Web development is an occupation that involves creating websites for the Internet or an intranet. It can include anything from creating single static pages of plain text to creating complex web applications.
It also involves the creation of electronic businesses and social network services.
As of today, web development is one of the best jobs in tech. According to indeed, web developers earn an average salary of $72,000 annually. The range starts from about $20,000 and can be as high as $155,000 annually.
More so, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of web developers will likely grow by 13% between 2020 and 2030.
However, the journey to becoming a web developer is not like it used to be. Technology evolves every day. Therefore developers need to improve their skills to keep up.
As a web developer who wants to stand out, SQL is one language you should understand. But what is SQL and why do you need it?
What is SQL?
Structured Query Language (SQL) is a language explicitly designed for use with relational databases. It is expressly used to manage and manipulate data in databases.
You may not need SQL to create great web applications as a developer. However, a knowledge of SQL will help you interact with databases that power your website.
This is particularly important when building websites that use dynamic data. Such data have to be stored in relational databases. These databases will allow easy information retrieval on individual web pages that users can see.
The good news is SQL is easy to understand. With your understanding of web development, you can learn SQL in just a few weeks. The language is similar to English and has very few keywords. Plus, there are many self-paced courses online, like Acuity Training, where you can learn SQL.
That said, let’s talk about the role of SQL in web development.
The Role of SQL in Web Development
SQL has been in use since the 1970s when Donald Chamberlin and Raymond Boyce developed it. The language has continued to gain importance in programming. The following are some of its essential roles in Web development.
1. Display of User Data
Another critical area in which databases are commonly used in developing websites and applications is the display of user data within a website.
In the past, websites only displayed texts and images using static HTML. However, today’s websites focus more on engaging users by incorporating and reflecting their unique data and information.
When you enter many platforms, the website presents your personal information. This could be your name, location, or whatever information that platform has about you on the display or profile pages.
To display user information, web developers must work with databases on the back end of websites. They need to access user data that has been collected to display that same information on the front end of the website.
Understanding how to retrieve user data from a website to display it on a web page requires some SQL knowledge. That knowledge is essential for Full Stack Developers.
2. Data Mining
Data mining is getting information or hidden patterns from a website. Although the job relates to a data scientist, it can be an essential tool for a web developer.
Through data mining, you can obtain valuable information to predict user behavior. Understanding their behavior might help you know what they want. The information you retrieve is important because it will help you in improving the user experience of your website as well.
SQL is a database management system used to create and manage servers. With SQL programming language knowledge, you can easily navigate through massive amounts of data and understand how to retrieve data from a web application.
Knowing SQL will allow you to extract information from websites quickly. SQL queries will enable you to view update events, monitor table, and database activity, identify specific data at time intervals, and retrieve information based on your needs.
3. Data Management
Most websites and web applications today have to deal with a ton of data every day. This could be emails, user details, and many more. To ensure optimal user experience, these tons of data need to be stored carefully in places where the system can access them.
There are usually options for developers at this point. You could decide to use spreadsheets, or you could use SQL. While spreadsheets are easy to use, they are not sophisticated enough to handle large amounts of data.
It would be best if you had something to handle large amounts of data without causing problems for the end-users. Remember that even the slightest delay can give negative feedback or your web application.
This is where SQL comes in. SQL, unlike spreadsheets, allows you to process data in enormous amounts with almost no problems.
SQL not only manages massive amounts of data; SQL can also access data quickly. When a user needs to access data, they can do so in seconds. This is because data is stored in a structured manner using SQL.
Your websites can generate optimal customer satisfaction ratings with such easy access to data.
4. Data Manipulation
If you build a dynamic web application, like a news web application, you will have to update it frequently. Sadly, changing and creating a new HTML page every time can be time-consuming.
This is where a database comes in and makes a developer’s life easier. A database allows you to make changes quickly and manipulate the data on your page.
SQL is well suited for data manipulation because it views, manages, and access that data. It makes it easier for developers to test and manipulate data. Furthermore, the data in SQL is dynamic. As a result, you can manage and make changes to the data.
Websites are becoming more dynamic and interactive. Dynamic websites help improve user engagement and boost sales.
However, you cannot build a dynamic website without basic knowledge of databases. You must get familiar with SQL as a web developer to do that. A career in full-stack web development in today’s tech world must include training in SQL and database management.