Getting Started with SQL

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If you’re interested in data, you’re going to have to learn to interact with data one way or another – there are an awful lot of tools out there, and many are optimized for certain professions or fields. The Doctor uses SPSS for her analysis, but she’s an academic psychologist – not a super useful tool for folks interested in growth. For me, working at, SQL seemed like a great place to start, since many of the WordPress foundations are built on plain old SQL tables.

There are lots of places where folks will be very glad to take your money to teach you SQL (or anything else, for that matter) – in matters of education, I would encourage you to examine your options, and to at least get a taste of the no-cost options. With the Internet as it is, there is such a wealth of information and generosity of spirit, a dedicated and motivated learner can often find themselves with more than enough educational resources at their fingertips.

For me, I started with Khan Academy’s Hour of Code on SQL – available here – KA really does a great job, and the subjects they cover are growing every day. Once you’ve spent an hour with them, if you’re following my footsteps anyway, you’d want to move on to SQL Zoo, a wiki-style educational series of problems and a number of different databases to play with.

After SQL Zoo, I’m not sure! Are there other resources that you would recommend for a data-driven autodidact?

3 thoughts on “Getting Started with SQL

  1. I learned the basics from Sams Teach Yourself SQL.

    A couple years ago I started the Stanford database class, but I only finished about half of it (I have a poor track record with MOOCs…). The SQL exercises were challenging and useful, but I found the lessons to be overly academic for my interests.

    Overall, I learned the most when doing real-world queries, so I highly recommend finding a real project to tackle. The basics are easy to pick up, but it gets more complicated once you start JOINing multiple tables.

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