Hopefully you are beginning to understand how to use SQL to access and manipulate data and how that data can be used in different situations. The next time you open a smartphone app or visit a website, you can begin to brainstorm what data they might be collecting and using and how it is being accessed and displayed. We have only scratched the surface of what SQL has to offer. Many additional advanced queries and techniques exist that can offer further ways to manipulate your data to draw additional insights. There are many places to pick up where we left off if you would like to continue your exploration of the query language.
Where to Now?
SQL Fiddle – Continue to use this site to test queries on your own user-created tables. You can create datasets and author your own queries and scripts to view and manipulate this data. Practice makes perfect!
W3Schools – A handy reference for SQL syntax that also provides detailed examples to learn from. Bookmark this site as a spot to quickly look up how to properly use a function or command. Can’t recall how to properly perform a
JOIN? No problem—W3Schools lists the different
JOIN types, syntax, and use cases for each. There are even “try it yourself” sections similar to our practice problems.
Oracle – You can browse scripts and tutorials created by other programmers and even practice your own chops in their databases of pre-existing tables. A great way to learn is by example, and you also get an idea of real-world problems being solved with SQL.
Stack Overflow – If you get stuck with a syntax error or need to find a solution to a problem you just can’t seem to get your head around, there is an entire community of fellow SQL gurus to help you in a Q&A setting. Search to see if someone else has already run into your error or issue (it’s likely someone has) or ask your question to get input from programming professionals and enthusiasts from around the world.
And One Last Note…
As with most everything, the best way to learn is by practicing. Play around with setting up tables and writing queries to manipulate that data. Start small and build from there. It’s ok to get stuck—that’s where you end up learning the most. Just remember to continue using your resources and even join an online community for support. Regardless of how you proceed, remember that it will be challenging, but it will be fun. Programming is not easy, but it is rewarding. All data can tell a story with the right interpreter. Happy coding!
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