A laptop on a desk surrounded by tiny potted plants, stationery and coffee. There is code on the screen, symbolising SQL skills.
Image: © Blue Planet Studio/Stock.adobe.com

5 interactive ways to work on your SQL skills

19 Aug 2022

Want to brush up on your database programming skills? Here are a few fun and interactive ways to upskill in SQL.

SQL is a domain-specific language designed for interacting with, filtering and lightly analysing data from databases.

While it can’t do all the things a programming language like Python can do, it’s beneficial for those working with database management systems such as Oracle Database and Microsoft SQL Server. It facilitates retrieving specific information from databases that are further used for analysis.

Like many programming languages, there are plenty of resources to help you learn SQL from a basic level upwards. As with all technical languages, you’re never truly finished learning and it’s always worth brushing up on your skills.

Here are five online resources to help you get started.

SQL Murder Mystery

This fun game is designed to be a self-directed lesson to learn SQL concepts and commands. It’s a great way for experienced SQL users to brush up on their skills to solve an intriguing crime.

Don’t worry, if you’re a new to SQL, there’s a walkthrough to help you get to grips with the basics and still solve the mystery.

Codecademy

SQL beginners can get a taster of the Codecademy course for free to get an idea of how to communicate with databases using SQL. The full course tackles SQL in four segments focusing on manipulation, queries, aggregate function and multiple tables.

While the first interactive lessons from each segment are free, users will need to upgrade to a Pro account on Codecademy to complete the full course and receive a certificate.

SQL Island

Another fun introduction to learning the language is SQL Island, an adventure game created by German professor Johannes Schildgen.

The game was designed especially for computer science introductory courses in schools and is a great tool for young coders who want to get to grips with the language.

Prior knowledge of SQL is not required and the complexity increases as the game progresses.

Udemy

Online course provider Udemy has a wide range of free SQL courses to choose from. From SQL Foundations to Advanced Databases and SQL Querying, the courses will suit both beginners and more advanced coders.

There are also several more in-depth and specific courses available to choose from for a fee on the platform.

SQLBolt

The final resource on our list is SQLBolt, a free, interactive learning site with code exercises that run in the browser so there’s no additional set-up required.

This is another great way for newbies to gain some SQL skills as it starts off with an introduction to what a relational database is before tackling the SQL syntax.

This is just a small selection of ways to learn SQL. As with most programming languages, there are many online communities that are there to help you with any queries you may have – whether that’s on StackOverflow, GitHub or Reddit.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the deputy editor of Silicon Republic in 2020, having worked as the careers editor until June 2019. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

Loading now, one moment please! Loading