Learning how to write effective, high-quality SQL code can be difficult, especially if you have a tight budget. Finding decent resources to help with SQL practice online can also be difficult because a lot of the practice resources out there are either very basic or don't cover a very wide range of concepts. This means that, although it's often easy to get familiar with basic SQL programming concepts, it can be hard to get real-world experience.
With this in mind, I've decided to put together a list of my favorite resources for SQL practice online. I've looked at a few different types of resources, including a few to help you learn SQL online if you're not very fluent in it yet. So, if you're trying to learn SQL, but are having a bit of trouble retaining new concepts, then give a few of the following SQL practice resources a go.
Remember, learning a language like SQL isn't something you can do in a day. You will need to put in hours of SQL practice before you even know enough to fully understand the language. With this in mind, here are my top 10 ways to practice SQL online:
Table of Contents
- 1. 1. With A BitDegree Interactive Course
- 2. 2. By Working Through HackerRank Coding Challenges
- 3. 3. Reinforce Your Knowledge With The BitDegree Learn SQL Guide
- 4. 4. Using SQL Fiddle
- 5. 5. By Following Blogs
- 6. 6. Getting Familiar With The SQL Test Website
- 7. 7. Working Through Common Problems On Forums
- 8. 8. By Playing The Schemaverse
- 9. 9. Watching YouTube Videos
- 10. 10. Getting Involved On Reddit
- 11. Conclusion
1. With A BitDegree Interactive Course
If you're a true beginner, then I think that the best way for you to practice writing SQL queries is by working through an interactive online course. Interactive courses are among my favorite way to both learn and practice basic programming language concepts. Some of the features of interactive courses that make them stand out for me to include:
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- Interactive courses allow you to practice writing code directly in your internet browser. This makes it easier than ever to practice SQL online while you're learning!
- Most interactive courses provide answers to every challenge that they set. This means that you will be continually receiving feedback on your code, allowing you to fix problems before they become habitual.
- I've found that, if you choose carefully, interactive courses are both fun and engaging. They usually incorporate a lot of fun exercises, which is one of the reasons why they are so good for people who want to learn SQL online.
If you're either thinking about learning SQL or are looking for some SQL practice online, then I've got just the course for you. Head over to the Interactive SQL Tutorial and work through the challenges offered there. This course does start with the complete basics, so feel free to skip concepts that you don't feel that you need to practice. However, make sure that you slow down and spend a bit of time getting familiar with any new concepts and syntax.
2. By Working Through HackerRank Coding Challenges
Another one of my favorite types of SQL practice online is coding challenges. One of my favorite websites to find such challenges is HackerRank. The SQL exercises on this website are carefully sorted by both difficulty and category. All you need to do is head over to the website, find a SQL challenge that you like the look of, and start working through it!
In most cases, you will be given a clear set of instructions to follow. These instructions will usually contain a range of information about what your program needs to do, what sort of inputs it needs to take, and in some cases, what sort of code you should use when you're writing it. Take your time, work through things methodically, and remember, there usually isn't anyone 'correct' way to write a program.
When I'm working through things like coding challenges, I like to make sure that I've got a language reference guide handy. When it comes to SQL, consider using the BitDegree Learn SQL reference - which I'm about to introduce you to in more detail.
3. Reinforce Your Knowledge With The BitDegree Learn SQL Guide
If you're serious about learning how to write top quality SQL code, then you need to make sure that you're both constantly practicing the things that you know and learning new things. In my opinion, one of the best ways to do this is by working through a text-based SQL tutorial. Unlike interactive or video-based courses, which usually contain limited content, text-based resources like the Learn SQL guide usually contain a comprehensive list of all the important concepts and syntax.
The Learn SQL guide is no exception to the rule, and I've found that it contains pretty much everything I've ever wanted to know about basic SQL coding. Working through it is also a great way to both learn SQL online and to practice writing SQL queries. I would go as far as saying that it's one of the best resources on the internet for people who are trying to progress from having beginner SQL skills to become a pro coder.
This guide has something of order to it. I would recommend starting on the first page and working through it slowly. As you go, you will come across opportunities for SQL practice online. Don't skip over these - the more you practice, the better you will become at writing high-quality code.
4. Using SQL Fiddle
SQL Fiddle is a very useful resource for intermediate to advanced SQL programmers. It allows you to practice writing code for a range of different database types. This is an extremely good way to get familiar with different databases before you enter the real world of SQL coding.
One of the major benefits of undertaking SQL practice online with SQL Fiddle is that you can share your code and get help when you need it. Simply generate a database, write your queries, and then send your unique URL to anyone you want to. This allows you to easily get help with queries that you're having trouble with, further increasing your SQL knowledge.
5. By Following Blogs
Following a decent blog is also a good way to make sure that you're not losing any of your SQL knowledge, even if you're not currently practicing a lot. Reading SQL blog articles before bed or while you're on your way to work in the morning is a great way to uncover interesting new concepts, to reinforce your existing knowledge, and to keep your motivation levels up.
Start by finding a couple of high-quality blogs that provide regular updates that you can follow. Bookmark them, sign up to their mailing lists if they have one, and remember to check back regularly for new updates. One of my favorite blogs for SQL is Stats Bot. Although they don't provide a lot of new content, I've found their existing blog posts to be extremely useful when it comes to SQL practice online.
6. Getting Familiar With The SQL Test Website
SQL Test is somewhat similar to SQL Fiddle, but it offers a range of different functions that you can use to practice SQL online. The first thing you need to do when you're practicing with SQL Test is choosing what database type you want to work with. At the time of writing, only MySQL and Oracle were supported. However, these are two of the most popular database frameworks in the world, which means that it is a great idea to get familiar with them!
Select your database type and you will see the code appear in the interactive code editor. Using this code, you can first create your dummy database (very simple databases are provided) and then practice manipulating it. SQL Test also offers a range of information about useful syntax and functions, so make sure that you draw on this while you're practicing.
7. Working Through Common Problems On Forums
Another one of the great places for SQL practice online is online coding forums. Forums like Stack Overflow have huge coding communities that are usually very open to beginners who are trying to learn SQL. When I want to practice writing code, but I don't have anything, in particular, to work on, I like to head over to a forum for inspiration.
In my case, I usually use Stack Overflow as I've found it to be one of the most active online SQL forums. Head over there, browse through a few of the SQL questions posted in the last hour or so, and see if there's any that you can answer. Answering other people's questions will help reinforce your SQL knowledge. If there's nothing you can answer easily, choose an interesting question and do some research. Draw on a reference guide, online resources, and anything else that can help you come up with a high-quality answer to the question that you're looking at.
Remember, something as simple as participating in an online discussion can be a great SQL practice.
8. By Playing The Schemaverse
SQL practice online isn't always fun. However, interactive coding games like The Schemaverse will help you work through a range of different SQL exercises while simultaneously reinforcing your existing knowledge and teaching you new syntax and concepts. Resources like The Schemaverse are fun, motivational, and they can provide an exciting change from standard SQL exercises.
The Schemaverse is a simple online multiplayer game that is implemented within a SQL database. Using SQL commands, you have to control a fleet of space crafts, defending them from enemy attacks, attacking your enemies when you get a chance, and working your way up the rankings to become the master of The Schemaverse! As you can imagine, this is quite a fun way to practice your SQL skills online, and I would recommend it to anyone with more than an introductory SQL knowledge.
9. Watching YouTube Videos
YouTube videos can offer a new viewpoint when it comes to SQL practice online. Some of the most innovative ways that I've found to practice my coding skills have come from simple SQL videos, and the amount of times I've walked away from a 10-minute video with an array of new knowledge is incredible.
If you're interested in practicing your SQL skills through YouTube videos, then the first thing you should do is search for videos that cover the topics you're working on. Find a video with a lot of views and a good rating and watch it. I often find that the best way to approach informational coding videos is to watch them from start to finish without pausing to take notes or review things I'm not sure about. Then I go back to the start of the video and work through it more slowly, making sure that I'm familiar with and understand everything that was touched on.
10. Getting Involved On Reddit
Reddit is an extremely underrated resource when it comes to SQL practice online. I've found it to be a little more beginner-friendly than many other online forums, which is why I've included it here on this list. I would recommend using Reddit similarly to the way I described using other coding forums above.
Simply scroll through a SQL subreddit, look for questions that people need answers to, and do your best to answer them. Participate in discussions, and take notes on important concepts wherever possible. Remember, anyone can post on Reddit, which means that you shouldn't trust everything that you read there. Do your research to verify things. In my opinion, one of the best subreddits for SQL practice online is the Learn SQL sub.
Finding good places for SQL practice online can be difficult. I've found that a lot of online resources are developed by people without a strong knowledge of SQL, which means that they either contain mistakes or are very simplistic. Luckily for you, I've done some research and come up with 10 great ways to practice SQL online.
Make sure that you're familiar with the basics of SQL by working through the practice exercises in an interactive course. Try and complete coding challenges when you think your understanding of SQL is good enough, and make sure that you're familiar with a decent language reference guide. Get used to using websites like SQL Fiddle and SQL Test so that you can practice writing queries, and consider joining an online community via a site like Reddit or Stack Overflow.
Make sure that you're always taking your time and following best practices when you're coding. Don't get lazy, or you may find yourself developing bad habits that could harm your coding career in the future. Above all, have fun, try and enjoy learning, and do your best to practice as often as is physically possible.