The modern era can’t exist without computers and their capabilities. Computer programming became one of the most required skills, and the knowledge of computer programming languages takes a central part in it.
A computer programming language is a set of detailed instructions for machines to perform specific actions. Through a programming language, we control the behavior and output of a computer via accurate algorithms. Another name of a programming language is “a computer language” or “programming system.”
Computers perform with various programming languages: SQL, Java, C++, Python, etc. With these languages, they process large and complex data faster and more effectively. That’s why we find them extremely valuable to organizations, particularly for creating system database management services.
What is Structured Query Language?
The “Structured Query Language” or SQL is the primary language for working with databases – getting access to them and modifying the data held there. It was initially called SEQUEL (Structured English Query Language), but later it needed to change the name because another business claimed that name as a trademark. Still, you can hear such a pronunciation time after time, together with the standard “S.Q.L.”
SQL allows users to understand and analyze the databases, which include the data fields in their tables. Let’s take any large organization having loads of data as an example. Databases organize and store all those data, but the information must be valuable and accessible. Here, SQL comes in – it becomes a platform associated with both front-end and back-end databases (computers and databases held on servers).
It is one of the computer programming pillars. Having come into prominence 50 years ago, in 1970, it remains among the most demanded in 2020. The use of SQL applies to every database. If one wonders why SQL is important, the reason is simple: it is the default way to manage data in the databases, and it does not matter which platform you use.
SQL is also a standard for both ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and ISO (International Organization for Standardization). It serves for MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, MS SQL Server, etc. SQL is the background everywhere.
What is a Database Concept?
Essentially, a database is an organized stack of information. In other words, it is a structured form of data that users can access and modify in many ways, or a program, enabling clients to store and manage information in a logical manner.
The key concept is a table – a set of data organized with Columns and Rows. Columns are vertical, and Rows are horizontal. A table has a specified number of columns, which is called “fields.” But it can have any number of rows, which is called “record.” The database includes numerous tables.
To control the rows of information stored in tables, SQL uses DB queries. A query is a special code written to retrieve the information from the database or perform any task. Or, in simple words, it is a question that we ask the database.
SQL queries can be very complex, containing subqueries within them. In this case, we have the “outer” query called “main” and the “inner” query – this one is our subquery. The distinction point is that subquery always gets executed first, and its results are passed to the main query.
The crucial importance of SQL is that it provides lots of useful commands to interact with this data. When utilized effectively, these commands are very powerful in helping the clients to manage and modify vast volumes of data effortlessly.
Some of the best-known and most essential commands are SELECT, DELETE, CREATE DATABASE, INSERT INTO, ALTER DATABASE, CREATE TABLE, and CREATE INDEX.
The standard classification distinguishes two database categories based on the use of SQL standards. They are known as SQL and NoSQL databases.
Also, there are numerous varieties of SQL databases with little differences. To make things more convoluted, many of these databases have names that incorporate the term SQL, like MySQL and PostgreSQL.
Various SQL databases include a similar core of SQL commands that can vary in different regions. Usually, one database type is preferable for a specific task over others, and you frequently hire developers with specializations in particular databases.
SQL is an old language, but it has been used for the past 50 years. Moreover, we’ll need it in the upcoming years. Why is SQL important? One of the reasons is its stability. The SQL syntax and commands remain unchanged during all this period. Thus, it creates an always-actual background.
Five Benefits of Learning SQL
Learning SQL has always been in demand for database specialists. However, with all due respect to SQL, there are so many newer languages and data skills. Many programmers can’t help wondering, why learn SQL, this old and rigid language?
The fact is, it is excellent when you have the proper knowledge of many languages’ fundamentals. However, if you’re aiming for a job in data, you can’t afford ignoring SQL.
1. Universal Language
Why SQL? Because SQL is everywhere.
It is used by all the big names in tech like Netflix or Airbnb. If you target Google, Facebook, or Amazon, they, of course, have their database systems. But SQL will be there too to query and analyze the data.
If you aren’t thinking about such giants at the moment, let’s refer to other companies. The truth is, they all seek SQL knowledge and skills, and it is more demanded than other languages. One of the advantages of SQL is that it seeps over into other numerous disciplines. While you are learning SQL, you can enhance your abilities to specialize as a programmer, developer, manager, and more.
It sounds cheesy; however, there are truly no boundaries of what you can do with SQL.
2. Open-Source – Easy to learn and use
SQL is an open-source programming language. Thus, it has a large community of developers. Many topics related to SQL and MySQL are posted on StackOverflow consistently. Many prevalent databases that use SQL (MySQL, MariaDB, and Postgres) are open-source too.
Besides, SQL is comparatively easier to learn than other programming languages, such as C++.
3. Manage Million Rows of Data
Many applications generate tons of data daily. Thus, we have to handle this data somehow. The primary and default option was using spreadsheets. However, spreadsheets are excellent for small and medium-sized data pools, but what if you need to handle millions of records?
This is exactly what is SQL used for. It can manage data of all sizes.
One of the most common use cases for SQL is working with Relational databases that store millions of data rows. Here, SQL guarantees smooth work without crashes. When you have appropriate knowledge of this system, you can navigate through all those data amounts easily.
Besides, there are frequent cases when you need to combine the data from different sources. SQL makes this previously complicated and time-consuming task easy and handy.
4. Technology Evolution
Database technologies like MySQL, Microsoft SQL, and PostgreSQL Server reinforce huge associations, small companies, banks, hospitals, colleges. Every PC or individual with access to some kinds of mechanical devices eventually touches SQL. Android and iOS both use SQL.
SQL has been the standard language to manage data in the databases for multiple platforms. Knowledge of SQL brings you the knowledge of the rest of the related technologies automatically.
5. High in Demand
If you search for a job in the data field, notice the vacancies requirements – SQL is, perhaps, the most mentioned skill. Approximately one-third of all job ads set the SQL knowledge a primary demand for data analysis and developers.
It is one of the benefits of SQL: it brings you additional points of qualification for the vacancy, and it helps you to stand apart from other competitors who don’t possess that foundation.
Who Needs SQL?
We’ve clarified what is SQL used for and why it is a necessary skill to master so often. Almost all specialists in the IT-sphere need it.
• Data Analysts, Data Scientists, and Data Engineers. When you work directly with databases, manage them, analyze, and design them, the knowledge of SQL is a must. It is the foundation of all your works.
• Back-end Developers. The job requires database management and doing some tasks similar to Data Engineers’ jobs. Thus, SQL comes as a necessity.
• Front-end developers. Though these people mostly deal with other frameworks and libraries, they still have to interact with databases. Knowledge of SQL makes all such tasks easier and makes you a more valuable employee. Should you wish to change the job one day – you’ll be much better equipped.
• Mobile App Developers. SQLite is an embedded database powered by SQL. Android developers use it when working on storing the data on a device instead of keeping it on the server. It has been the default option for more than two decades.
• Product Managers. Though knowledge of SQL is not mandatory, it is very helpful when investigating the product’s health.
• Marketers. Data is the King, but you so often have to rely on the dev team to retrieve and analyze those data correctly. When you know SQL, you can serve yourself. Besides, it brings you more insights, better analysis, and increases your professional value.
The advantages of learning SQL are clear to all. Companies gather more and more information, and they need to store and handle it afterward. Therefore, they need both reliable tools and expert performers.
SQL is a magnificently essential and valuable skill businesses desire. Almost every business has become digitized. Digital means data – data rises to databases, and, to be responsible for those databases, you require SQL. Read any business journal, and you will see something about analytics or business intelligence (BI). SQL is the key skill that empowers you to do that.
- Structured Query Language – Importance of learning SQL - July 30, 2018