Everything starts with need and curiosity.
I needed to dive into a database, were given Microsoft Access and didn’t know how to figure it out.
I needed a simple thing, I learned it and applied (thanks Google), but I still was not fully satisfied with the result.
After few months another issue arrives. At that point I didn’t want to bother the tech savy once again so I taught myself SQL and this is how I made it.
STEP 1 – Khan Academy: Intro to SQL
I am a strong fan of Khan Academy, a non-profit that started from Salman Khan making video to help his cousin understand “unit conversion” and turned out as an educational institution that serves for free up to 12 millions people learning every month.
To be honest, I’ve come to discover all of this back in 2015 and I took this specific course the day I saw SQL code lines on the screen and had to read through it.
The strong point in favor of this course is the extreme effectiveness and the total beginner manner how it is delivered. If you do not know how to power your pc but want to learn what SQL is, than you should check this out.
STEP 2 – Udemy – SQL Bootcamp by Jose Portilla (PostgreSQL)
I remember myself finishing the course above, accomplishing the task and discovering that Khan Academy’s environment course was SQLite. If this is all Chinese to you, don’t worry. Let’s say that SQL is a language written in a book nobody really speaks (real coders would kill me for that). I came to discover I learned one within the dialects. The question became to discover whether there was any English or Chinese out there for me to learn it. Turns out the answer to this question to be quite complex.
For a number of reasons I went for PosgreSQL and found this course that I strongly recommend. It goes without saying, there are plenty of alternatives (such as Edx, Coursera, Pluralsight).
STEP 3 – Put into Practice
SQL is a relational database language. Long story short: it says to a computer how to deal with data structured in the basic form of rows and columns. This language is the one spoken by Microsoft Access, a database management software powered by Microsoft. I was sitting in front of it and I had to figure out why a query was broken, to fix it and possibly amend another query to pull a given data into another report. It took time to figure all of this out, probably more than it would have taken to the geek guy, eventually not so much as I had expected. I made it and as a byproduct, not being a programmer, I can understand, read and work, to a certain extend, with SQL-based platforms.
STEP 4 – Talk About it!
Here comes the most important part of this process. This has nothing to do on posting selfies and showing off. The thing is, as I explained here, that during the process you should seek for a buddy who’s already into it and talk about what are you doing. This will be tremendously useful both on the technical side (when you will be struggling with something specific) and on the motivational side. People who are into something eventually enjoy evangelizing others and seeing their enthusiasm on something they totally master.
So, here is how I have done it and I hope you may enjoy it. Learning new skills is always a great way to challenge yourself, grow and find out better who you are and where to develop.
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