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Are you looking for the best way to learn SQL?

Are you unsure where to begin?

The good news is that there are a lot of SQL tutorials online. There are many ways to learn SQL that are suitable for different people. Some people like reading articles or books, others like watching videos. Some have exercises, some have a practice SQL sandbox, some don’t.

This list contains over 50 different places to learn SQL. Take a look at the list and find one that looks good to you!

Criteria

This list contains a range of resources for learning SQL. For it to appear on this list, it needed to:

  • Cover the basics of SQL. Many intermediate-level resources didn’t make this list for that reason.
  • Not a vendor’s manual. While the Oracle and MySQL documentation can explain the syntax, other places are usually better at explaining SQL.
  • Available in English.

Several resources were found in my research but not included in this list.

Also, there are several websites that offer paid courses (Lynda, Pluralsight, Udemy). Each of them has hundreds of SQL courses. Rather than list them all individually here, I’ve deliberately listed one entry for each, and you can visit each website and decide which course is the best way to learn SQL for you.

My Shortlist

I’ve listed over 50 tutorials here for learning SQL.

Don’t want to sift through them all and just want to learn from a good quality tutorial?

Here’s my short list, in no particular order, based on my own experience and recommendations online (e.g. StackOverflow, Reddit):

Click on each of them to be taken to that place in this guide for more information.

Which SQL Distribution Should I Learn?

This list contains resources for learning many different types of SQL: Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and more.

Which version should you learn? And does it matter?These versions of SQL are offered by different vendors. They are all based on the SQL standard language, which is probably about 80% of their features. So, learning one vendor’s SQL makes it pretty easy to learn another vendor’s SQL.

  • Oracle: database is targeted towards large organisations, but they also offer a small, free version called Oracle Express.
  • SQL Server: a Microsoft database, also targeted towards large organisations. Good integration with other Microsoft technologies.
  • MySQL: this is a smaller, free to use version of the SQL database, that uses the standard SQL. It doesn’t have the capabilities for larger systems that Oracle and SQL Server have, though.
  • PostgreSQL: another well-known free to use database system. Comparable to MySQL. I haven’t used it so I can’t comment much on it, but it has a pretty wide usage.
  • SQLite: a free standalone database, often used in small applications and mobile apps.

So which version should you choose?

I think it depends where you want to go with your career.

  • Web development for small/mid-sized projects or personal projects? MySQL or PostgreSQL.
  • Web development with .Net technologies? SQL Server
  • Web development with Java or Oracle technologies? Oracle
  • Database administration career? Oracle or SQL Server
  • Mobile app development? SQLite.

These are just general suggestions. You can easily switch between types of SQL databases after learning the differences and syntax related to it.

Let’s take a look at the list!

Text-Based Tutorials

This section includes text-based tutorials such as blog posts or articles on websites.

SQL Tutorial (1KeyData)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: No

This site includes some short explanations on each of the SQL topics with several examples.

Beginner SQL Tutorial

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

This tutorial looks like some of the other text-based tutorials such as W3Schools. I found the explanations to include poor English. I also noticed that each link on the sidebar opens in a new tab which may be annoying. It teaches joins as using the WHERE clause rather than ANSI joins.

Data Boot Camp (Chartio)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

This tutorial focuses on using Chartio’s BI tool. On first impressions, it looks to be good quality.

SQL Basics (Data Quest)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

Explains SQL concepts well. Uses SQLite.

SQL for Data Analysis (Data36)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

A good quality PostgreSQL tutorial. It has a video course for a more in-depth tutorial that can be purchased.

SQL Tutorial (Do Factory)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

This tutorial has short posts, but the explanations are good. It includes an SQL sandbox but it does not load.

SQL Tutorial (Fresh 2 Refresh)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: Yes

This site has a lot of ads on it, making it hard to navigate. Some of the topics are only covered briefly. However it does include an SQL editor which is a bonus.

SQL Tutorial (Geeks For Geeks)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

This page contains links to articles on many different introductory topics in SQL. Each topic is explained well. The only criticism I have is that the page isn’t laid out very well – beginner topics are mixed in with more advanced topics.

SQL Tutorial for Beginners (Guru99)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

A tutorial on MySQL and PostgreSQL. Seems like a good quality tutorial. One minor criticism is that the SQL code uses backticks ` instead of single quotes ‘ for strings, making it hard to copy and paste.

Modern SQL (Markus Winand)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

The tutorial covers many types of databases (MySQL, MSSQL, Oracle, DB2, SQLite, PostgreSQL, MariaDB). Focuses on “modern” SQL such as new features.

The SQL Tutorial for Data Analysis (Mode Analytics)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: Yes

This site has a good layout. It uses their Mode tool to practice SQL. You need an account for this to practice, but it’s free.

MySQLTutorial.org

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: Yes

It seems like a good quality tutorial. Their “Try It Out” section is helpful, as it lets you run SQL queries.

SQL for Web Nerds (Philip Greenspun)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

It’s a useful tutorial but the site looks like it hasn’t been updated in a long time. It’s based on Oracle 10g which is quite old.

Postgres Guide

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

A neat looking tutorial on PostgreSQL. It only covers some of the basic topics (some features of SELECT) and leaves out a lot of others.

SQL Tutorial (Quackit)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

Follows a standard layout of the topic list on the left sidebar. The explanations are OK and it includes a lot of topics. The site is easy to read and navigate.

SQLCourse.com

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: Yes

The SQL practice feature is very simple – just a text box. The navigation text is very small and site layout looks old. The course is not very extensive

Learn SQL (SQL Easy)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: Yes

It has a short explanation of different concepts and has a practice SQL feature for each lesson. It looks like the same course as sqlteaching.com. It uses SQLite.

SQL Teaching

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: Yes

It has a short explanation of different concepts and has a practice SQL feature for each lesson. It looks like the same course as sql-easy.com. It uses SQLite.

Learn SQL (SQL-Tutorial.net)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

Each topic includes a short explanation and several examples. It covers a lot of the basics of SELECT statements.

SQL-Tutorial.ru

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

The navigation on this site is a bit hard to follow, but the tutorial seems quite thorough.

SQL Tutorial (SQLTutorial.org)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

This tutorial includes code and database diagrams and seems pretty good.

SQL Zoo

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: Yes

Very highly reviewed online. Has a good tutorial, exercises, and the ability to practice your SQL queries. Uses SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, DB2, and PostgreSQL.

SQL Exercises (SQL-EX.ru)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: Yes

Not a tutorial but has SQL exercises and a practice area.

SQLBolt

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: Yes

Highly reviewed online. Has a good interactive SQL feature and good exercises.

SQL (Study By Yourself)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: No

This seems like a thorough tutorial. I found the navigation hard to follow. The explanation of topics seems very formal and a bit hard to get started with.

SQL Tutorial (Tizag)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

This seems like a good tutorial. I found the navigation on the left a bit too small.

Learn SQL (Treasure Data)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

A tutorial that focuses on comparing Excel features to SQL.

Learn SQL in 20 minutes (Tutorial Zine)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: Yes

An easy to follow blog post. The source code is neat. But the post only skims on a few topics and only has a couple of examples

Learn SQL (Tutorials Point)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

This tutorial has several ads on the pages which get in the way. The articles are also quite short and poor quality.

SQL for Beginners (Tutsplus)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

This tutorial is all on a single blog post and uses a command line for SQL. It has a lot of positive comments.

SQL Tutorial (W3Schools)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: Yes

The W3Schools tutorial is commonly suggested online in places such as StackOverflow and Reddit. It has a lot of topics.

Free SQL Tutorial (Webucator)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

This tutorial explains topics well. It has posts that are easy to follow.

Video Tutorials

This section includes free video tutorials.

Interactive SQL Tutorial (BitDegree)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

An SQL tutorial on the BitDegree website, which includes a range of videos. Has over 18,000 students enrolled.

Learn Database Design with MySQL From Scratch (Eduonix)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

This includes more than just learning SQL. The enrolment page has some spelling errors so I’m unsure about the quality of the course.

Intro to SQL: Querying and managing data (Khan Academy)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: Free
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: No

Khan Academy is well-regarded in the industry so I’m sure this is a good quality course on learning SQL.

SQL Database Fundamentals (Microsoft)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

Microsoft offers SQL training on SQL Server. It’s highly rated on their website.

Databases for Developers 12-Week Bootcamp (Oracle)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: Free
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: No

Oracle offers a 12-week bootcamp/course on the Oracle database. I haven’t taken it but I’ve heard good things about it.

SQL Fundamentals (Sololearn)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: Free
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: No

Sololearn offers a range of courses and has gamified the learning process (earning points, unlocking achievements).

SQL (Stanford Lagunita)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: Free
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: No

An online course offered by Standford University. Several other courses are also available.

YouTube Tutorials

This section includes free video tutorials available on YouTube, either as a single video or a series of smaller videos.

Oracle SQL Tutorial (Caleb Curry)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

A series of videos offered by Caleb Curry. Good quality, great reviews in the comments, and draws concepts on a whiteboard behind him. Also offers courses on other topics.

Introduction to Oracle SQL (Database Star)

YouTube Playlist & Website
Format
: Video
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

This is my series of Introduction to Oracle SQL videos. I’ve offered it on YouTube and also a webpage on this site that links to all of these videos.

SQL Full Course for Beginners (FreeCodeCamp.org)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

A long video (4 hours 20 minutes) offered by FreeCodeCamp which teaches an introduction to SQL.

Learn SQL In 1 Hour (Joey Blue)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

A one hour video teaching the basics of SQL.

SQL Tutorial (The Bad Tutorials)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

A series of short SQL tutorial videos by Madhur.

SQL Crash Course (Traversy Media)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: Free
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

A one hour video by Brad Traversy on the basics of SQL.

Paid Tutorials

This section includes paid tutorials or courses.

Various Kindle eBooks (Amazon)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: $0 to $60
Exercises: Yes and No
Practice SQL: No

Amazon offers a large range of eBooks on learning SQL. They are usually less expensive than online courses, and using either the Kindle app on your phone or the web reader, you can follow along online.

Database Development Courses (CBT Nuggets)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: Free week, then $84/month
Exercises: Unsure
Practice SQL: No

A series of courses offered by CBTNuggets. Focuses on SQL Server and their certifications.

Learn SQL (Codecademy)

Website
Format
: Video, Text
Price: Free with Paid option ($15.99 to $19.99/month)
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: Yes

A good quality tutorial. Codecademy is highly regarded in the industry, and it has a lot more than just SQL.

Coursera

Website
Format
: Video, Text
Price: $39-$79/month
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: No

Coursera is a well-known training site and offers a range of courses as well as SQL.

Lynda

Website
Format
: Video
Price: $19.99-$25/month
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: No

A well-known training site that offers courses on SQL and many other topics.

SQL In Motion (Manning)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: $59.99
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: No

This is an introductory SQL course I developed for Manning Publications, the company who has published a large range of quality books for software developers.

Various SQL courses (Pluralsight)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: $35/month or $299/year
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: No

Pluralsight offers a large range of video courses for software developers, and has quite a few on SQL.

SQL and Relational Databases (Safari Books)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: Free trial, then paid ($39 per month)
Exercises: No
Practice SQL: No

Safari Books Online offers a range of courses, and one of them here is SQL and Relational Databases.

SQL Practice Problems

Website
Format
: Video and Text
Price: $24 or $49
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: No

Rather than a tutorial, this is a collection of SQL practice problems in text and video format to help you improve your SQL.

Various SQL courses (Udemy)

Website
Format
: Video
Price: Paid
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: No

Udemy is an online marketplace for all kinds of courses. There’s a large range of SQL courses that are suitable for beginners.

Vertabelo Academy (Vertabelo)

Website
Format
: Text
Price: Free trial, then $29
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: Yes

A very well designed set of tutorials, one of the best I’ve seen. It has a good range of topics and includes exercises.

Learn SQL The Hard Way (Zed Shaw)

Website
Format
: Video and Text
Price: $19.99
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: No

A well-known book for learning SQL, this also comes with videos and exercises.

Other Methods

These resources are unique or different methods of learning SQL.

SchemaVerse

Website
Format
: Interactive
Price: Free
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: Yes

A strategy game where you use SQL to compete against other players. An interesting concept!

GalaXQL (Sol Tutorials)

Website
Format
: Interactive
Price: Free
Exercises: Yes
Practice SQL: Yes

An interactive text-based method for learning and practicing SQL.

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Conclusion – Best Way to Learn SQL

This list contains many different resources for learning SQL. There’s a range of text-based resources (articles and websites), videos, free and paid courses, and even interactive courses.

Do you have any suggestions to add to this list? Add them into the comments below and if they meet the criteria I’ll add them here!

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