If you’re learning SQL for the first time, you must be going through a lot of resources online and offline to get in-depth knowledge.
But what happens after you have learned SQL? How do you bridge the gap from “I am still learning SQL” to “I can query and analyze large datasets in SQL”?
It is only possible if you practice a lot and become an expert. There are many websites and portals to practice SQL for free or for a small fee. Let’s dive into what SQL is, basic skills, career opportunities, and websites where you can practice SQL.
About SQL and Databases
SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is a language that lets you interact with databases. SQL is used to manage relational databases, the most common type of database in practice. The ability to use SQL will help you get more out of your data than just reading it. It can be used for ad-hoc data analysis and reporting and more extensive projects involving multiple tables and complex applications.
The most popular Database Management Systems (DBMSs) are MySQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server. Most developers and companies use one of these DBMSs.
Basic SQL Skills every developer must possess.
If you’re unsure how to begin learning SQL, learn the fundamentals. They’ll provide you with a solid base to understand using data. Here are some essential abilities you need to know:
Learn how to organize the database: The first step to mastering SQL is to understand a database initially. Learn the basics of relationships and tables in databases and how to create a database entirely from the start.
Author SQL clauses and statements: When you’ve mastered the fundamentals and the building blocks of databases, it’s time to master the art of extracting the data you require with SQL queries. You’ll learn a range of clauses and statements when you are proficient in the technique of manipulating data to complete the task in front of you.
Manage an SQL database: If you intend to pursue an occupation with IT (or data science), it’s essential to master the art of managing the database and configure it to allow for scalable growth.
Utilizing popular databases such as MySQL and PostgreSQL: Learn how to work with the popular database management systems that use SQL as the primary language.
Master PHP: It’s rare to find MySQL without PHP being mentioned within the same paragraph. It is a well-known open-source programming language that can communicate with MySQL, and a thorough understanding of these languages will help tackle a broad array of projects.
Learn about the technical aspects of SQL data analysis for marketing: SQL is crucial in the field of marketing. It lets professionals better comprehend the behavior of users and purchase patterns so that marketing teams can effectively focus on returning customers and attracting new users.
Create a database by using WAMP and SQL: Make use of WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL as well as PHP) as well as SQL to manage massive collections of data. (Often called huge data.)
Careers for SQL Developers
SQL is a very flexible language and is the primary programming language that virtually every programmer is familiar with. Learning SQL can lead to many possibilities for you in your professional career. Here are some of them-
Business Analyst: A Business Analyst assists businesses to better products, processes, and software with the help of business analysis. If the data you are looking for is relevant for the gap analysis, SQL can identify gaps in data, such as dates or numbers.
Data Scientist: An in-depth understanding of a few fundamental tools for analysis and the basic concepts that support analysis is a must for a data scientist.
Software Engineer: Understanding SQL is essential for a Software Engineer as complex applications interact with huge databases at the back end.
Database Administrator: A Database Administrator (DBA) manages the software used to store information, manage, and access data efficiently. DBAs usually manage a group of SQL developers. They need to be proficient in computers, engineering software, and data design.
Quality Assurance Tester: The Quality Assurance (QA) Tester is responsible for examining new software applications, like web-based applications, gaming systems, mobile applications, for any defects or other issues.
Let’s now see where you can practice your SQL skills to gain confidence in handling large databases and complex SQL queries.
HackerRank is one of the most sought-after SQL learning platforms on the internet. The platform offers a unique blend of innovative and conceptual questions that help students understand the theory better and augment their critical thinking ability.
Built-in challenging tests, each is tagged under one of the three categories based on their difficulty level, viz. Easy, Medium, and Hard. The beginner tests are easy, familiarizing users with the early foundation of the language. As the students start getting the answers right and facing the challenges, they are moved up to tests with medium difficulties and eventually transitioned to the challenging levels. This gradual shift from basic fundamental questions to derived conceptual questions trains students into becoming one of the market’s trending hot takes.
Another up-and-coming favorite of students regarding SQL training is the SQL Pad. A glance at the platform will assure you not to get anxious about the following SQL interview and get trained from SQL developers and much more advanced roles like Business Analysts, Data Engineers, Analysts, Scientists, and much more.
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The SQLPad provides everything there is to learn about the language. You can watch, practice, deploy all the skills learned on its centralized platform, all in your browser, which can be accessed via any device with a decent internet connection.
To help students understand the market requirements more transparently, it offers a diverse range of interview questions asked by premium companies like eBay, Netflix, Airbnb, Spotify, etc.
The topics in the SQLPad are categorized into three segments based on their nature, viz. Single Table Operations, Multi Table Operations, and Window Functions. A curated list of questions can be practiced on the IDE compatible with most browsers.
The platform has been built and designed by Leon Wei, who has a wide array of experience working for giants like Apple, Chegg, and Amazon. The platform has helped over 4000 users, spread over 90 countries.
LeetCode is a comprehensive platform that offers an exhaustive list of topics and sub-topics categorized over its premium and non-premium plan. It also provides solutions for all the tests available on its platform to understand the most optimum way to approach the problems. In addition to that, LeetCode has personalized monthly and weekly plans which students can emulate in their schedule to perform a time-bound preparation.
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Similar to SQL Pad, LeeCode also offers questions asked by tech giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and Bloomberg, among many others. The LeetCode platform, unlike many others, is not just limited to SQL Programming but also offers training and classes on almost all significant languages popular among developers and developing companies across the world. They now support 14 popular coding languages.
The popular tool by LeetCode, Playground, helps developers in-making to test, debug and even write their projects online. The mission of this innovative company is to help everyone improve themselves with the wide range of interview resources from many companies. Their students have been reported to have cracked major interview roles at flagship companies such as Facebook, Apple, Uber, Amazon, Intel, and others.
The LeetCode venture does not limit itself to the candidates. Still, in this age of aggressive competition among companies to hire the right talent, it also helps enterprises, startups, and companies identify and pick suitable candidates. The numerous services offered by the companies include sponsored contests to provide online assessments and training.
The beauty of the internet is the diversity it offers. Among the companies and platforms offering categorized topics based on functionalities of the code, Mode offers the entire SQL Learning plan based on complexity associated with them.
The entire curriculum structure at Mode is divided into three evident and simple categories; Basic SQL, Intermediate SQL, and Advanced SQL; these categories are a pool of lessons offered to the students. This makes it the favorite stop for all types of students seeking to learn the nuances of this database language.
The categorization of the plan also offers the students the awareness about how much they should immerse themselves into the learning. For example, a product manager would only need to learn the basics of SQL, whereas a database engineer would be required to go up until the advanced stage.
Another feature of Mode that strikes a chord with the learners is how it offers practice papers at the end of every Mode. It helps students assess their learning and proves to be influential material when they revisit the topic.
The platform of DevSkiller boasts itself as an industry-driven platform to assess and grow tech talent, and all for rightful reasons. Over the years since its inception, DevSkiller has grown out as one of the significant learning forces in the IT hub. It is created by the developers, for the developers, which makes one of the most closely associated platforms to the issues and challenges these tech-titans face in their career.
The SQL Online Tests at DevSkiller is designed as per the requirements of various roles offered in the field, with the preliminary tests being of Junior SQL Developer. It helps developers-to-be understand the needs of their sought-after positions but also assists them by keeping their entire preparation plan relevant to the job description.
The recommended roles for SQL online tests are Data Analysts, Database administrator, SQL Developer, Database engineer, Database specialist, Junior-Senior SQL Developer, Data Entry/Quality Technician.
The tests offered by the platform are powered by real-life testing methodology. This intelligent technology enables users to analyze their knowledge on various SQL versions, in addition to assessing their coding skills, problem-solving ability, and time management.
TestDome is another fantastic website that offers skill assessment tests for job seekers. What is so remarkable about these tests, you may ask, well the specialty about these assessment tests is that several companies also use them to test their interview candidates. Hence, it is the most relevant set of skill assessment tests in the market. The numbers go up to 7000 companies and 450,000 candidates utilizing these tests for skill assessment.
What separates TestDome from the rest of the players in the club is that this website was primarily designed for companies hiring tech talent. In a way, the tests offered by the platform were used by companies such as eBay, Indeed, NHS, and PayPal to hire their next right talent. Over the years, the relevance of the questions being asked in those tests attracted hundreds of thousands of candidates to this website.
We have talked a ton about the tests and quizzes and challenges and problems when you sit for your following SQL interview. But to do that, you should practice the queries and understand the underlying logic and algorithms behind those concepts.
Let us introduce you to the top three SQL courses available on the internet. These learning materials have been, time and again, appreciated for their clarity, authenticity, being up-to-date with the latest market standards, and for the cost at which they are offered, which, to tell you the truth, is very cheap.
Learn SQL at Udacity
We will begin with the Learn SQL Nanodegree program offered at Udacity because it has become the most popular among enthusiasts learning the SQL Language. The course is designed to keep SQL as the core language for Big Data Analysis, offering insight-driven decision making and strategy for the project.
This course at Udacity aims to enable users to analyze data stored in relational and non-relational databases. At the end of this course, the users will determine, create and execute SQL and NoSQL queries to manipulate and dissect large-scale databases.
Complete SQL Bootcamp at Udemy
Everyone in the tech space or trying to make their way has heard of Udemy. It is the most popular learning platform, offering over a thousand courses from development to artistry.
The Complete SQL Bootcamp at Udemy is the comprehensive guide transitioning people from novice to advanced. At the end of the Bootcamp, you will be able to use SQL to query any database, perform data analysis, and even replicate real-world situations and query reports.
Introduction to SQL at DataCamp
DataCamp is yet another great platform offering many courses on tech and non-tech streams. Introduction to SQL is free of cost course which offers to assist you in mastering the basics of querying tables in relational databases such as MySQL, SQL Server, and PostgreSQL.
The 4-hour course has 41 exercises and has been viewed by over 12,00,000 users. At the end of the test, you will be able to syntax in SQL shared by many types of databases, such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQL-server, and Oracle.
In today’s competitive market, it’s more important than ever to have the skills to succeed. SQL skills have never been more relevant than they are today.
With the ability to process big data and provide insights for businesses, SQL skills are necessary for any developer. With this in mind, learn how to master the skill and jumpstart your career by exploring the above coding platforms.
If you wish to learn databases in-depth, here are some excellent resources to learn SQL and NoSQL.
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