How Long Does it Take to Learn SQL and Why Do You Need it?

SQL – in simple words, it is a programming language for structured queries (SQL, Structured Query Language), which is used as an effective way to save data, find its parts, update, extract from the database and delete. And the logical question is how long to learn SQL? We will discuss it below in the article 🙂

Since 1974, when the Structured Query Language was first introduced, it has provided an interface with Database Management Systems (DMS) worldwide.

SQL, is actively used today:

  • by database developers (provide application functionality),
  • by testers (in manual and automatic mode),
  • by administrators (perform environment maintenance).

The language is universal and has a clearly defined structure due to established standards. Interaction with databases is fast even in situations where data volumes are large (Big Data). In addition, efficient management is possible even without much knowledge of the code.

SQL for Software Test Engineers

SQL is a necessary skill for a software tester nowadays. At the interview, you will most likely be asked if you have any experience working with databases and if you do not understand at least the basic operators, you will most likely be rejected and chosen another candidate.
Therefore, I strongly recommend you to learn SQL with online courses that I will describe below.
In the meantime, I want you to meet the main operators

SQL Select

SQL SELECT statement is one of the main SQL language operators. With its help the values stored in the database can be selected and printed in DMS. Many additional operators can be included into the SQL SELECT operator query structure: grouping, sorting and etc.

SQL SELECT operator has the following syntax:

SELECT column_list FROM table_name [WHERE сondition GROUP BY expression HAVING condition ORDER BY expression]

Optional operators are framed by square brackets [].

The column_list parameter specifies the names of the columns of the table to be displayed, or the “*” symbol that allows you to display all columns of the table. The “FROM” keyword specifies the name of the table or tables from which the columns are to be taken. The SQL WHERE statement specifies additional selection conditions. SQL GROUP BY statement is used to group result by column or by several columns. Finally, SQL ORDER BY is used to sort values.

Examples of SQL SELECT operator. There is the following table Planets:

1Mars10013831681NoMark Twins
2Saturn19194841643NoJohn Smith
3Neptune91826371511YesMike Ford
4Mercury71616111219NoSteve Hilton
5Venus48921911481YesJoshua Hill
Example 1. Use the SQL SELECT operator to output planet names (PlanetName):
SELECT PlanetName FROM Planets


Example 2. Using the SQL SELECT operator, print the names of planets that have rings (HavingRings):
SELECT PlanetName FROM Planet WHERE HavingRings = ‘Yes’


Example 3. Use the SQL SELECT operator to display information about the planet Neptune:
SELECT * FROM Planets WHERE PlanetName = ‘Neptune’


3Neptune91826371511YesMike Ford

It’s just a small part of what you can do with SQL help. You can learn more about SQL from the online courses we will describe below.

Udemy! The Complete SQL Bootcamp 2020: Go from Zero to Hero

In my opinion, Udemy is the most popular resource for learning IT technologies.

In this course you will learn how to write complex SQL queries to a database using one of the most modern DMS PostgreSQL. It does not mean that you can use your knowledge only to PostgreSQL. Learning SQL will be a major skill for software testers. It is also applicable to such DMS as Amazon Redshift, Oracle, MySQL, MS SQL Server and etc. What is important, you will get a certificate that you successfully took this course. Employers love it.

Udemy is a distance learning portal distinguished by its wide coverage of different fields of knowledge, ranging from academic social sciences and humanities to mobile applications development. Users have access to over 60,000 different online courses (both paid and free), a rich selection of expert teachers with a unique approach to learning, as well as the opportunity to learn at their own pace. Using Udemy service allows you to learn from scratch or fill gaps in knowledge.
In addition, anyone can become a teacher within the portal: to do this, you need to choose a topic of training, create a course, and then promote it among the trainees, sharing knowledge with students and earning money, or distribute absolutely free. In development, authors can upload audio and video, presentations and a variety of files, as well as use interactive whiteboards for discussion.
Learning with Udemy is possible both from a computer and from the mobile phone screen, thanks to convenient applications for iOS and Android, which allows you to get knowledge almost anywhere.

What you’ll learn

  • Use SQL to query a database
  • Use SQL to perform data analysis
  • Be comfortable putting SQL and PostgreSQL on their resume
  • Learn to perform GROUP BY statements
  • Replicate real-world situations and query reports


  • No prior technical experience is required! All you need is a computer!

This course has many positive reviews on the Internet and some of them are below:

“I took this course and received the necessary knowledge to write SQL queries at my work. In the next salary review, the company raised my salary because I had a certificate from Udemy”.

“Great course, really helped me get my first job as a software tester. Now I have enough knowledge to work with Oracle database.”.

The course is suitable for anyone who has a desire to learn the SQL from scratch. If you are a software tester and at an interview you mention that you know SQL, your chances of getting an offer job will increase dramatically.

Udemy contains countless courses for programmers on various subjects. Both beginner and skilled programmer can find material on Udemy on almost any topic of interest to him. The price of the course ranges from an average of 10 to 20 dollars per unit. The platform provides feedback from the author of the course. Once you have purchased a course, you will have lifetime access to it.

Pluralsight! MySQL Fundamentals

Another online course you’ll find is Pluralsight. This course is quite popular for beginners, as it does not require any technical skills or programming skills, just a desire.

What you’ll learn

  • Basics of SQL
  • MySQL server administration
  • Backup and recovery of MySQL database
  • InnoDB and MyISAM Storage Engines
  • Security
  • Performance monitoring
  • MySQL Enterprise
  • MySQL Workbench
“Pluralsight is a very serious resource for learning programming and SQL.Everything was clear to me, although I am a humanitarian myself”.

Pluralsight offers good courses of software development, from programming languages to architectural issues.
Pluralsight costs $29 per month or $299 per year, which will have to be given after the free version of 200 minutes of viewing video content.

Coursera! Introduction to Structured Query Language (SQL)

Coursera is an online education project that was created in 2012 by Stanford University staff. Users of the service get access to training programs, courses, tests and exams of various educational institutions. To date, the platform has more than 25 million registered users, several thousand courses, as well as more than 150 specializations and educational institutions.
The project contains training programs in various disciplines, which last several weeks. Every week there are video lectures, students perform various exercises, and at the end they take tests and final exams. Courses have a limited access time: any homework must be completed on time. If all intermediate and final tests are successfully completed, the student receives a certificate of completion of the educational program.

Coursera offers users full training courses in various disciplines of software development, including SQL for beginners. Homework, intermediate tests and final exams are provided to the student. Coursera gives you the opportunity to study for free for 7 days, after which you should pay about $ 50 per month.

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