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Is SQL something I could learn in a few days of self training?

#1kelemvorPosted 2/23/2014 4:04:07 PM(edited)
I meet all the mandatory qualifications for the analyst job that I want. The job posting requires Microsoft Office experience and a GED. A Bachelors degree and SQL knowledge is strongly preferred.

I have a BBA with some experience in the company (it's a job within my company's corporate HQ), but no knowledge of SQL except that they use it for database management. I want to be able to drop something about knowing it in my cover letter so the automated resume picker will flag it.

Any tips?
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Kelemvor Lyonsbane
#2CELTEKKPosted 2/23/2014 4:06:23 PM(edited)
go play with microsoft access for a few hours... boom, you just learned SQL.

edit: don't actually do this, i don't want to **** with your career. my recommendation is maybe go pick up a few pieces of literature on SQL, play with it. crap, maybe even tell the employer that you're willing to take a course at your local community college to get even more proficient with it... if such a course is offered... they offer such courses here, that's why I'm saying you should do that.
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#3lazy_titanPosted 2/23/2014 4:06:24 PM
There are A LOT of websites online if you google for them that will teach you SQL. SQL is really easy to learn.
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#4r7gerrabbitPosted 2/23/2014 4:08:03 PM
Basic SQL is. Yes.

But now you need to read up on cursors, stored procedures, primary and foriegn keys, database design, indexes, inner and outer joins, etc.

If all you want to be able to do is simple SELECT * statements then yeah, a few days is enough.
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#5PraetorXynPosted 2/23/2014 4:17:05 PM
SQL syntax is easy enough. The problem is every DBMS usually has slightly different implementations, e.g. the data types might have different names, etc.

The two major DBMS's I've worked with each had extended SQL with procedure programming. Microsoft SQL Server uses T-SQL, and Oracle uses PL-SQL. These allow you to do batch transactions, if statements, and other nice things, which really helps with stored procedures.

You also need to learn how to properly design a database for performance and more importantly how each of the SQL statements works, particularly involving joins as a poor join can really hurt performance.
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#6kelemvor(Topic Creator)Posted 2/23/2014 6:13:38 PM
r7gerrabbit posted...
Basic SQL is. Yes.

But now you need to read up on cursors, stored procedures, primary and foriegn keys, database design, indexes, inner and outer joins, etc.

If all you want to be able to do is simple SELECT * statements then yeah, a few days is enough.


I'm pretty sure the basic SQL is all I'll need. The job title isn't even in our IT department, it's in Merchandising. Basically, I'll be helping analyze which products make money and which don't, and provide reports so the category merchants can plan our marketing strategies.

It looks like It will involve a lot of communication between the finance department and merchandising. Hopefully I'll get the job. It sounds like it would give me a lot of broad experience in different areas of retail.
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#7a_Wizards_BakerPosted 2/23/2014 7:38:54 PM
For basics, you can get by with learning SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE. I would also learn your joins: LEFT RIGHT OUTER ect. This syntax is universal between most database systems.

There can be differences between DB types for more advance things (like manipulating the cursor). For example, a lot of commands I can run on MySQL do not have equivalent expression in Oracle SQL, SQL Server, ect. It would probably be a good idea to find out what type of DB the company your applying for is using and bone up on some language specific syntax -- just to get an idea.
#8Ch3wyPosted 2/23/2014 8:29:55 PM
The basic stuff is easy, the syntax is mostly plain English.
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#9Sir_Burpalot21Posted 2/23/2014 10:57:45 PM
If you want to learn some basic SQL this should give you a good foundation:
http://www.w3schools.com/sql/
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#10Orestes417Posted 2/23/2014 11:01:01 PM
You could learn the basics of bomb defusal in a day too. Doesn't mean you'd be qualified to do it live. So when you mention it on a resume, make sure you're upfront about how shallow your knowledge is. Emphasize how fast you pick up new concepts instead.
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