SQL – Structured Query Language
SQL has been around since the 70’s and is the most popular programming language when it comes to web development and data analysis.
3 Reasons Why You Should Learn SQL
- It’s relatively easy to grasp
- It can be used in other fields
- Companies want to see SQL on a resume
What is SQL?
When you hear programming, you may think of hacking into a security system or making programs that calculate larger numbers. TV and the movies depict much of programming as an intense task used for accomplishing larger tasks. While this is sometimes true, programming can also be as simple as adding data to a database with a statement.
SQL (Structured Query Language) can accomplish many tasks, but in the simplest terms, it’s used to keep, find, and change data in a database. If you really have no experience with data, you may be asking ‘what is a database?’. A database is a way of organizing and storing data into objects called tables. They are put into effect by relational database management systems (RDBMS), which means a RDBMS makes the database work. Databases make finding specific information or changing data easier. They can contain many tables with specific data, so the data is organized and easy to go through. Tables store related data in rows and columns.
You may be asking ‘how does this relate to SQL?’. Searching through these tables and databases is made much easier with SQL. RDBMS use the language to manipulate data within a table, a table itself, or the whole database. This means that when you code with SQL, you are interacting with all the components of a database.
You can find and manipulate the data in a database in several different ways using SQL statements. For example, the statement ‘ SELECT * FROM Sales; ’ displays all of the records in the Sales table. SQL statements can be made up of commands, keywords, operators, functions, and any necessary information (table names, column names, etc.). One nice thing about these statements is that keywords are not case sensitive. This means you can write them in all lowercase or all uppercase and they will perform the same the tasks. Keep in mind that it’s beneficial to keep lower or uppercase use consistent while you are coding. This allows you to find what you need more efficiently than if your code has varying lower and uppercase characters.
History of SQL
SQL came about in the 1970 and was developed by Raymond Boyce and Donald Chamberlin. They were researchers at IBM and were inspired by the writing of Edgar Frank Codd. In 1970, Codd wrote the paper, “A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks.” While that title may seem confusing, it basically means a way of organizing large amounts of data through relations. Codd thought that data in a database should be related in some way.
This idea is what helped Boyce and Chamberlin create SQL. At the time, IBM stored their data in a relational database management system (RDBMS). SQL allowed researchers to find and change data in this system. It was also known as SEQUEL at the time. The programming language was not released to the public for many years. A company named Relational Software finally release a version of SQL called Oracle V2 in 1979.
SQL has become a standard languge when it comes to databases
Since the 1970s, SQL has gained a lot of popularity. In the 1980s SQL became the standard language for searching for and manipulating data in databases. After the Internet was introduced, many more people started using relational databases. This helped boost the popularity of SQL even further. With so many people using databases to organize their information, SQL was necessary to search and manipulate all the data.
SQL has managed to stay relevant for over 40 years because so many companies use it. Many applications are built off relational databases. In order to work with said applications, developers need to know how to manipulate and search those databases. Well-known companies like Amazon and Facebook have databases to analyze sale information and find statistics. Even other companies like Instagram, Spotify and Netflix use SQL to get the data they need.
Since SQL has been around for so long and has remained relevant, it’s an important skill to have for programmers. The term “programmer” is fairly broad, but here we generally mean people in the STEM field. Anyone working with data could stand to learn SQL. Even those that are not in the field might find it useful to learn the language. Let’s take a look at some reasons why anyone could and should learn SQL.
Why you should Know SQL?
The first reason is for anyone interested in the language. SQL is a relatively easy language to grasp, even if you have never worked with a programming language. Secondly, it can benefit you and you business, especially when it comes to generating data that can help in making business decisions.
Whether your a small business, marketer, data analyst, website developer or data enthusiast you should learn the basics of SQL!
Your ultimate decision is going to be based on your level of interest in the subject and your current financial situation. SQL truly is a diverse language worth learning if you have the resources. You may find an area of interest you never knew about. Or you may be able to diversify your resume and find more job opportunities. There are many possibilities from learning SQL. You may choose to pursue none of these options and continue on your current path. Regardless of whether you decide to invest in learning SQL or not, you should still have some exposure in what part it plays both in industry and numerous professions.
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