Resources for learning SQL

I was at a testing conference recently where attendees were asking where they could learn about SQL. Some were asking how to up their skills in SQL as they already felt they had the basics. It seemed that the only resources people were being given from other attendees were bricks and mortar establishments.

This got me thinking: are there any good online resources to learn SQL? Where have you learned it yourself?

I just recently got back into the SQL game, so I’m still in the re-learning process (I haven’t touched SQL in about 10 years).

This is what I am doing.
I started with a “coach” who explained to me what he was doing with the database which is now mine. He answered my questions and provided me with a framework in which to play.

Then I went to look for an on-line tutorial and found this gem: . This is a very well written tutorial for someone who only knows the basics of databases, and has a “try it yourself” functionality so you can actually perform actions to assist your learning.

After the tutorial, it’s a process of experimenting and seeing what happens.

For manipulating the database from outside (i.e. creating test data), I am using Python, because I know Python and sqlite3 (the database I am using) is in the standard library. Thus, the documentation and examples can be found in the Python documentation (for version 2.6 and higher:

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When I am sending stuff to our new starters to help with learning SQL i generally include

Then they can use whichever one fits best with how they learn.

Unfortunately to go beyond the basics that are covered on those sites the best way I have found is to set challenges to be attempted on your own company system which reinforces the SQL syntax but also introduces them to the tables and data they will actually be using day to day.


Just been doing the very same myself. There are a few good freebies such as…

Good initial exposure, including hands on…

Nice hands-on practise—free for the first few basics—at…

These Codeacademy-style interfaces are good, to a point, but can be hard to relate to real-life scenarios. So for a little more depth I then went on to Pluralsight, which seems to be a mainly video lecture service—which is good because it forced me to practise on a live project while watching/pausing (which was an excellent way to apply the learning too)…

I’ll probably go down the Pluralsight paid-for route now as there is plenty of content on other subjects too.
If you find any more let me know.

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I have used the stairway topics on for years. They have a great community and stay up to date with the latest changes. There are a few that relate to just T-SQL with advanced topics to build off of once the basics are in hand.

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I’ve found these to work well for me, they’re all free and quite simple. For learning basics of SQL:

CodeCademy course
Khan Academy course

And for the advanced stuff, there’s Stanford SQL course, it starts from the basics but goes deeper. Good thing about this one is that it has exercises that go beyond just copy/paste.

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