For Developers

Top Books on SQL Every Software Developer Should Read

Top SQL books for software developers

It may fascinate you to know that the entire web needs a virtual place for its data. The database is a virtual space and SQL is the language to communicate with these databases. SQL has been around for decades and is still a popular programming language. If you are planning to learn SQL, you can begin with the SQL books. There is a series of books that will help you attain in-depth knowledge of SQL and implement your learning to practical use. In this article, you will find a cautiously curated list of the best SQL books for both beginners and advanced learners.

So go ahead and choose your book now!

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Best SQL Books for Beginners

If you are a novice in the world of programming then SQL is a great language to start with. You can learn the basics within weeks even if you do not have prior programming experience. Herein are the best SQL books that will help you learn SQL from scratch.

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SQL All-In-One For Dummies

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SQL all-in-one for dummies is one of the highly recommended SQL books for beginners. It is written by a famous author, Allen G. Taylor, who has written over 40 books mostly on SQL. The book requires no prior knowledge of SQL and is fairly easy to understand. It starts with the importance of the Relational Database Management System (RDMS) and explains the basics of SQL.

It focuses on explaining queries, performance tuning, and data security followed by introductory knowledge of JSON and XML. It briefly explains the concepts of SQL to create a foundational base to become advanced learners.

It is the book where you can understand SQL without getting intimidated by multiple concepts. It gives a thorough understanding of SQL and how it works. Once you complete it, you can pick any of the detailed SQL books to attain advanced knowledge of SQL.

SQL Quickstart Guide: The Simplified Beginner's Guide to SQL

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The SQL Quickstart Guide is one of the SQL books that has been loved by readers and rated positively across various platforms. The book is authored by Walter Shields who has presented the concepts of SQL in a simplified manner. It follows a great writing style and is fairly easy to understand. This book encourages readers to simultaneously practice what they have learned.

It is also an ideal choice for individuals from the data analysis field as it focuses on queries associated with data analysis and manipulation. If you have some working knowledge of SQL, this book can help you gain a strong and deeper understanding of SQL. It covers various technical terms and explains basic terminologies in the initial chapters. These chapters create a base to dive into advanced SQL learning books.

SQL in 10 minutes

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SQL in 10 minutes, Sams Teach Yourself is a short and simple book for complete beginners to learn the basics of SQL in a short time. The book has been read and loved by many readers. It starts with topics like simple data retrieval and then dives into advanced issues. It is divided into a series of twenty-two short chapters that include tasks. You can easily navigate through the book and complete every task in about ten minutes.

The topics covered in this book include the use of subqueries, joins, triggers, stored procedures, table constraints, and cursors. It is one of the best SQL books that teaches the use of aggregate functions, the creation and alteration of database tables, and a lot more.

Head First SQL

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Head First SQL is a part of the Head First book series by O’Reilly and is authored by Lynn Beighley. Just like the other books in this Head First series, this book focuses on an interactive, informative, and witty writing style. The book is easy to navigate and is full of visuals and quick tips to focus on important topics in a fun manner.

It is based on a problem-solving approach that teaches the reader how to solve a query that can lead to another one. When it comes to understanding concepts, this book does a fairly good job of helping readers with its practical learning patterns. Overall it is a fast-paced book that is backed up with exercises to fully understand and memorize the concepts of SQL.

Best SQL books for advanced learners

If you are done with the fundamentals of SQL then choose some of the advanced SQL books that can help you increase your knowledge and even prepare for advanced-level SQL interview questions.

So, here are some shortlisted advanced SQL books you can choose from.

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SQL Cookbook

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SQL Cookbook is one of the most advanced SQL books you will find online. It is written in a problem, solution, and discussion writing style authored by Anthony Molinaro. Choose this book if you have a basic understanding of SQL and are familiar with basic insert, select, and update queries.

By the end of this book, you will be able to handle complex queries, data preparation, grouping, manipulation, and reporting. All the queries presented in the book are mainly focused on offering solutions to real-life SQL problems. It can also serve as your day-to-day programming guide that you can refer to for any project queries.

SQL for Data Analytics

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SQL for Data Analytics is co-authored by Upom Malik, Matt Goldwasser, and Benjamin Johnston. Unlike many other advanced SQL books, this one is fairly light and supports its teaching with practical examples.

This book is a decent pick for developers who have some foundational knowledge of SQL and want to delve deeper. The book is written in a friendly tone that takes the reader through various topics in an engaging manner. If you are from a data science background then this SQL query book has a lot to offer you.

It offers a set of useful tips to optimize queries as a data scientist for preparing, manipulating, and extracting data sets. It also focuses on how Python and R can be seamlessly integrated with databases and teaches how complex data types can be used for analyzing, fine-tuning queries, and fully understanding the data analysis process.

SQL Practice Problems

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SQL Practice Problems is a popular book authored by Sylvia Moestl Vasilik. It is an SQL server book that focuses on offering setup instructions for SQL Server Management Studio and SQL Server Express Edition by Microsoft. Choose this book if you have some knowledge of SQL and its basic queries.

This book is like a crash course to brush up on your basic SQL knowledge and then dive deeper to understand and solve complex real-life SQL queries. However, this book is a tad difficult for beginners and intermediate learners and requires the implication of prior knowledge while solving the problems of this advanced guide. By the end of this book, you will be able to solve practical business issues with the knowledge you acquire from this book.

SQL Pocket Guide: A Guide to SQL Usage

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SQL Pocket Guide is one of the most popular SQL books. It is written by Jonathan Gennick who is an Oracle DBA and has extensive knowledge of this technology.

The book focuses on explaining how SQL functions, type conversion functions, and regular expression syntax are used by the system. It also explains topics like the addition of PIVOT and UNPIVOT operators and Oracle’s support etc.

Oracle PL/SQL Programming

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Oracle PL/SQL Programming is a book written by the famous author Steven Feuerstein. It is a must-read PL/SQL programming guide for those who want to learn PL/SQL topics in detail. To read and fully understand this book, you need to have a basic understanding of scripting and queries.

The sixth edition of this O’Reilly book teaches advanced concepts with the help of examples. You may also require additional resources to solve the examples in this book. The best part of this book is that every complex lesson that may raise doubt, is backed up by a supportive explanation for better understanding.

Most of the concepts explained in this book are framed to provide solutions to real-life complexities. Overall, it is one of the decent SQL books to consider for intermediate/advanced programmers.

Final words

SQL is not a very complex language to learn, only if you choose to learn it through the right sources. The above-listed SQL books can be a great option for you to learn SQL without spending time on various online platforms searching for information. You can choose the right book depending on your proficiency with SQL and become a SQL developer. So start your learning journey with the right choice of SQL books.


  • Author

    Monika Verma

    Monika is a passionate content creator who writes about technology. She is an early riser who is always on a quest to explore nature and sketch out her imagination.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are completely new to SQL and want to acquire foundational knowledge about this technology and its concepts then you need at least two to three weeks. However, for advanced learning, you may need more time.

The best SQL books for a complete novice learner are SQL Quickstart Guide and SQL All In One for Dummies. If you talk about advanced learning options then SQL Cookbook and SQL Practice Problems are fairly decent choices.

SQL was designed by Donald D. Chamberlin and Raymond F. Boyce and it first appeared in 1974.

SQL is an old yet massive development technology with great scope in the coming years as well. In the coming years, its scope will not just be limited to computer science. Instead, it is expected to extend to the streams like finance, science, technology, etc.

Books are a great option to gain a better and more detailed understanding of any topic. In the same way, SQL books will help you gain a detailed understanding of the SQL topics and supportive reasons behind every topic you learn in the books.

Python and SQL are quite different as the SQL queries are dependent on functions whereas Python makes use of programming libraries for any given development project. Another major difference is that Python is used for manipulating and analyzing data whereas SQL is used for accessing and extracting data from a given database.

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