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50 Best Resources for Learning SQL in 2020

Do you want to know where to learn SQL? We’ve got you covered with the ultimate list of 50 resources for learning SQL, including the best SQL courses, tutorials, books, and much, much more! Learning SQL can be hard enough without wading through thousands of websites and articles. So, we thought we’d do you a solid and put the top SQL resources here in this handy slice of the internet.

But first, why is it important to find the best places to learn SQL? Well...

Imagine if your brain surgeon told you she learned her trade through a “really intense Facebook group chat.”

really intense Facebook group chat.

Imagine if your builder said he “read a few really detailed Lego instruction booklets” and that he “should be able to build your new home, no problem at all.”

fall

Imagine if your plumber decided on a career shift to electrical engineering and told you she hasn’t done any formal training “but not to worry, it’s a very similar field.”

bath

If you’re learning SQL because of a career change, new requirements at your current job, or a meaty data project, you’ll want to know where to learn SQL, how to learn SQL, and—this one should probably come first—what on earth SQL is all about.

But enough of the sales pitch. You don’t need convincing. You’re here for the cold, hard facts. You want the list. You’re ready for the main course. Enough already with this pre-dinner poetry reading.

I hear you.

Here are the goods, my resource-hungry SQL-istas. We’ve got books. We’ve got video tutorials. We’ve got social sites. We’ve got courses. In the immortal words of the Backstreet Boys, “we’ve got it going on.”

Without further ado, here are the 50 best resources for learning SQL!

Shake Rcr 50

Best Books for Learning SQL

  1. If you’re completely green behind the ears when it comes to SQL, worry not! SQL Queries for Mere Mortals by John L. Viescas will make for a great first dive into the world of SQL. Consider this book, with its 800 pages of solid SQL information, your “SQL water wings.” It’s aimed at teaching all the SQL Basics to non-technical readers, but buyer beware! It’s by no means a casual bedtime story.
  2. Smaller in pages (76) but still jam-packed with everything you need to start your SQL journey, the SQL QuickStart Guide won’t make you an SQL pro overnight, but it’s a good way to dip your toes in the water without getting too overwhelmed.
  3. The “Sams Teach Yourself” series always produces winners when it comes to programming books. SQL in 10 Minutes may come with a click-baity sort of title, but if you accept that no, I’m not going to become an SQL expert in a mere 600 seconds, there’s a lot you can take from this gem. The best thing about this book is how beginner-friendly and easy-to-follow it is.
  4. Looking for something that actually does what it says on the cover? SQL Practice Problems is the answer to your SQL dreams. This book is for you if you’ve grasped the basics of SQL syntax and can find your way around a database. It offers nearly 60 hands-on SQL exercises, which will bring your theoretical SQL knowledge to life.
  5. The Art of SQL is the holy grail of SQL resources for those who are slightly more advanced in their SQL learning journey. With 372 pages full of SQL best practice, this book—written in the style of The Art of War by Sun Tsu—emphasizes the finer points of SQL, helping you not only to do SQL but to do it right.
  6. If you’ve nailed the basics of SQL, flipping open the SQL cookbook should be your next port of call. This book will get you whipping up more advanced SQL features such as PIVOT and UNPIVOT, Oracle’s MODEL clause, and PostgreSQL’s GENERATE_SERIES function, to name a few.
  7. To get a little more insight into the why behind data science and SQL, the book Practical SQL: A Beginners’ Guide to Storytelling with Data is a must-read.
  8. In the name of commuter convenience, the audiobook SQL Coding For Beginners will turn your wasted travel hours into some serious SQL learning time. Billing itself as an intermediate-level resource for learning SQL, the audiobook is a great way to learn SQL while on the go!

Best Courses for Learning SQL

  1. If you’re looking for the Piece de résistance of SQL courses, look no further than LearnSQL’s SQL from A to Z course track. This comprehensive basics learning path is gentle on beginners while still managing to get through everything you need to start working with SQL. The best part is that you can try it for free and see if it’s for you!
  2. Another offering from LearnSQL is the comprehensive How to INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE course—one of the best resources on the market for learning these pivotal pieces of SQL syntax!
  3. Coursera is a mega platform full of learning opportunities in every specialization you can imagine. It has some great SQL courses, including this excellent SQL for Data Science offer from UC Davis. You can give it a go for free as part of a seven-day trial, after which you’ll need to pay around $39 per month to access the four courses in this particular specialization.
  4. Also with Coursera is this great little package of four SQL courses from IBM. Take these four courses (1. What is Data Science; 2. Open Source Tools for Data Science; 3. Data Science Methodology; 4. Databases and SQL for Data Science) and you’ll earn yourself an IBM badge as a Specialist in Data Science Foundations!
  5. The final Coursera course we’ll list here is Analyzing Big Data with SQL from the folks at Cloudera. Mainly aimed at those wanting to use the big data SQL engines Apache Hive and Apache Impala, this course is also a good overview for those who want to get into big data wrangling and analysis.
  6. Over at Udemy, you’ll find a wealth of courses for SQL novices, including this useful one—The Complete SQL Bootcamp from Jose Portilla. Sometimes a little repetitive, the course otherwise has a big “thumbs up” from the Udemy community.
  7. Getting good at SQL requires a lot of hands-on experience, and the friendly folks over at Vertabelo Academy have whipped up a fantastic Practice Set course for those wanting to get their hands dirty. Taking this course will help you identify what you’re good at and what you still need to improve!
  8. Back at LearnSQL , the SQL Fundamentals in MS SQL Server course is a smart place to go if you’re planning to work in the Microsoft Server. LearnSQL offers courses not only in the Standard SQL and MS SQL Server but also in PostgreSQL. So, no matter what your specialization, LearnSQL will get you up and running and nearing SQL expertise in no time.

Best Video Tutorials for Learning SQL

  1. Manish Sharma is your man if you want step-by-step guides through every aspect of SQL learning. The founder of the popular RebellionRider.com blog, Manish walks viewers through SQL with concise, to-the-point instructional videos covering everything from SQL to PL/SQL and Oracle.
  2. If you’re looking for something a little more upbeat, Bert Wagner is an outgoing, friendly face on the SQL scene whose YouTube channel covers everything from Joining Nulls to more general topics such as keeping up to date with SQL as you journey through your career.
  3. Want to learn SQL in 10 minutes? James Vance says he can help you on that score. His channel is home to several catch-all SQL tutorials that will get you up to speed, fast. Check out: Learn Basic SQL in 10 Minutes, Learn Intermediate SQL in 20 Minutes, Fill Out Your SQL Knowledge in 15 Minutes, and Learn SQL Joins in 10(ish) Minutes.
  4. With slick videos and a friendly approach, the Programming with Mosh YouTube channel has 915,000 subscribers. While Mosh covers a lot of Python, Javascript, and C# content, he also has a great, three-hour My SQL tutorial for beginners. You can also check out Mosh’s blog and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
  5. Although Joey Blue hasn’t added to his YouTube channel in over a year, don’t let that put you off taking a look around! The view count and sheer number of uploads on his channel show you just how useful SQL learners find his tutorials. Don’t know where to start? Try this Learn SQL in 1 Hour – SQL Basics for Beginners video and go from there!
  6. The We Learn SQL YouTube channel is a growing place to pick up all the most important aspects of SQL, thanks to the friendly Adrian Wiech and his great explanations of these complex topics. Start from the beginning by watching his tutorial all about databases—it will serve you well as you progress through your SQL journey!
  7. Corey Schafer is a well-known name to those who peruse software-related video content and for good reason. With a huge catalog of tutorials, you’ll find a heap of value in his SQL tutorial playlist. Corey also manages the full gamut of social media platforms, so check out his “about” page on YouTube to head in the right direction.
  8. On The Coding Interview YouTube channel is a useful video offering 6 SQL Query Interview Questions and the best way to answer them. Take a good look at this video, and you might find yourself acing the first SQL-related job interview you walk into! If you’re looking for help with your SQL interview, we also recommend our article with SQL interview tips.

Best Resources for Practicing SQL

  1. If you have a bit of SQL knowledge under your belt but feel the need to get your hands dirty, SQL Fiddle is for you. A free site that will let you “fiddle around” with SQL queries, SQL Fiddle also helps you to link others to your test queries so you can ask for help when you need it.
  2. W3Resource is an SQL lover’s playground, full of exercises to take you from SQL toddler to big kid in no time. Whether you’re looking to learn how to retrieve data or make simple JOINs, W3Resource puts the “p” into “practice.”
  3. Testdome is the place to go if you’re scared stiff of your upcoming SQL-related interview and want to get some practice questions under your belt! The best part of Testdome is that because over 5,000 companies use their questions, you may be presented with one that you’ve already practiced!
  4. Are you looking for tests and tutorials to test yourself? SQL ZOO is teeming with both, offering practice queries so you can start to feel that what you’ve learned from your books has real-world applications.
  5. Coding Ground is all about the environment. It’s a place where you can test your best SQL queries without having to do any of the hard work setting up the SQL server.
  6. If Oracle is your jam, then you will find Oracle LiveSQL a playground for your fresh-off-the-course syntax abilities. Play around with the massive library of samples and ask for community help when you need it. What’s not to love!?
  7. There’s a final destination for all SQL practice users. It’s called actual SQL work, and you can pick up freelance gigs on sites like Guru, Upwork, and Hackerrank, to name just a few. This may sound like one giant leap past your current skill set, but once you’ve got the basics under your belt, give an easy project a go. You might surprise yourself!

Best Blogs for Learning SQL

  1. You’re reading it now, so you know it’s good! The LearnSQL blog is packed with information about learning SQL from a motley crew of talented writers and SQL experts (if we do say so ourselves) from around the world. While you’re checking out the blog, don’t forget to take a look at the SQL from A to Z course—if you’re looking for an SQL resource to rule them all, this is it! And sign up for the LearnSQL newsletter while you’re at it (pop your email address in the box below this post)—that way you’ll never miss SQL news, articles, or offers again!
  2. SQL Shack is a community blog aimed at spreading SQL server knowledge via articles written by SQL server community members. There’s a lot of great content to be found here, including posts on performance monitoring, backup and recovery, auditing, database DevOps, change management, building and deployment, Azure SQL database, and continuous integration.
  3. Brent Ozar and his self-titled site, brentozar.com, offer a wealth of information, primarily about the Microsoft SQL server but also on all things SQL. Brent also runs webcasts and training opportunities, including my personal favorite: How to Think Like the SQL Server Engine.
  4. If you’re more on #TeamOracle, then Jeff Smith’s blog, aptly titled thatjeffsmith.com, should be your first port of call. A larger-than-life character, Jeff works for Oracle but blogs in a more personal capacity. Whatever his mandate, you’ll find lots of juicy SQL bites here to keep you at the top of your game.
  5. Another oracle of Oracle advice is Steven Feuerstein, who blogs over at stevenfeuersteinonplsql.blogspot.com. Steven has been in the SQL game and self-admittedly “obsessed” since 1991. Pick his brains if you get the chance!
  6. If you’re looking for a huge community of talented writers and SQL experts, look no further than SQLServerGeeks—a large community with a great, varied blog and accompanying social media pages.
  7. Kendra Little is a Microsoft Certified Master and a Microsoft MVP. She’s an experienced keynote presenter and has a podcast and a blog that will beef up your SQL knowledge in no time.
  8. Mohammed Darab has had a 20-year IT career with 10 of those years focused on SQL. Now a Microsoft data professional, speaker, and blogger, Mohammed’s blog is a fantastic SQL resource for those hoping to learn from those who have gone before.

Best Community Hubs for Learning SQL

  1. Stack Overflow is the king of online communities for those interested in SQL (and any other programming language, for that matter). An active community bursting with asked and answered coding questions, you’ll find answers to your wildest SQL dreams by trawling Stack Overflow’s pages. Just try not to ask something yourself that has already been answered before—you’re sure to get some incredulous responses if you do!
  2. Turns out there are two community kings in town. GitHub is the Hutch to Stack Overflow’s Starsky and a fantastic resource for SQL rookies and pros alike. Over 40 million developers use GitHub to host and review code, and there are stacks of helpful information around that can guide you through your SQL learning quest.
  3. Not just a place to share gaming cheat codes and cute kitty pics (though those are undoubtedly very valid uses for the site), Reddit is one of the best platforms for sharing SQL knowledge, asking questions, and leaning on the hive mind in times of SQL uncertainty. r/SQL, r/learnSQL, and r/datascience are all excellent places to start.
  4. Twitter is a great spot for SQL comradery, and there are plenty of SQL experts you can follow to keep up-to-date with the latest news, tips, and tricks. Andy Yun’s @SQLBek account is a great place to start if you’re wanting to get SQL social. Yun has been on the SQL scene for over 15 years and posts on Twitter pretty frequently as he travels around the US speaking about SQL to various audiences. You can also follow his blog.
  5. Erin Stellato is an active member of the SQL community and a principal consultant at the training and consulting firm, SQL Skills. She tweets and blogs about both the technical and personal side of SQL life and is a useful SQL pro to follow if you’re just starting out.
  6. If you’re looking to learn some SQL skills, it probably makes sense to follow a guy who owns a business called SQL Skills, right? Paul Randall runs the consultancy firm with his wife Kimberly L. Tripp and is very active on Twitter—just search the #sqlhelp hashtag and you’re sure to see him around!
  7. Want to connect to the SQL community to rule them all? Head on over to the SQL PASS website. PASS supports data professionals from around the world who use the Microsoft SQL platform. Organizing local and virtual groups, summits, networking events, and more, PASS is the place to go if you want to surround yourself with fellow SQL fans. If you’re not ready to become a PASS member just yet, you can start by following the organization’s Twitter feed.
  8. Meetup is a place to find people with common interests, careers, and hobbies. It’s a great way to meet fellow SQL-users, especially if there’s a group in your area happy to help SQL newbies or who get together to problem-solve as a collective. If there’s not a group in your area, try starting one! It could be the start of some beautiful friendships, or at the very least, some beautiful learning opportunities!
  9. Over on Facebook, the We Learn SQL group is growing in numbers and becoming a friendly community where users can share tips and questions about all things SQL.
  10. If you’re looking for more SQL love on Facebook, head over to the SQL Server group. With over 8,000 members, this is a social situation where you’ll either sink in the mire of content or swim on the backs of all that knowledge!

The Ultimate Resource for Learning SQL

  1. Where is the best place to learn SQL and SQL dialects MS SQL and PostgreSQL? The answer is tried and true, and indeed, already mentioned further up the list. LearnSQL.com is your go-to for great cookbook advice, blog posts, and courses with everything you need to become an SQL success story. So what are you waiting for? Try the A-Z course FREE today!
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