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You may not believe but in my 20 years of career as a Java developer I found that almost 95% of the Java applications use a relational database in their back-end and almost all web applications use the database.
In recent years, one of the most common ways to learn any programming skill is learning online, at your comfort of the office or home and SQL is no different. Learning SQL online has another advantage of a quick head start because you don’t need to install a database and create tables to write some SELECT queries.
The installation and setup are definitely a tough part for beginners and I have gone through that pain every time I have to learn a new database.
Anyway, once you start writing queries and seeing the result, you feel that confidence needed to go to the next level, which involves downloading and installing a free copy of popular databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, or Oracle in your machine.
From my experience, I can say that SQL is easy to learn but difficult to master. You can start writing SQL queries in about an hour or so, but when it comes to writing queries to solve real-time requirements or for reporting purposes, it’s not that easy.
Practicing SQL online on sites like SQLZoo or SQLFiddle will further help you to keep yourself up-to-date and keep improving your SQL skills, which is the main challenge for any SQL developer or programmer.
10 Best Resources to Learn SQL Online for FREE
Here is my collection of the top five websites, which I found good to learn and master SQL. There are many websites, blogs, and tutorials out there on the internet but at the same time, it’s difficult to find excellent resources.
Since I have a passion to collect good resources for learning technology, I always bookmark my great discoveries. These websites are some of those.
Udemy is one of the best websites to learn any technical skill for free in 2023. It has the biggest collection of online courses, both free and paid.
Since online courses are a great way to learn a new technology or programming language, you can also learn the basics of SQL and Databases.
Though, finding the right course is a tough job there as well because there are literally so many courses, and you are not sure which instructor is best and which course meets your requirements, so you need to watch previews, read reviews, and decide based upon that.
If you ask me, The Complete SQL Bootcamp by Josh Portilla is the best course to learn SQL. It has, on average, 4.5 ratings from more than 127,000 students, which are really impressive.
The only thing is that it’s not free, but at the same time its very affordable as you can get them in less than $10 on Udemy’s flash sale, which happens all the time. The course also provides certificates to indicate that you have completed the SQL training, adding to your resume or Linkedin profile.
As I have said, Udemy also has many free courses to learn SQL and Database, and the following are my recommendations to start with.
- Introduction to Databases and SQL Querying— 4.3 ratings from 175,000 Students
- Advanced Databases and SQL Querying— 4.3 rating from approx 100,000 Students
- Oracle SQL — A Complete Introduction— 4.5 ratings from 25,000 Students
- Microsoft SQL Server — An Introduction— 4.4 ratings from 7,000 Students
These are some excellent free courses you can take on Udemy to learn SQL and Database fundamentals, querying, etc.
Coursera is another place where you can learn in-demand tech skills for free. Many people don’t know, but Coursera has many free courses, and most of their paid courses are also free-to-audit. They are the best website to learn Data Science and got several useful courses to learn essential Data Science skills like SQL.
Here are my favorite Coursera courses you can join to learn SQL for FREE:
SQL for Data Science — the most popular SQL course on Coursera, and more than 330K people have already joined this course.
Introduction to Structured Query Language (SQL) — This is another great SQL course on Coursera which the University of Michigan offers. It has on average 4.8 ratings, and more than 120K people have joined it.
Database Design and Basic SQL in PostgreSQL — This one is for people who want to learn Database design and SQL in PostgreSQL, a popular SQL vendor. It’s a relatively newer course but has, on average, 4.8 ratings.
Intermediate SQL— This is another awesome PostgreSQL course from Coursera, which you can join for FREE. It’s more for intermediate developers who are familiar with PostgreSQL. For example, you can join this after going through a previous course.
Overall, these are some of the best SQL courses from Coursera which you can take to learn this useful tech skill. Most of them are either free or free-to-audit.
When it comes to joining this course, you have two options, you can either join this course alone which costs around $39 per month for specialization, you can also join Coursera Plus for $399 per year, a subscription plan from Coursera which gives you unlimited access to their most popular courses, specialization, professional certificate, and guided projects.
Again most of their courses are free, but not all of them, and you need Codecademy PRO membership to access their premium courses.
In this free SQL course, you’ll learn how to communicate with relational databases through SQL. You’ll not only learn but practice with 4 projects — how to manipulate data and build queries that communicate with more than one table.
Here are things you will learn in this free SQL course on Codecademy:
- how to use SQL to access, create, and update data stored in a database.
- How to write complex queries by learning essential query keywords and functionality
- How to use powerful functions for performing complex database operations with ease.
- How to create and manipulate databases with multiple related tables
More than 1.2 million people have joined this free SQL course, and you can join too.
As the name suggest this is one of the dedicated online website to learn Data skills like SQL. While it also has a subscription plan but not many people know that DataCamp also have many high-quality free courses which you can join to learn essential data skills for free.
Like this free SQL course which teaches syntax in SQL shared by many types of databases, such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQL Server, and Oracle, and it will tell you everything you need to know to begin working with databases today!
The first chapter, “Filtering columns,” is completely free. You’ll learn about tables, columns, and rows in SQL, how to talk about them using database lingo, and how to begin an analysis using simple SQL commands to select and summarize columns from database tables.
By joining this SQL course, you will learn important SQL skills by solving gamified problems for encouragement and learning. By the way, other chapters are not free, and you may need to buy a Datacamp subscription to access them. Nevertheless, a great resource for beginners, and I highly recommend this one.
And, If you are someone like me who knows SQL but always looking to increase knowledge and loves to try out some good SQL queries, check out Joe Celko’s SQL Puzzles and Answers, Second Edition; it is one of the excellent resources to learn and master SQL programming.
Udacity is another great online learning platform that offers courses and programs in various fields such as data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, programming, web development, and more.
The platform offers both free and paid courses, and learners can earn certificates or even nanodegrees upon completion.
Regarding SQL courses, Udacity does offer some free courses on SQL. For instance, they have a free course titled SQL for Data Analysis which teaches learners how to use SQL to manipulate data and perform data analysis tasks.
Additionally, they offer other SQL-related courses that may require payment, such as SQL Nanodegree or Data Analyst Nanodegree, which include more advanced SQL topics and skills.
SQLZoo is one of the best and I guess the most popular website for learning SQL online. It provides both tutorials and exercises and that’s why it is equally useful for someone just starting with SQL and programmers who know SQL but want some good practice to really master it.
The SQLZoo provides easy-to-understand tutorials and interactive examples to write queries and see results right in your browser.
You will find SQL interactive tutorials, examples, and exercises on this website. It covers most of the SQL clauses like SELECT clause to read data, CREATE to make a new database, ALTER to change the database, and DELETE to remove data and tables.
It also covers advanced concepts like GROUP BY, Indexes, Views, SQL Joins, Sub-queries, handling NULL values in SQL, etc. SQLZoo also has several SQL quizzes to test your knowledge.
In short, this site is one of the best resources to learn and master SQL online, and it’s FREE. Every programmer who has an interest in SQL can benefit from this site.
FreeCodecamp is another useful place to learn tech skills. They have a website freecodecamp.org and a Youtube channel which is full of free but comprehensive courses and this is one of them.
This SQL course has got more than 7 million views and I think it’s Youtube’s most popular free SQL course.
The course is designed for beginners to SQL and database management systems and will introduce common database management topics.
Throughout the course, you’ll learn key SQL topics like schema design, basic C.R.U.D operations, aggregation, nested queries, joins, keys, and much more.
You can watch this course right here or on youtube for FREE.
8. SQL Course from Stanford University
This is a free SQL course provided by Stanford University. This course contains good SQL video tutorials to explain both the basic and advanced concepts of SQL and Relational databases.
You can use this course in both registered and non-registered mode, though it’s better to get registered to save your progress. It’s also a self-paced course so you can learn at your own speed.
This website also provides all course material for free e.g. SQL scripts, course slides, etc which you can download from relevant sections. Given this course is from Stanford University, you can rest assured of quality.
9. SQL Course from Khan Academy
Khan Academy, one of the best websites to learn computer science and programming online also has a good SQL tutorial with the title “Intro to SQL: Querying and managing databases”.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use SQL to store, query, and manipulate data. SQL is a special-purpose programming language designed for managing data in a relational database and is used by a huge number of apps and organizations.
I have used some tutorials from Khan Academy in past and this is one of them, it’s like a virtual classroom. A good companion of SQLZoo makes your study complete. You can also take help from some good SQL books like Head First SQL if you are a beginner, the head first way is one of the best ways to learn SQL.
SQLBolt is another good website to learn SQL with simple, interactive examples. It contains a series of interactive lessons and exercises designed to help you quickly learn SQL right in your browser.
It contains 20 lessons starting from a basic SQL query to more advanced and confusing Join queries, aggregation, filtering, and dealing with nulls. It is one of the best resources to learn SQL for complete beginners.
So if you are the one who wants to learn SQL or you know SQL but don’t feel comfortable then go and try out SQLBolt’s interactive SQL tutorials. SQLBolt also has SQL tasks after each lesson, which will force you to use the knowledge you have learned in the lesson.
The quality of queries is good, easy to start with, and getting difficult afterward. If you are stuck while writing an SQL query to solve the task, you can even take help from their solution.
I suggest you finish the task as soon as you finish the lessor and then the next day just do the task with some variation.
That’s all about some of the best websites to learn SQL online for FREE. Though the Internet is full of free stuff it’s hard to find a good resource. I still respect curated resources and have benefited a lot from them. Though nothing can substitute classroom training, a combination of books, blogs, video tutorials, and interactive websites can really help you to get there.
Some other FREE online resources for Programmers
- 10 best SQL and Database Online Courses (best courses)
- The Complete DevOps RoadMap (roadmap)
- 10 Free Courses to learn SQL Server Database (free courses)
- Website to Practice SQL queries online on any database using SQLFiddle (see here)
- 2 Websites to Learn Coding Online in Java and Python (see here)
- Top 5 Java EE Blogs Developer Should Follow (see here)
- Top 5 Websites to learn Java Coding for FREE (websites)
- 5 Best Courses to learn MySQL Database for Beginners (courses)
- Top 5 Forums for Java Developers (see here)
- Top 5 Courses to learn PostgreSQL for beginners (courses)
- 10 Free Books to Learn Java (check here)
- 10 Free Courses to Learn Java Programming for Beginners (courses)
- 5 Free Courses to Learn Spring and Spring Boot (courses)
- The Complete React JS RoadMap (roadmap)
- 5 Free Courses to learn Database and SQL online (courses)
Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like these websites to learn SQL online for FREE then please share them with your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions or feedback then please drop a note.
P. S. – If you are someone like me who knows SQL but always looking to increase knowledge and loves to try out some good SQL queries, check out Joe Celko’s SQL Puzzles and Answers, Second Edition, It one of the excellent resources to learn and master SQL programming.