When people ask which programming language I learned first, I often absent-mindedly reply, “Python,” forgetting that it was actually with SQL that I first learned to write code. This is probably because learning SQL felt so intuitive after spending years running formulas in Excel spreadsheets. I didn’t have a technical background, but I found SQL’s syntax, unlike that of many other programming languages, straightforward and easy to implement. For example, you run SELECT * on a SQL table to make every row and column appear. You simply use the JOIN keyword to return rows of data from different related tables, which you can then further group, sort, and analyze.

I’m a graphics editor, and I’ve worked as a developer and journalist at a number ...

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