If there is one programming language that I would recommend for everyone, it’s Structured Query Language (SQL). SQL (often pronounced “sequel”) is the main language used to communicate with databases including Oracle, SQL Server and Microsoft Access. It’s the set of commands used to write and retrieve data. If you work with any databases in any capacity or want to program for a living, you should learn SQL.
Technically, basic SQL isn’t even “programming” but more of a scripting language. With just a few commands, you can insert, retrieve and update large amounts of information in your database very quickly.
SELECT * FROM Customers WHERE City = 'Boston'
UPDATE Addresses SET City = 'Orlando' WHERE PostalCode = '32789'
INSERT INTO Books (Title, Author) VALUES ('Dune', 'Frank Herbert')
You can probably figure out the above commands even without any knowledge of SQL – that’s how easy the language is.
Many database management systems, like Microsoft Access, have interfaces that will let you read and write to the database without knowing any SQL. This is great for getting started quickly and just getting things done but it puts a layer of abstraction between you and the database. You end up being dependent on that interface and never really understand the operations that are happening behind it.
This is a problem because, like any programming language, SQL can be written well and written badly. The way in which it’s used can actually affect other operations that are being run against your database or the integrity of the data itself. Badly designed queries can bog down your database and even your network. When it comes down to it, that’s a lot of control to leave up to an interface programmed by someone else and, when you see how easy SQL is to learn, there’s really no reason not to take some time to add it to your resume.
What is SQLite?
SQLite is a free database software that you can deploy on your system with a sample database and a free graphical interface in just a few minutes. There’s no complicated installation and no clutter on your system; just a couple downloads and you’re ready to go. SQLite is used as the database manager behind many applications including web browsers and smartphone apps. It might be the most widely deployed database engine known.
While you might not use SQLite for your specific data, it does use a popular version of SQL and is an great tool for learning SQL. Since there is no actual installation of software needed, you can carry it from system to system on a flash drive and access tons of free tutorials and resources for learning how to work with this popular database software and SQL itself. My new video will show you how to setup SQLite on your system and get started learning.
So, I hope you’ll check out the video and take just 10 minutes to see how easy it is to start learning SQL and take real ownership of your data with two of the most popular software development technologies out there.