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Where do I learn SQL Basics?
May 19, 2014 7:07 AM   Subscribe

I am starting a new job in about a month and need to brush up\learn SQL so that I can "hit the ground running" It's a testing role, so QA focused sites would be ideal. I used SQL everyday, but manipulating queries others have written. I think I need now how to write my own.
posted by MarvinJ to Technology (15 answers total) 76 users marked this as a favorite
 
I learned it by necessity and to a certain extent so will you (google is your handbook), but I had a colleague who went from being able to read queries to writing starter queries pretty well with SQL In 24 Hours.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:19 AM on May 19 [2 favorites]


Try SqlZoo or GalaxQL for step-by-step tutorials that allows you to run queries against an actual databases.
posted by oh pollo! at 7:27 AM on May 19 [6 favorites]


Seconding GalaxQL. It's a like a typing tutor for SQL. If that makes any sense at all.
posted by kalessin at 7:52 AM on May 19


I played around with the SQL Tutorial at W3Schools and it was enough to get me to pass an SQL test for an entry-level programming/prototyping position. They have an in-browser database for you to try things out on.
posted by sevenofspades at 8:14 AM on May 19


All great points so far. I would recommend you also find out what database you're going to be writing queries against. Every database has it's own special details, and while good general-sql knowledge is great, you should know what special features you will and won't have.
posted by Phredward at 8:28 AM on May 19


yeah, the w3s was a good way to figure out certain things for me. But as noted, what system are you using (sqlite vs oracle vs sqlserver, etc), what types of queries are you expected to do (lots of joins, triggers, procedures, etc) would help focus on the particulars.
posted by k5.user at 8:30 AM on May 19


I used Philip Greenspun's SQL for Web Nerds. Long in the tooth now, but the basics are there.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 9:16 AM on May 19


Figure out a really simple project or two and get started.

There is NO replacement for the thought process that occurs when troubleshooting a project and trying to figure out what and why something doesn't work.

You can read and watch a million lectures, but it is only when faced with "Syntax error" and you rip your hair out trying to fix it that you build strong coding skills.
posted by jjmoney at 10:07 AM on May 19


Phredward: "I would recommend you also find out what database you're going to be writing queries against. Every database has it's own special details, and while good general-sql knowledge is great, you should know what special features you will and won't have"

Seconding this. Basic SQL is fairly standard across platforms, but does begin to vary with the proprietary extensions PL/SQL and T-SQL and others. Plus, every vendor has tutorials for their product. Here is one for Oracle, I know Microsoft has some for both SQL Server and MS Access, and there are a lot of online ones for open source DBs like MySQL. The benefits of a vendor-specific tutorial is that it usually includes instructions how to download their (usually free) personal edition and set up your tools, so you get bonus knowledge there.
posted by I am the Walrus at 10:57 AM on May 19


I am totally shocked that I'm first in with 'SQL in 10 minutes' by Ben Forta.
It's broken up by type, and function, so you can look up just what you need to be able to do. Each section is a less than 10 minute chunk, rather than the whole book, obviously, but it's genuinely useful in 10 minutes, and more succinct than any other reference I've seen.

Ok, yes, it's also the top result in Amazon for SQL, but for very good reason.
posted by Elysum at 12:54 AM on May 20 [2 favorites]


Seconding 'SQL in 10 minutes' - note that it will explain a single concept in 10 minutes. Code Academy is a good option, too. Stack Exchange is good for when you want some ideas on how to tackle a particular problem.
posted by soelo at 11:30 AM on May 20


They're in the midst of transitioning platforms, but the Stanford Introduction to Databases course is quite good.
posted by Candleman at 5:07 PM on May 20


Thanks all, there are some really good resources here.

SQL in 24hours ordered and GalaXQL downloaded. I'll be running the show in no-time
posted by MarvinJ at 8:11 AM on May 21


Check out MisSQL Command
posted by Freen at 1:03 PM on May 21


I should have also mentioned between the 24 and 10 minutes books, the latter is the one I remember, but yeah, they'll all get you up and running.
posted by Elysum at 7:31 AM on May 22


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