The Practical SQL Handbook was one of the first books that was ever recommended to me in my professional consulting career, almost 20 years ago. I found myself consistently referring back to it and I have paid those benefits forward; The Practical SQL Handbook is also the book that I have recommended the most to my clients over the years.
The benefits of using the Structured Query Language (SQL) in data science cannot be denied. With more and more companies putting an emphasis on their data, the use of SQL will only continue to grow as more and more people are looking for guidance on how to use it, starting from the ground floor.
What Makes The Practical SQL Handbook Different?
When a person is making the transition into SQL, they are really looking to learn two things:
- The basics of a relational database management system (RDBMS). These concepts can take up a whole book in their own right. But in order to fully understand SQL, you should at least be able to work with a minimum of two tables, the keys between each and how to create and manage the subsequent queries
- Learn the SQL language itself and how to write effective, meaningful queries with this new language.
It’s with these two concepts that I think The Practical SQL Handbook excels beyond other books. In a single book, the authors have managed to present more than enough RDBMS concepts sot that the reader can understand it, while also presenting the SQL needed to maintain those database relationships. That’s quite a feat for a reader audience that has no exposure to SQL at all.
If you’re new to SQL, you might not realize that the same language is used across multiple database providers such as Microsoft, Oracle and IBM, among others. The RDBMS concepts will always apply and then each provider introduces their own limitations and/or extensions of the SQL language.
The authors of The Practical SQL Handbook do an excellent job of presenting the reader with a “generic” form of SQL commands and queries while also giving you a list of the nuances that you will need to know for the respective database system that you will be working on. In other words, even if you don’t know which database you want to work with, this books is still helpful because it prepares you to work with SQL in general and then you can always drill down into specific nuances when you need to.
I have recommended this book to virtually every client I have ever worked with and will continue to do so in the future. The book has stood the test of time and it deserves its success.