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Learning SQL #1–Start from buying a Copy of SQL Server Developer Edition


If learning SQL is in your New Year Resolution, then you will be happy to read this post.

We all make resolutions that we fail to keep. What I am suggesting here will give that failure minimum chance.

Here is what I am suggesting:

  • Get a copy of the SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition
  • Get a copy of  Microsoft SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Fundamentals By Itzik Ben-Gan.
Developer Edition

A friend recently mentioned to me that SQL Server is too expensive to buy. I was surprised that $50 is considered too expensive. Then she said that someone told her she needs the Enterprise Edition, which is beyond her budget.

What I am suggesting is the Developer Edition, which has the same functionalities as the Enterprise Edition, but licensed for use as a development and test system, not as a production server. With a price tag of about $50 (on Amazon) it is an ideal choice for people who build and test database applications, and of cause, for people who have just made a New Year Resolution to learn SQL.

T-SQL Fundamentals

The T-SQL Fundamentals book by Itzik Ben-Gan is also a wonderful book to have as your first SQL book. I took an advanced SQL class from Itzik two years ago. He is one of the best in the SQL circle.

Minimum to get started

There is more in the SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition than what you can imagine. But here is the minimum for you to get started:

  • SQL Server 2014 Database Engine (server instance): this is the relational database instance.
  • SQL Server 2014 Management Studio: this is the desktop tool that allows you to run SLQ queries again the database.

Other features on the CD are SSAS, SSIS and whole bunch of tools. If you are just starting to learn the SQL language, don’t bother yourself with other features.


Like many of you, I’ve collected several bookshelves of professional books over the years. But I have to admit that most of them are sitting there collecting dusts. I am not trying to minimize the benefits of professional books. What I want to promote here is learning-by-doing.

    Through learning-by-doing your productivity is achieved through practice, self-perfection and minor innovations. Learning-by-doing can be measured by progress.

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”

? Aristotle

“Delight” in SQL

Part of my own New Year Resolution is to read the Bible in One Year. To mirror what I made, I suggest that you also add these three resolutions:

  • Resolve to “delight” in SQL.
  • Resolve to focus in the spirit of SQL.
  • Resolve to enjoy your innovation.

SQL is a wonderful language that I never stopped learning.

Go beyond just the syntax, ponder on how it is different from other programing languages you’ve already known.

Soon or later, you will start to write SQL queries without checking your books first. So start to innovate now.

Have fun learning!



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