3 Reasons Why SQL Is So Popular

Written By Jess Feldman

Edited By Liz Eggleston

Last updated on August 8, 2023

Popular since the 1970s, structured query language (SQL) allows technologists to organize and access data simply and quickly. SQL is utilized in data and engineering jobs alike and doesn’t require you to know how to code. Larisa Molodyk, Product Manager at TripleTen, shares three reasons why SQL is one of the most popular programming languages, what kinds of jobs you can land with SQL in your toolkit, and how you can learn SQL for free in less than a week with TripleTen’s self-paced SQL course. 

What is SQL?

Everything has a database, which can be used in two forms: in a table and without any table dividers. SQL is a structured query language meaning every piece of data has a relation to another piece of data, which makes it structured. Most software and databases are written in SQL because it’s simple and logical, unlike other languages like JavaScript that are less logical.

How is SQL used? 

The need to organize data is necessary for businesses of any size, and SQL supports them in organizing and sorting that data. For example, a big software company like Oracle depends on SQL. Knowing how to use SQL can help you land an entry-level database administrator position without any previous tech experience. 

  1. SQL is logical and simple. SQL is one of the most popular programming languages because it is easy to learn and use. You don't need a powerful computer or some sophisticated interfaces to use SQL. If you need to select something, you just type, “select.” It's similar to the English language and has the same queries.
  2. A lot of software is built using SQL. Everywhere you go, every software you use, and probably every tech company you would work in requires some SQL knowledge.
  3. SQL is foundational. Companies have relied on and will continue to rely on SQL because it’s dependable and their databases run on it. No one would suddenly go from SQL to NoSQL (which is used for non-structures and semi-structured data)! If big companies like Amazon established that they use SQL and the cloud and other services are supposed to support SQL, they wouldn't just change how they operate. 

Which tech roles use SQL?

SQL is not just for just coders, engineers, and data experts! SQL is used by many professions dealing with software, from simple database administrators to business intelligence analysts. 

SQL is used in any roles that use databases in data, engineering, and analysis, such as:

  • Data analyst
  • Data scientist
  • Data engineer
  • Business intelligence engineer
  • Web developer, software engineer
  • Data engineering
  • Quality assurance (QA)
  • Tech adjacent roles, like product managers

Here are three examples of tech professionals (who aren’t data professionals!) using SQL: 

  1. SQL is used in software engineering to connect databases with interfaces. 
  2. SQL is used in quality assurance (QA) when a QA Tester needs to know how to look into the database and how to check how many lines are in it, if data is correct, etc. Of course, they also have to know how to install the software needed for this.
  3. SQL is used by many tech-adjacent specialists like marketing managers to extract information from a client database to add them to a newsletter. 

For those just learning how to code, is SQL a good first language to learn?

SQL is technically a programming language because you use it to communicate with databases, but it’s actually used as more of a tool. You could probably land your first job knowing only SQL (if you know SQL very well, you could be a Senior SQL Developer making a salary of $100k!), but as far as learning to code, you’d be better off learning coding languages for the front end and back end first. Knowing only SQL won’t get you a first coding job, but it definitely could get you a job as a database administrator. 

For all tech roles, it’s an advantage to have SQL on your resume compared to applicants that don’t. By default, you need to know SQL for any entry-level role, whether in data analytics, data science, engineering, or development.

As we look ahead, do you see SQL as remaining an important tool in a technologist’s toolbox? 

SQL is very likely to stay in the tech workspace for a long time. There are no other alternatives to SQL and NoSQL and no one doubts that SQL will be around for a long time. It works, so no one will replace it, but SQL will continue to evolve. 

Even if we see more big companies using NoSQL since large amounts of data requires different structuring, if you know SQL (how it operates, its logic, and the most popular queries), then you will know how to combine them to use NoSQL. 

Learning SQL at TripleTen

TripleTen is now offering a free SQL course! Who is this online course for?

The SQL course at TripleTen is an introductory course on how SQL is used in data analytics and software engineering. The course is intended to soothe your anxiety about tech with a super easy-to-learn tool, so you can decide if you want to keep pursuing it. Upon completion, you will have a number of skills that can help you land an entry-level job or add on to your existing tech toolbelt.

What can students expect to learn in this online SQL course?

Students will learn basic proficiency in SQL, including:

  • How to send a query to the database
  • How to select
  • How to group
  • How to filter
  • How to use SQL Server
  • How to select a segment
  • How to combine them 
  • How to gather data

The course doesn't touch on any data visualization or creating a database, but it will explain how to do simple manipulation on a given database. 

What is the time commitment for this course? 

The course can be completed within a week. Some students can complete the course in 5-10 hours, while others may take closer to 20 hours. 

How is this course taught? 

The course is totally self-paced within TripleTen’s platform. It utilizes a simulator, text, visuals, and storytelling, and it’s set in an imaginary universe where all our characters live. The program includes practice databases that mimic real life situations. There is a final assessment with a set of tasks to show what you learned. 

Do you need to know how to code to get into the course?

No, not at all — just come in and learn!

Does the SQL course give learners a sense of what it’s like to learn in a bootcamp at TripleTen? 

Yes, it absolutely does. Experiencing this course offers great exposure to the TripleTen platform, understanding the learning curve of starting simply and working harder, and how we check tasks and ask questions for the quizzes. Students will still get support to answer questions they have. The big difference with our longer bootcamps is that we offer personalized life coaching and career services.

Find out more and read TripleTen reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with TripleTen.

About The Author

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps.

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