Review of Udemy SQL course, “ The Complete SQL Bootcamp 2020: Go from Zero to Hero ”
I just started an internship in datadice which involves working with big databases. Since I know Python very well, I first thought Python would be the way to go. But Python is apparently not build to easily and efficiently access data from big databases. A better way to do so is using SQL — “Structured Query Language”-.
But first I had to learn this language. If you are considering learning SQL as well, but are a bit overwhelmed by the number of options out there, maybe my experience with the course “The Complete SQL Bootcamp for the Manipulation and Analysis of Data” will help you.
Easy to follow but still rich in content
Jose Portilla, the author, divided the SQL course into 7 parts. The structure can be looked up in the description of the Udemy course and is shown in the below picture. Every new notion, command, or concept is first explained in more theoretical explanatory descriptions. Jose uses slides with text, pictures, and example data in tables while taking which makes it very easy to follow. After the general explanation, easy examples are shown in an actual database where the newly introduced commands are shown hands-on.
From close support to more independent work
In general, the course was a great guide to the basics and intermediate commands of SQL. From the beginning, where the download and install progress as well as the handling of pgAdmin was explained, everything was very well structured and explained, no details were left out. Even some possible common errors were shortly explained during the installation guide which was very helpful. Showing the documentation of SQL commands when they were introduced and were to find them made the learning more long-lasting and independent.
In the last couple of parts, the explanations became broader, leaving space to try something out and approach tasks differently.
After each part, assignments were given testing if everything was clear. In case one can not get any further without help, little hints are given without revealing the solution. After completing the assignments one can compare the code and the resulting tables. In the end, my approaches differed a little from the solutions given in the course, but the results were the same.
Getting a feeling
In the beginning, a database called “dvdrental” is uploaded into pgAdmin. This database is used in the first six parts and seems to be a very good choice for learning the basic commands of SQL. For example, one assignment in the first part is to find out the e-Mail address of a customer, Nancy Thomas, who lost her wallet:
Or another, more intermediate example is the case of joining two tables together and then working with it:
Doing SQL course sessions instead of watching Netflix
All in all, I spent 3 weeks taking the course, in total around 12 hours. As it was not my main focus during these weeks, it was more of a sporadic work I put in this course. Since it is actually quite fun and rewarding, taking the course even replaced some Netflix hours I then spent productively learning. My learning sessions were mostly around two hours long, but I really took the time and opened the terminal next to the video and typed in everything that was done in the tutorial.
Helpful gimmicks making life easier and the pace faster
The videos itself have subtitles in multiple languages. So even when I could not listen to the video (when I forgot my headphones for example), with the help of the subtitles I still could follow the tutorial, pausing the video when I had to read the subtitles and the text on the slides.
Unfortunately, the subtitles are automated and apparently not reviewed by a human being. This leads to errors and not correctly spelled out words and sentences. But almost always the content was still clear in the given context.
Also, when I watched the videos with the sound turned on, I thought that the pace of speaking is a little bit too slow for me. But by just setting the video speed to 1.5 times the actual speed or even more, this was not a problem at all.
And at some points, in the video, the slow pace was actually helpful to understand a little bit more complicated and important concepts, like the join commands.
All in all really worth it
And on top of that, the course provided a useful so-called “Cheatsheet”, which contains a compact summary and overview of many important SQL commands. This will probably stick with me as long as I want to program with SQL.
By Jadwiga Wilkens.