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Find What You are Looking for, Easily

August 8, 2017

For a long time, perhaps thousands of years, people have described any near-impossible search task as “trying to find a needle in a haystack.” This task is so hard because the haystack is a huge random jumble of hay stalks and a needle is a very tiny, nearly invisible sliver of metal. If you tried to pull a single piece of information out of a computer file containing millions or even billions of similar items, your job would be near impossible too. Thankfully, relational databases are not random jumbles of items, but are organized according to a rigid structure. This structure enables you to quickly and easily retrieve the information you want, using a query written in SQL, the international standard query language, which is supported by all major relational database management systems today.

At one level, SQL is a really easy computer language to learn, at least for English speakers. That’s because its syntax and structure is very similar to the syntax and structure of English. In fact, it could be considered a more highly structured and precise form of English. People can read a statement that contains some ambiguity and understand its intent, based on context. Computers, at least for now, are not able to do this, so when writing code for a computer, one must be very precise. SQL gives you the tools to write with the needed precision.

Although it’s fairly easy to gain enough knowledge of SQL to do useful work, SQL is sophisticated enough to be used to make highly nuanced queries. Advanced users will be able to pull just about anything out of a database that they want, even one with a very complex structure.  The need to retrieve specific data from a database is widespread across all kinds of organizations. Learning SQL will provide you with a broadly applicable skill that is much in demand today, and will be even more valuable in the future. My new online course will get you started. Click the link to find out more.

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