Starting out in the Information Technology (IT) industry, two of the most popular, marketable and portable skills are Relational Database Design / SQL Query Writing and Computer Programming / Web Software Development.
Considering the demand for each of these skills, a reader wants advice on which skill should be tacked first: computer programming vs. relational database development.
Advice: Which Do You Learn First: Database Design Or Computer Programming?
I will advice you to learn both computer programming and database design at the same time if you can afford the investment of time, effort and money but if you have to start with only one, learn database design + sql query writing first and here is why …
Databases Vs. Programming Which Is Easier To Learn?
The effort of learning relational databases may be separated into three (3) tasks:
Task 1 – learning relational database design and development
Task 2 – learning SQL Query Writing
Task 3 – learning database administration
The task of learning a programming language like Microsoft .NET may be separated into:
Task 1 – learning web development (HTML, ASP.NET)
Task 2 – learning CSharp programming language
Task 3 – learning relational database design and development and sql query writing.
NOTE: Task #3 comprises all of the tasks involved in learning Database Design + SQL Query Writing!
Learning a relational database like SQL Server is definitely a simpler task than learning a programming language like Microsoft .NET CSharp … except if you are studying to become a Database Administrator (DBA).
Can A Beginner Become A Database Administrator (DBA)?
In the Information Technology (IT) industry, you may get a database job if you master relational database design, database development and sql query writing because skills qualify you for database developer jobs, report writing jobs, data analysis jobs, sql jobs. etc.
You can also get any of these jobs without extensive industry experience because in the bigger list of technical skills, designing a database or writing sq queries is not really that hard, though it is very important!
So, you don’t need five years of industry experience to get a database developer or sql query job, you just need to be very good at doing it, OK?
On the other hand, you need prior, extensive database experience or database skills before anyone will consider you … and not to talk of interview or hire you for a database administrator (DBA) job because those responsibilities cannot be entrusted to someone without a lot of hands-on, chronological, industry experience!
Can Programming and Databases Be Learned At The Same Time?
You can definitely learn database design and development at the same time you are learning relational databases and here is why:
Part of being a Software Developer aka Computer Programmer is designing the databases and writing the SQL Queries / stored procedures you will need for your application.
In other words, when a company hires a computer programmer, they expect him / her to be very skilled at all aspects of database developmenbt except the administrative aspects which are usually trusted to the DBAs.
While there may be multiple database developers / computer programmers working on a project, you usually only have one DBA or sometimes a few DBAs that will review all the stored procedures and databases and enforce standards before the application is deployed to a production environment.
Learning both databases and a computer programming at the same time is feasible as long as you realize that you have to put in a lot of work as you are essentially mastering two career paths and areas of responsibilities at the same time.
In summary, learning computer programming, SQL Query Writing and Database Design + Development skills will open up your career to all sorts of corporate Information Technology (IT) Jobs.
The demand for database skills is high and the demand for computer programmers is also very high. So, combining skills from two (2) in-demand career paths can only work in your favor and make you more marketable.
This question was submitted to: [Ask ITCareerCoach] by a reader from Toledo, Ohio. If you have a burning question or a challenging situation that you need help with … Submit A Question To: [Ask ITCareerCoach] and we will answer it for you just as we answered this reader’s question!