Ever since the computer was invented, computing languages never ceased to evolve one after the other. With technological advancements, so many programming languages are needed to fulfill the demands of technology. Among very many computing languages, SQL stands out due to its adaptable technicality. Being an old computing language, it did go through many ups and downs. But, now that data science has made a stand, SQL skills are in demand again. Let’s brush up on some basics and walk through the essential SQL skills that will catalyze your professional growth.
Basics of Data, Databases, DBMS and SQL
Data is very precious in today’s scenario. Hence it is healthy to refresh the basic definitions of SQL query language.
Data can be simply defined as information. The details that describe an object or facts that aid in references and analysis purposes are data in general terminology.
The database is a collection of data. Data that are stored systematically in a database for storage and further processing reasons are termed as database.
Database Management System – DBMS is a set of instructions/programs which facilitate access to the database, process and represent the data in a meaningful way.
Structured Query Language – SQL is a query language that deals with the Database Management System. The basic functionalities of SQL are to search, insert, delete and update the records of databases. SQL is also capable of performing advanced operations like maintenance and optimization of databases.
Among the main types of DBMS such as Network, Hierarchical, Object-oriented and Relational, databases like Oracle, Sybase, MySQL Database, etc. use SQL query language predominantly.
Essential SQL Skills to posses
The magical query language always had its way with databases. SQL offers humongous know-hows and to-dos. Let’s see some important SQL skills among the humongous list, to help you get a hike in your pay.
1. Structure the databases with care
Having an organized method to work is always a plus. Work will be systematically completed and also, future referencing is made simple. Similarly, while creating a database, it is essential to use simple SQL queries and use forward engineering in ‘MySQL Workbench’. The more you have a command over the relations of the tables, the more you get to make the further calling and processing of data easier. Having the following queries clear while coding avoids unnecessary chaos later.
2. Learn SQL statements and clauses
Once you learn to create a database table, it is important to know certain SQL statements to play around with the data. Query statements like IF NOT exist, SELECT, SQL WHERE, etc helps to execute the whole query program effectively and fetch results in minimum time. Make an effort to learn as many SQL statements and clauses to use them in programming to search, manipulate or perform whatever task is required using the database.
3. SQL Database Management
Once you can create a database and learn important SQL statements and clauses, it is vital to know how to manage a database. Learn how to insert data into the table, update the database, and delete data from the data table. Also, learn how to scale up the database and administer it effectively. This way, you will be able to manage the database, pull of whatever task is at hand and make the best use of the database.
4. Work with frequently used databases
SQL query language allows you to work with databases that already exist and enables you to create new databases. Storage of data is taken care of by MySQL predominantly. As a database manager, working with MySQL facilitates you to perform access management, limit the number of users and carry out other tasks with ease. The following are the most popular databases in the world.
Most popular databases in the order of ranking
5. Master the art of PHP programming
MySQL and PHP go hand in hand most of the time. PHP is an open-source programming language that is frequently used to communicate with MySQL. The reason why the combo clicks most of the time is that PHP is one of the most widely used scripting languages for web development applications and it is open-source software that is free of cost. MySQL, on the other hand, happens to be an RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) and makes use of SQL query language which is also free of cost and open-source software. This serves as the connecting factor between PHP and SQL. Mastering the art of PHP along with SQL makes you a person in demand as it has a wide range of project scope.
6. Dig into SQL technical data-analysis for marketing
When you prepare yourself to get a good grip over any kind of domain, it is important that you dive into the technical details of it. It might be said that data-analysts who are working in the marketing domain need not have core technical knowledge of SQL query language. But, as SQL has become an important part of the marketing domain, having technical insights of SQL allows you to have a better understanding of user behavior and customer purchasing patterns. This is helpful professionally as this insight helps you to target users who return and facilitate new users’ acquisition.
7. Database creation using WAMP & SQL
By using a combo of WAMP & SQL you can manage huge data sets. WAMP (Windows, Apache, and MySQL & PHP) and SQL combination are used to manage big data. As WAMP is generally installed as a software bundle, it is used for internal testing and web development applications. It is used to host live websites and therefore having SQL as backend support for WAMP applications will be advantageous.
As SQL executes the above-depicted functionalities, it is the best for big data analytics. As data science has now picked up speed in the market, having the above-mentioned SQL skills will be beneficial and will help you fetch productive results professionally.
Job Positions that require SQL skills
Data Science is witnessing the rising curve with respect to technological advancements and job vacancies. Data Science basically involves analysis and processing of huge chunk of data. So, SQL knowledge is very essential to take up jobs in that domain.
When you use network administration tools you will see that the whole of the backend process is built on SQL query language. Though the network administration tools provide all the necessary reports, if you want to create custom metrics like network uptime at remote locations, you will use SQL query language to reach the data.
When you get to work as a desktop engineer, you will come across many tools to manage servers and desktops. On using desktop and server management tools like SCCM – System Center Configuration Center, SQL query language enables you to access stored data thereby help you to write better custom reports. You may do the just mentioned task in other ways as well but, when you use SQL query language, it will be easier to put the data pieces together and enhance the overall performance.
Help desk professionals need to work with huge databases as they need to run queries against the huge SQL database. By running an ad-hoc query on SQL database data extraction for custom reports become easier. So, having technical knowledge of SQL query language helps you ace the help desk job.
The key to increasing the overall performance of your program is to pave the right way to make your program to communicate with the database. For example, instead of using a derived table, if the query is run by using a stored procedure and creating a temp table in the main query, then the whole running time of the program boils down to a few seconds.
Application Support Engineer
Many sophisticated and complex applications such as Computer-Aided Design (CAD) on built of SQL databases. Having good knowledge of SQL query language will help you to evaluate the performance of the application, monitor the interaction of the client with the backend database information and provide assistance to extract information from the system by the users. Thus having knowledge on SQL query language makes you a good Application Support Engineer.
Data Science and Data Analysts’ main job is to make sure that the relational databases work properly. As more tools are built on SQL language, the demand for Database Administrators is going to be on the rising edge. Hence equipping yourself with essential SQL skills will make you the best fit for Database Administrators profile.
With the constant rise in big data analytics technology, the need for professionals well-versed in the technical aspects is on demand. It is wise to keep up with change and thereby enhancing yourself with the required skill sets out you directly in line with the opportunities aligned. Learning the essential SQL skills will fetch your career growth. So, take some time off and equip yourself with SQL knowledge base.