Adventures in Machine Learning

The Essentiality of SQL and Formal Education in Programming

The Popularity and Importance of SQL

Have you ever used a database to store, manage, and analyze data? If yes, then you probably know SQL.

SQL, which stands for Structured Query Language, is a domain-specific language used in programming and designed to manage data held in relational database management systems (RDBMS). SQL has been around since the 1970s and is still widely used today.

In this article, we will explore the popularity and importance of SQL in today’s IT landscape. SQL’s Value in Today’s IT Landscape

In today’s data-driven world, businesses rely heavily on data management and analysis to make informed decisions.

SQL, as a standard language that can work with virtually any type of database, is an essential tool in the IT landscape. SQL’s value can be attributed to its simplicity, versatility, and efficiency.

One significant advantage of SQL over other data management systems is the ability to handle large amounts of data with ease. SQL can perform CRUD operations (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) on large datasets with minimal delays, making it an efficient way to manage data.

Additionally, SQL’s simplicity makes it easier to learn and use than other programming languages. StackOverflow’s Developers Survey 2020

According to StackOverflow’s Developers Survey 2020, SQL is the second most popular language, after JavaScript, among professional developers.

This survey, which was conducted globally, revealed that 43.6% of developers use SQL in their work. This dominance is attributed to the language’s effectiveness in handling large amounts of data.

These statistics make SQL a key tool in the hands of developers. SQL’s Popularity Amongst Developers

SQL’s popularity could also be attributed to its simplicity and its capacity to work with other languages such as Java, Python, and C#.

SQL’s ability to integrate with these languages makes it useful for developing web applications requiring database management.

Most Popular Databases in 2020

When it comes to databases, there are several options to choose from, but which are the most popular? According to DB-Engines, a ranking popularity website, the most popular databases in 2020 are:






Microsoft SQL Server

4. PostgreSQL




MySQL is an open-source relational database management system that has been in existence for over 20 years. In 2020,

MySQL remains one of the most popular databases globally and is currently being used by companies such as Facebook and Twitter.

MySQL’s Popularity

MySQL’s popularity can be attributed to its stability, reliability, and affordability.

MySQL’s open-source nature also means that developers can customize it to meet their needs, making it a popular choice among developers.


MySQL’s versatility means that it can be used by businesses of all shapes and sizes, from small startups to established corporations.

MySQL’s Features and Benefits

MySQL boasts several features that make it a reliable database. Some of these features include:


Scalability –

MySQL can handle large datasets with ease and can scale up or down based on your business needs. 2.

Security –

MySQL’s security features make it a secure option for storing sensitive data. 3.

High availability –

MySQL’s replication features allow for the creation of standby databases, ensuring high availability, and data redundancy. 4.

Speed –

MySQL can handle large datasets quickly, thus reducing delays in data retrieval. Understanding

MySQL’s Origins and Acquisitions

MySQL’s journey dates back to 1994 when Swedish developers Michael Widenius and David Axmark created it.

MySQL was then acquired by Sun Microsystems in 2008 and later by Oracle Corporation in 2010.

Despite these acquisitions,

MySQL’s open-source nature has been maintained.


In conclusion, SQL is an essential tool in today’s IT landscape, given its simplicity, versatility, and efficiency. It has been widely adopted by developers, and its popularity is expected to continue to grow.

MySQL, in particular, is one of the most popular databases globally, given its features and affordability. Understanding the origins and benefits of these tools is necessary for businesses seeking to manage data effectively.

3) PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL, also known simply as Postgres, is an open-source database management system (DBMS) that has been gaining traction among developers and businesses in recent years. In this section, we will explore the popularity and advantages of PostgreSQL, the applications and user communities that utilize it, as well as the benefits of learning PostgreSQL for career development.

PostgreSQL’s Popularity and Advantages

PostgreSQL has been steadily gaining popularity as a reliable and robust alternative to commercial DBMSs such as Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server. Its open-source nature allows for flexibility and customization, and its maturity as a product has made it a reliable option for businesses of all sizes.

PostgreSQL has several advantages over other databases when it comes to reliability and performance. One of the key advantages of PostgreSQL is its support for ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) transactions.

This support ensures that the data operations are consistent, reliable, and durable – essential for business-critical applications. PostgreSQL is also known for its robustness concerning data corruption.

Its write-ahead logging (WAL) feature allows for quick recovery in case of data corruption, making it a suitable option for businesses that require high availability and disaster recovery.

Applications and User Communities that Utilize PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL’s popularity is reflected in the variety of applications and user communities that utilize it. Some of the notable applications that use PostgreSQL include:


Instagram – The popular social media platform uses PostgreSQL for its relational data storing needs. 2.

Apple – Apple’s macOS Server uses PostgreSQL for its backend database. 3.

Skype – The internet calling service relies on PostgreSQL for its messaging and call logs. Furthermore, PostgreSQL has a vibrant community of users and contributors who have developed third-party plugins and add-ons that enhance its functionality.

Learning PostgreSQL for Career Development

Given its popularity and versatility, learning PostgreSQL can be a valuable skill for developers seeking career development. Many employers prefer candidates who can work with open-source technologies such as PostgreSQL, and having PostgreSQL expertise can open up new opportunities.

Learning PostgreSQL involves studying its unique features such as SQL-transactional control, NO-SQL JSON support, and procedures and triggers. Understanding these features can allow developers to optimize their applications, improve performance, and ensure data integrity.

4) Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server, commonly known as MS SQL Server, is a commercial DBMS that is widely used in business environments worldwide. In this section, we will explore the popularity of MS SQL Server in business environments, free versions of MS SQL Server for learning, and the benefits of learning MS SQL Server for career advancement.

MS SQL Server’s Popularity in Business Environments

MS SQL Server is one of the most popular DBMSs in business environments due to its reliability, security, and scalability. Microsoft, as a software and technology giant, has invested heavily in MS SQL Server, and its product development roadmap aligns with business needs.

MS SQL Server’s support for enterprise-grade features, such as high availability and disaster recovery, makes it a viable option for businesses that rely on data-driven decision-making.

Free Versions of MS SQL Server for Learning

Microsoft provides free versions of MS SQL Server for developers who want to learn how to work with this DBMS. The free versions vary in terms of functionality, but they all offer the Developer Edition with full programming functionality, making them a good starting point for beginners.

Learning MS SQL Server for Career Advancement

Given MS SQL Server’s prevalence in business environments, learning how to work with this DBMS can lead to new career opportunities for developers. Many job postings require relevant experience working with MS SQL Server, and experience with this software can lead to higher salaries.

Learning MS SQL Server involves mastering its features such as logical queries, stored procedures, and transactions. Understanding these features can allow developers to optimize applications, improve performance, and ensure data security.


Understanding the unique features, advantages, and applications of PostgreSQL and MS SQL Server can enable developers to make informed decisions when choosing a DBMS that suits their needs. Furthermore, learning PostgreSQL and MS SQL Server can lead to new career opportunities and expand one’s skillset.

5) SQLite

SQLite is a self-contained, serverless, open-source, and cross-platform database management system that has grown in popularity in recent years. In this section, we will explore SQLite’s features and advantages, its popularity in mobile app development, and options for learning SQLite for beginners and advanced users.

SQLite’s Features and Advantages

SQLite’s popularity can be attributed to its impressive features and advantages. One distinct feature of SQLite is its self-contained nature and serverless architecture.

This means that SQLite does not require a separate server process to operate, making it easy to integrate into other applications. Another advantage of SQLite is its ability to work with a wide range of operating systems and devices such as Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

This functionality makes SQLite one of the most versatile DBMS in the market. SQLite’s support for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), VirtualTable, and Common Table Expressions (CTE) have also made it a popular option for developers seeking to manage data efficiently.

SQLite’s Popularity in Mobile App Development

Because of its lightweight nature, SQLite has become a popular option for developers seeking data management solutions in mobile app development. SQLite’s ability to store data locally on the device running the application enables developers to create applications that operate without a network connection, making them more efficient and user-friendly.

Additionally, SQLite’s small footprint makes it suitable for mobile devices with limited resources. Finally, its ability to work seamlessly with various mobile platforms makes it an obvious choice for developers building cross-platform mobile applications.

Learning SQLite for Beginners and Advanced Users

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced user, there are several resources available to help you learn SQLite. Beginners can start with the SQLite Tutorial found on their official website.

This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to use SQLite, including the basics of SQL, database design, and management. Advanced users can take advantage of SQLite’s customization features such as adding virtual tables and functions and aggregate functions to optimize performance.

Advanced users can further their knowledge of SQLite by utilizing the SQLite Community Forums and by exploring the Open Source Code.

6) MongoDB

MongoDB is an open-source NoSQL database management system that has become popular in recent years. In this section, we will explore MongoDB’s distinctive features, its place in the market, and the dominance of SQL in the industry standard.

MongoDB’s Distinctive Features

MongoDB’s popularity can be attributed to several distinctive features. One of these is its use of a flexible document-based data model instead of the traditional table-based model.

This approach allows for easy data integration, management, and retrieval. Another distinct feature of MongoDB is its use of the BSON (Binary JSON) format to represent data.

BSON includes support for data types such as dates, binary data, and arrays, making it a popular choice for developers with complex data modeling requirements. Finally, MongoDB’s support for horizontal scaling (sharding) and replication (clustering) enables it to handle large amounts of data with ease, making it a scalable option for businesses.

MongoDB’s Place in the Market

MongoDB’s flexibility and scalability have made it a popular option for businesses ranging from startups to established corporations. MongoDB’s use cases span across various industries, including finance, healthcare, and e-commerce, among others.

Although MongoDB has been criticized for some shortcomings, including its querying language and lack of support for transaction consistency, it continues to be a popular choice for its flexibility. SQL’s Dominance in the Industry Standard

Despite the rise of NoSQL databases such as MongoDB, SQL remains the industry standard for data management.

This can be attributed to SQL’s maturity, reliability, and scalability. SQL’s standardization allows for easy integration with various business applications, making it a reliable choice for businesses that require a stable and proven solution.

However, NoSQL databases such as MongoDB have shown significant growth in recent years, and their flexibility and scalability are expected to result in expanded use cases and applications.


In conclusion, SQLite’s self-contained architecture, cross-platform capability, and popularity in mobile app development have made it an attractive DBMS for developers. MongoDB’s flexibility, horizontal scaling, and use of the BSON data format have resulted in its popularity in the market.

While SQL remains the industry standard for data management, NoSQL databases such as MongoDB continue to grow in popularity and expand their use cases.

7) The Importance of Formal Education in Programming

Formal education in programming has become a topic of debate in recent years. While some argue that formal education is necessary to become a proficient programmer, others argue that degrees are not essential in programming.

In this article, we will explore the importance of formal education in programming, the role of degrees and certifications in the field, and the benefits of online courses for gaining skills and knowledge.

Formal Education Among Professional Programmers

Formal education can make a significant difference for programmers seeking consistent learning opportunities and structured environments. A degree in computer science or related fields provides a solid foundation in programming languages, data structures, algorithms, and computer architecture.

Furthermore, formal education through a degree program allows for hands-on experience in programming and software development, gaining credibility through working with others. These concepts are essential for professional programmers who are working in businesses, start-ups, and organizations in need of complex software development projects.

Understanding these concepts and gaining practical experience through formal education can differentiate a programmer from others in the field.

Non-Essentiality of Degrees in Programming

Although formal education has its advantages, a degree is not essential for becoming a proficient programmer. Non-degree routes such as community college certificates, online courses, and self-study can also provide expertise and help aspiring programmers start a career in programming.

Moreover, the gap between formal education and practical experience can be bridged, as many businesses hire based on experience, skill set, and willingness to learn. Real-world experience matters more than academic credentials for programmers since experience directly demonstrates the ability to develop efficient software systems.

Gaining Skills and Knowledge through Online Courses

There are many forms of non-degree education available to individuals aiming to learn programming, including online courses, certifications, and coding boot camps. Online courses provide aspiring programmers with the flexibility to learn at their own pace while still receiving structured instruction.

Online courses can offer a wide range of topics that are tailored to meet the needs of different skill levels. Online courses can also allow learners to get a broad or more focused understanding of specific fields of programming, such as web or mobile application development.

In addition, online courses often allow discussion and collaboration, facilitating the learning process. For intermediate and advanced learners, certifications offer the opportunity to gain validation of knowledge and recognition for completing specific courses or learning paths.

Some certification programs enable learners to gain expertise and promote their skills to employers. Finally, boot camps are a valuable option for individuals aiming for practical experience and a short preparation time.

Boot camps and mentorships offer intensive, hands-on classroom experiences, aimed at teaching practical skills in a condensed timeline.


In conclusion, formal education and degrees have their advantages for professional programmers. However, for those without degrees, online courses and other non-degree education methods are great alternatives for gaining the necessary skills and knowledge for practical programming experience.

This allows individuals to gain experience without committing to a full course of study, accelerating the process towards entering the tech industry. By combining both formal and non-formal methods, aspiring programmers can build an impressive skillset of programming knowledge and practical experience.

The importance of formal education in programming is a subject of debate, with some believing it is needed to become a successful programmer while others argue that the degree is unnecessary. Formal education provides aspiring programmers

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