What to Focus on when Learning on SQL for a Day

Now, I don’t expect you to master these concepts in a weekend or a week. So what do I want you to focus on while I show things in class? If I could describe it in a couple of words: Push and Flow.

Push and Flow

For the first part of SQL education, where we cover the basic concepts of selecting, filtering, sorting, etc. data, I expect you to read this amount of bulk lessons:

  • I want you to see the flow of my work and thought process.
  • And I also want to give you ideas on how to push yourself to challenge whether you get the full syntax or not.

Some concepts:

  • The basic and mundane steps of starting the database client and opening a database file
  • Navigating around the client, particularly how to get to the Query Editor
  • How I start by tackling a complex question with simple step of a query.
  • How I write my queries and execute them one step at a time.
  • How I use keyboard shortcuts to make this process faster.
  • How I deliberately make errors in my queries to make sure that my query isn’t accident by “lucky”
  • How I ask very simple questions to make sure my query comes up with the expected answers.

Concepts to be gathered more formally in a guide

SQL syntax

  • End all statements with a semicolon, even if it doesn’t affect the GUI client

  • Avoid special punctuation – hypbens, arithmetic signs, etc. – as much as possible when using it for the name, i.e. the identifier of a column or table.

  • Commas
    • Used to separate columns in a list, such as in a SELECT or ORDER BY clause
  • Whitespace is insignificant
    • Consecutive spaces are treated as a single space
    • Newline space is the same as a space character
    • Tokens don’t require the use of spaces as separators
  • Syntax is case-insensitive, e.g. ORDER BY and order by

SQL style

Too many human and technical things to incorporate. But here’s a couple of guides that I will derive from: