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Thread: Learning SQL

  1. #1
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    Learning SQL

    Hi all,

    I'm looking to learn SQL to quite an advanced level to aid my job.

    What different mediums can I use to do this?

    I like the idea of Night schools, so I can get a NUS card again (cheapskate I know) heh...

    Anyone know of one in Notts?

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    Senior Member Kezzer's Avatar
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    You could buy some books.

    I got some books which Az recommended me which were super high quality

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    Pixel Abuser Spunkey's Avatar
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    books is the way, its a lot cheaper, and you've got something to use as a reference when you need it.

    my 2 penneth

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    TiG
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    Depends what you are trying to do Lead Head, see learning SQL to me purely means T-SQL - the transaction language that you use, the way to manipulate and enter data into the system. Obviously this will very much depend on what you are using, although SQL is supposed to be standard its not quite as standard as you might think.

    If you are doing this for a work based system i would say books are probably a good way forward, plenty of online examples of stuff on SQL so hopefully it would be enough to get your moved on.

    Otherwise SQL management course may be more appropriate....

    TiG
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    Yup, as TiG said SQL is supposed to be a standard, and it is, sort of..

    The very basic still tends to be the same, (select, drop etc etc) but then you get vendor-specific functions which can all be similar, or completely different. It entirely depends on the database you're using..

    MySQL, MS-SQL, Ingres, Ingres II, Oracle, IBM DB2, etc etc

    Once you pick up the basics, it shouldn't be *too* tricky to port over for other databases though, it's just a case of looking for the different syntaxs and the occasional different command
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    Learning at a night school tho can often lead to getting a qualification. Its one thing saying 'i have studied a book' its another thing saying 'here is my certificate to show i having completed such and such a course and am this competent.'

    I would be doing the course wif Nick if we find something, and in this particular case we are looking for more 'taught' classes rather than teaching ourselves.

    Just a couple of points there so you know
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    TiG
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    Heh, a piece of paper doesn't mean your confident at the topic tho matey. Believe me now you actually have to know your stuff, the job market is there to pay the people that know the topic inside and out, a piece of paper doesn't get you that.

    As you say you are just getting the basics under your belt which is why you feel courses are best, i'd agree but thats just the first step, practising with the skills you learn is so important.

    Best places are local technology colleges then, thought they are NOT cheap. A Cisco course i was looking at doing over 20 weeks with 3hrs twice a week was just over a grand. If you want something reckonised in sql then i would say you are likely looking at the same sort of price tag.

    Now are books that poor an idea?

    TiG
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    Don't agree with you everything you've said there TiG (unless I misunderstand your point). Potential employers have to believe what a candidate puts down on their CV and if they have an official qualification then that (theoretically) backs it up. Saying you've read a book doesn't. If you've gone to the effort and expense of gaining a qualification in your own free time then that shows keenness to learn and initiaitive and those qualities are far more valuable to a potential employer than any particular skill you may have. Good employees can always be trained, poor ones can't.

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    Thanks all for your input.

    I think night schools might be the best bet, along with a book or two. Now, I need to know which books are good.

    I need some links to start me off on my quest... what have you got / recommend for me?

    The line of work it will be used for will be to SELECT data and manipulate, export to .rtf / .txt / .csv etc to produce reports. This will be in mySQL, however, I would like to move onto PLSQL as well at a later date.

    I am not looking at getting these skills to look for another job, it is to further improve my chances of gaining promotion into a higher role within my dept. It's a substantial raise for someone of my age, and therefore, if the chances are there, take them!!

    I hope I have provided a bit more background information for you, so you can narrow down your answers!

    Any more Q's let me know

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    TiG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Az
    Don't agree with you everything you've said there TiG (unless I misunderstand your point). Potential employers have to believe what a candidate puts down on their CV and if they have an official qualification then that (theoretically) backs it up. Saying you've read a book doesn't. If you've gone to the effort and expense of gaining a qualification in your own free time then that shows keenness to learn and initiaitive and those qualities are far more valuable to a potential employer than any particular skill you may have. Good employees can always be trained, poor ones can't.
    Az, having gone to several interviews recently, all the positions i've applied for have just pattern matched my cv to there requirements, i've got several ms sql certificates, but i still went through a 7 page technical exam - where i completely annihilated the exam.

    My point was that having a certificate saying you can do something in this sphere doesn't mean when it comes down to the companies technical exam if applying for a job that this will get you through it.

    That was all i was saying, a course cannot imo match reading a book and actually doing all of it in practise.

    I guess it also very much depends where you are in the job market too, but i've certainly found that the change has gone from people wanting very broad skill sets to incredibly focused ones.

    TiG
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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    I'd agree with TiG to a point there...I have recently been INTERVIEWING people...not IT people tho, so look at it from slightly further back...

    as an INTERVIEWER I dont trust Qualifications much....I use them to pick the candidates and THEN tes tthem on something....or many things.

    Way too many people LIE on their CV and I will find out...but I NEED to finds out BEFORE offering them a job not after they have my money

    SO....Qualifications are essential but then it is CRITICAL that you can use them without thinking twice.....it must be second nature....not a case of revising before each task .

    My (non IT) £0.02

    Go for it Lead head mate..get it ALL and be the BEST!

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    Yeh, thats the thing Zak33 matey (btw, wat you doin in this forum? )

    The 'piece of paper' will show that I have done the sql, the test will prove I can do the SQL.

    I will be getting some books, however I dont know which are the better variety!
    I also need to find out where there are Night schools in Nottm. When do they typically start? Sept? I really want to get started!

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    DsW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lead_Head
    This will be in mySQL, however, I would like to move onto PLSQL as well at a later date.
    If you are referring to Oracle PL/SQL then the book(s) to get is(are) O'Reilly - brilliant references and good explanations.

    cheers,
    dave

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    Thanks for that, I'll check out prices on Amazon

    Anyone else got any recommendations?

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