Relearning SQL Fast?
May 4, 2021 8:21 AM   Subscribe

I used to know SQL fairly well but that was a few years ago and I have forgotten basically all of it. What's the best way to relearn SQL fast? I'm looking for specific (ideally free) websites, tutorials, whatever.

Please only make suggestions you know (or have heard directly) are good -- not to be a jerk but I am perfectly capable of searching "SQL tutorial" on Google, I just want to know which ones are actually worth doing. Thank you so much for any help you can provide!
posted by an octopus IRL to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
I learned nearly everything I know (which is good enough to be employed in a position where SQL knowledge is required) from It's pretty basic, but if you already knew it at one point, that should be all you really need.
posted by kevinbelt at 8:29 AM on May 4

Select Star SQL is my favorite one-day SQL 101 tutorial.
posted by theodolite at 8:47 AM on May 4 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks so much for these responses!
posted by an octopus IRL at 10:04 AM on May 4

If you want to learn SQL syntax, with a sandbox to play in and some simple tests along the way, W3C Schools is for you. It covers all the syntax, key words, stored procs, db creation/amendment, MySQL functions, SQL Server functions, and other stuff too, all in an easy to follow path. I used it to go from complete noob to functional and confident database interrogator many years ago, and it looks like it's got better since then.
posted by underclocked at 10:06 AM on May 4 [3 favorites]

I really liked the Stanford SQL class when it was on Coursera. They've changed it around when they moved to Edx so I can't guarantee it's quite the same, but the pedigree is obviously solid.
posted by Candleman at 1:27 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]

There appears to still be a free version of SQL Server Express. It will come with a few free tools. There are tutorials of some sort.

It would be best to stick with the variant that you are going to use eventually, if you know what that is. That is almost more for the human language in the documentations than anything.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:46 PM on May 4

Mod note: This is an answer from an anonymous commenter.
I suggest
It is PostgreSQL specific, the problems get more complicated as you move through them.

Also the book The Art of PostgreSQL by D. Fontaine - main audience is for software developers his blog is good.

Use The Index Luke is a huge website, I think the author also has a book?
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:00 PM on May 4 [1 favorite]

Seconding Select Star SQL.

For something a little different, I'd also recommend A Curious Moon, which is a pretty fun journey through various DBA activities.
posted by taltalim at 8:10 PM on May 4

Based on personal experience, do Select Star SQL first. It's good, but it's quite introductory (e.g. it doesn't cover foreign keys or constraints).

If, after Select Star SQL, you want more, I recommend the SQL course at Execute Program. The quality of the writing and exercises is much higher than anything else I've seen online. It's not free, and it regulates your pace, so if you need to cover this material in a day then it's not a good fit. But it uses spaced reptition to make things stick. This reduces the likelihood you'll need to relearn SQL again in a couple of years. You get 16 lessons (about a week) for free, and you can finish the course in a couple of weeks.
posted by caek at 9:05 PM on May 4

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