six areas. It's designed to measure your ability to analyze data, create reports, and solve problems using SQL. A pass grade of at least 70% will earn you a Certificate of Competency in SQL (one of the best and hardest to obtain SQL certifications out there) and allow you to showcase your skills to potential employers.

When you hit this point, your career’s toughest level is complete! All achievements have been unlocked. But your SQL journey is not over. Keep learning and growing! The game is on!