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Lucas Rafaldini
Lucas Rafaldini

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Back to Basics #3 - Databases and SQL Fundamentals

In the digital world, data is the new gold, and knowing how to efficiently store, retrieve, and manipulate this data is a crucial skill for any developer. That’s where databases and SQL come in. In this installment of our Back to Basics series, we dive into the fundamentals of databases and the language that helps us communicate with them - SQL (Structured Query Language).

What is a Database?

A database is an organized collection of data. It’s like a digital filing cabinet where data is stored in a structured way so that it can be easily accessed, managed, and updated. Databases can range from simple, like a contact list on your phone, to the complex, like the massive databases that run social media platforms.

Types of Databases

  • Relational Databases (SQL): These databases organize data into tables linked by relationships, making data management more efficient. Popular examples include MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite.

  • Non-Relational Databases (NoSQL): These are used for unstructured data and are more flexible in terms of data storage. They include document-oriented databases like MongoDB and key-value stores like Redis.

Why SQL?

SQL is the language used to interact with relational databases. It allows you to:

  • Create and manipulate databases and tables.
  • Insert, update, and delete data.
  • Retrieve data according to complex criteria.

Basic SQL Commands

SELECT: Retrieve data from a database.

SELECT * FROM users;

INSERT: Add new data to a table.

INSERT INTO users (username, email) VALUES ('john_doe', '');

UPDATE: Modify existing data.

UPDATE users SET email = '' WHERE username = 'john_doe';

DELETE: Remove data from a table.

DELETE FROM users WHERE username = 'john_doe';

Understanding SQL and Databases

Mastering SQL and understanding databases are fundamental for back-end development, data analysis, and even in many other non-developer roles that require data manipulation. As we progress in our Back to Basics series, we’ll explore more about how to effectively use SQL in real-world scenarios and understand the power of databases in the tech world.

Stay tuned for more insights and foundational knowledge in tech. Let me know in the comments if there’s a particular topic you want to be covered in this series!

See you in the next post!

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