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Head First SQL: Your Brain on SQL -- A Learner's Guide
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Head First SQL: Your Brain on SQL -- A Learner's Guide (Head First Series)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  348 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Is your data dragging you down? Are your tables all tangled up? Well we've got the tools to teach you just how to wrangle your databases into submission. Using the latest research in neurobiology, cognitive science, and learning theory to craft a multi-sensory SQL learning experience, Head First SQL has a visually rich format designed for the way your brain works, not a te ...more
ebook, 610 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by O'Reilly Media (first published August 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Julie Dill
Apr 01, 2008 Julie Dill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: English majors escaping the poverty of listening to their heart instead of their wallet
Computer tech manuals are drier than a popcorn fart, am I right? However, I'm only a quarter of the way through with this book, and I can safely declare it the best database programming language book ever. Holy crap on a cracker, there are decent works of fiction I'd put down to read this tech manual.

In addition to being a tech writing genius, Author Lynn Beighley also happens to have an MFA in creative writing. And she rocks ass. I don't give a squat about SQL, and were it not required for my
Aug 08, 2008 Kyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made learning SQL fun. I mean, I probably would have fun learning SQL anyway, but everything about this book is a good time. The examples included such practical applications as making a database to track clowns in order to help your clown-phobic friends. Clearly an introductory text, but that's the point.
May 03, 2017 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I usually only review something if I've read every word, but I've lived in this book long enough and read enough to feel good about reviewing it.
This was one of my textbooks for a database design class, a class I was terrified to take but still signed up for (for various reasons out of my control). It's a very user-friendly guide, and as a novice to SQL, I appreciated the frisky, nothing-to-be-afraid-of tone. There are tons of visuals and extras, and when I wasn't driving myself crazy with fear
Mar 18, 2010 Chibimagic rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: programming
Needed to brush up on my SQL (specifically, the DB2 variety), so I picked up this book. After the first couple hundred pages, technical errors started popping up everywhere: apparently + is the operator for addition and subtraction. And "birthday > '1950-03-20' AND birthday < '1960-03-20'" means a birthday between 1970 and 1980. The book is awash in these.

There's a lot of testing before teaching, where they ask how you think a task can be accomplished, and then explain the actual syntax of
Kasper Christiansen
You can save a lot of time by just using Google. This book takes its sweet time explaining concepts that are not that complicated.
Carolina Bento
It is excellent as a beginners guide and is also suitable for people who want to review and refresh their memory on specific aspects of sql.
Andy Johnson
Not my kind of book. May go back to it later.
Bonnie Vasko
Jul 19, 2011 Bonnie Vasko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a worthwhile book to get started with for learning general purpose SQL. This book is not specifically on mySQL, but that's what the author uses throughout the book.

Here are the few complaints that I have: If your totally brand new to SQL, it may not be clear that you can populate tables from the sample code provided at the book's website. More than one reviewer mentioned that on

I found that the code from the website dropped off in the later tables on Joins, Subqueries, contr

I got this book to brush up on SQL since I haven't really had to work with it too much since I was in college.

On the plus side:

The book provides a url where you can experiment with some queries without setting up your own database/tables while you're going through the examples and I thought it provided a decent overview of commands/terminology/etc.

On the negative side:

I did find some technical errors, which weren't too difficult to spot/overcome, but my biggest pet peeve is how the book would as
Jamie Henderson
Jan 15, 2014 Jamie Henderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before reading this book, I knew almost no SQL. Head First SQL was a very fun entry into the world of talking to tables. Despite my near complete ignorance, I was very quickly creating tables and extracting information from them. I found the explanations very clear and the examples entertaining. Once or twice an exercise would throw me for a loop; but there was enough information in the book to figure them out.

Perhaps most surprising to me was that this is not just a beginner's book. The last ha
Feb 01, 2015 Dezra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I've been dabbling with SQL at work and figured I really needed to know what I was doing. I follow syntax relatively easily, so I've been able to get an idea of what was happening, but I needed to know why what I did worked. Years ago, I used Head First HTML and CSS as an introduction to coding and really enjoyed how it approached teaching, so I didn't hesitate to turn to this one for SQL. The Head First series teaches the nuts and bolts and is entertaining in the process.
Alexey Makarov
May 22, 2014 Alexey Makarov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Очень простая в обращении книга.
Сразу понимаются все основы SQL - в этом помогают множество заданий, которые не вызывают отвращения, а наоборот желание их решить.
Книга ориентирована на MySQL пользователей. Но практически все подходит и для PostgreSQL.
Для начинающих изучение SQL, подойдет без вопросов.
May 26, 2010 Bob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Starts out really basic, too basic for me.

More annoyingly, they're using lower quality copies of the same stock photos from the previous Head First books - most look like photocopies of pages from previous books. I'm guessing that the next edition will be produced on the mimeograph machine in the publisher's basement.
Dec 15, 2013 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Too many useless exercises that are supposed to entice thinking but leads to nowhere because the queries are not supposed to work. They also sometimes tell you to do something before telling you how.
Jan 06, 2015 Valerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had zero experience with SQL prior to this book - I really liked the hands-on activities and the overall format. It was pretty helpful - and I'm likely to seek out other books in the series if they cover the things I want/need to learn.
Oct 14, 2011 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great format for learning this sort of thing, but there are tons of technical errors to be found. Many of them are obvious typos that can be sorted out and avoided, but for some it took 15 minutes of googling to sort out.
Miguel Vargas
Jan 23, 2017 Miguel Vargas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very informative and practical. I didn't like the lack of exercises, but I think that is up to me now. Finally, I have clarified the most important doubts that I have about SQL. It's time to put this knowledge in to practice.
Sergey Nadolskiy
Не плохая книга, много объяснений, примеров, написана простым и понятным языком. Для общего ознакомления с SQL довольно не плохой вариант.
Jan 21, 2012 Justine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tech
Surprisingly, this book was incredibly helpful. A very practical guide, though I wouldn't rely on this for theory.
Jul 27, 2012 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: office
A great tool to learn basic SQL. Simple text that helps to make the concepts really stick.
Snoopy Brasil
Apr 21, 2013 Snoopy Brasil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: computer-science
Boa introdução à SQL. Não há grande aprofundamento, mas fornece uma boa base com leitura fácil.
Ryan Ringler
Aug 18, 2012 Ryan Ringler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: programming
Definitely caught a few mistakes in the book, but overall a good introduction. I wish they covered indexing a bit more though.
May 14, 2016 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very clear and interesting handbook, read in a evening.

Linh Chi
Jun 28, 2012 Linh Chi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
good for beginners
Nick Hodges
Jan 10, 2013 Nick Hodges rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good run down on basics of SQL. Excellent for total newbies up to folks (like me) who want a refresher.
Oct 14, 2014 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tech-useful, mim
Read for a class. Good intro book.
Renata Broock
Renata Broock rated it really liked it
Oct 25, 2014
Jaya Lakshmi
Jaya Lakshmi rated it liked it
Mar 06, 2013
Pham Trung
Pham Trung rated it liked it
May 31, 2016
Nikita rated it liked it
Jan 10, 2017
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Lynn Beighley is the author of dozens of tech books and even more articles. She's had lots of her short stories published in lots of places. She's an editor for Manning Publications and she's currently writing a YA novel that she hopes will encourage girls to try a bit of computer programming. She got an MFA a few years back. She's on twitter as @lynnbeighley and would enjoy hearing from you.
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