How to Become a SQL Developer

Building a large database is one of the prerequisites for businesses and organizations to adapt to digital transformation.

In that process, SQL developers are the most important personnel to lay the foundation for change. This job has an increasing demand and compensation.

So, how to become a SQL dev? You can follow the following routes to get into this industry:

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree.
  2. Search for an internship.
  3. Improve database knowledge.
  4. Gain real-life experience.
  5. Get certifications.
  6. Improve soft skills.

Along with the roadmap, please continue reading the article below. We also delve into the concept, job description, and requirements.

What Is a SQL Developer?

A SQL developer (also known as SQL programmer) is an expert in information technology.

Their primary duties are designing, creating, and maintaining websites or information systems using the SQL structured query language.

This language is quite popular in data systems thanks to its function of cleaning, retrieving, and organizing the information it stores. You can find them on websites, organizational packages, or apps.

SQL code

SQL developers must also know various structural query languages ​​such as PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQL Server, SQLite, and MySQL.

These professionals have meticulous attention to detail and strong logical thinking. As a result, they will easily solve difficult information problems at work.

They also need a background in programming. Sometimes, these experts even have to teach SQL coding to colleagues.

What Do SQL Developers Do?

a busy developer
Skilled busy SQL dev

SQL developers build, develop, and manage enterprise data systems based on SQL.

Their working time in a week is 40 hours and working hours are the same as office hours. This job can both work at the office and allows working from home.

Some of the key tasks these professionals need to take on daily include:


The first responsibility of SQL programmers is to write SELECT queries of varying degrees of complexity.

Most of the commands you put out will be extremely simple. However, some unexpected situations still arise, and you need to deal with them.

Sometimes, experts will have to race against time and try to write a workable SELECT query. After each work, you will accumulate more practical experience.

These queries are extremely important because their outputs influence the organization’s business decisions.


Depending on the location and size of the business you’re working for, you’ll likely spend some time programming stored functions, procedures, and triggers.

The reason is that this information is stored in the form of a database. During execution, you also need to use a combination of SQL statements such as INSERT, SELECT, DELETE, and UPDATE.

Database Design

In addition, database specialists occasionally change and update organizational information systems.

This action can include creating relationships and inserting or deleting tables.

How To Become a SQL Developer

After learning about the functions and daily work of a SQL developer, it’s time to learn about the roadmap of this career.

SQL on tablet
Developer working with modern tablet PC

1. Earn A Bachelor’s Degree

Careers related to information technology often give preference to candidates with a bachelor’s degree. SQL development is no exception.

You should earn a degree related to information systems or computer science.

These training programs will provide you with computer networking and programming knowledge.

In addition, they also support you with the basics of database management. It is one of the top recruitment criteria.

Some classes that you should focus on as much as possible include:

  • Calculus and Algebra.
  • Algorithm design.
  • Computer Algorithms.
  • Computer organization.
  • Abstract data types.

2. Search For An Internship

Once you have the basics, you need to apply them to solve real-world problems. These experiences will help your resume stand out in the job market.

You can find internship opportunities through your university, as some majors offer those options.

Also, try to research the organizations you want to work for to understand the recruitment requirements. You’ll be more likely to get hired when you develop the right skills for the organization.

3. Improve Database Knowledge

Because you will be spending most of your time working with databases, it is helpful to have additional knowledge in this area.

You don’t have to go to college, but you can save time by enrolling in online courses or short-term boot camps. Some notable topics include:

  • Software development lifecycle, take care of the Scrum and Agile methodology.
  • SAP Crystal Reports and Server Reporting Services (SSRS).
  • Cloud storage services like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.
  • Utility business reporting tools such as Microsoft SQL.
  • NoSQL Information Systems, such as MongoDB and CouchDB.
Structured code on the monitor
Structured code on the monitor

4. Gain Real-Life Experience

With tech-related careers, you must accumulate as much practical experience as possible.

Start with a simple personal project based on a topic that interests you, like movies or music. Then create, query, and design the information associated with them.

If possible, reach out to friends and family to help them with small projects. As a result, you will have more knowledge to beautify your portfolio and impress the business.

Having professional experience will help you enjoy higher benefits and salaries. You should also hone your knowledge of Java, C, or C# to communicate with other departments.

To give yourself an edge over your competitors, try learning about Bash, Unix, Windows batch scripts, or the NET framework.

5. Get Certifications

Although you don’t need to have certifications to apply for the position of SQL developer, they will be a big plus for you.

Some organizations also ask their personnel to learn more about specific applications in the process. Some popular certifications include:

  • Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD)
  • Data Management and Analytics from Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.
  • Oracle PL/SQL Developer Certified Associate.

You will need to pass the training center exams to receive the certificate.

One helpful tip is to focus on digging into one specific area. Having only a basic understanding of many information environments will limit your opportunities.

6. Improve Soft Skills

Besides professional knowledge, SQL programmers also need to equip soft skills to work more effectively.


You will not work alone. There will be many departments working together to establish digital transformation within an organization.

Multiple departments will need each other’s information to complete the information system. People will be able to ask for your help or ask related questions.

One of the tips to improve this soft skill is to set a development roadmap and goals for the project. Then, adjust your actions as you progress.

Do not delay the assigned deadline. Otherwise, it will be difficult for people to cooperate with you.

During the working process, do not forget to actively exchange and listen to opinions from other departments to come up with appropriate solutions and avoid misunderstandings.


The ability to communicate is an important key to smoothing your workflow.

SQL developers often have to work with colleagues such as network engineers or third parties and vendors.

One helpful tip to make your communication more effective is listening and maintaining comfortable body language when conversing. It will show that you are paying attention to what the other person is saying.

In addition, you should also learn how to write notes and reports in a way that is easy to understand and concise.

Essential Skills

Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft SQL Server

To become successful in this field, you will need to focus on acquiring the following skills:


Information systems can be used as a layered architecture layer. Its effect is to develop services by separating interfaces and business logic.

So, it makes the information processing process much simpler and cleaner.

Many professionals use this information to design physical and logical relational database models.


As a SQL programmer, you will definitely need to know this language. It allows you to access and control information systems.

By using table variables and temporary tables, experts can create complex queries. As a result, they can design and deliver dynamic reporting solutions using hosted services.


Another name for this platform is Transact-SQL. It extends the SQL query language with more utilities and executable statements.

By using complex commands, experts can filter information from legacy systems.

SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)

Microsoft created Microsoft SSIS as an ETL tool. Thanks to this tool, you can integrate, store information into a single source, and perform cleaning.

These applications allow professionals to deploy and develop business solutions for various organization departments.


Professionals need to have excellent analytical skills to listen to and analyze customer needs. As a result, they can design the software according to their needs.


If you have any queries regarding SQL development, please find the answers below.

Source Code

What Is SQL Dev Salary?

According to our report, a SQL developer in the United States earns an average salary of up to $103,850 per year. They also receive a cash bonus of about $5000.

Entry-level positions or juniors can expect a salary of $61,938 per year. They also receive a general benefits package, including life insurance, health savings accounts, and travel expenses.

Several factors can indirectly affect salaries, such as professional experience, position, or employer.

How Long Does It Take to Become a SQL Dev?

It only takes you two to three weeks to grasp the basics and start working with SQL databases.

However, it is only a theory. In fact, this job will require experts to have a smooth and effective use of data in all situations.

It takes a programmer several years to reach such a level. So, be patient and keep learning.

What Skills are Required to Become SQL Devs?

If you’re thinking of becoming a SQL developer, start researching the duties and responsibilities that come with them.

This position requires professionals to create, design, and maintain a database system. Specific tasks include:

  • Creation of tables and database systems for the organization.
  • Design storage, view, and associated functions.
  • Integrate data with other applications by writing optimized SQL queries.
  • Create a data system trigger to apply to automation.
  • Monitor system security and maintain database quality.

Is SQL Developer a Good Career?

Yes, SQL programmer is definitely one of the most in-demand jobs in development today.

Data is the key to business success. Along with technology development, this volume of information will increase more and more.

It will make the search demand for SQL developers increase dramatically. Not only the information technology industry, every other field, such as healthcare or finance, need information management personnel.

As a result, the incentives and challenges for professionals become stronger than ever. This work will always grow in the future, that’s for sure.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in this industry are expected to grow by 8% from 2020 to 2030. This rate is more than double the average growth rate for all sectors.

Is SQL Development Easy?

SQL is one of the easiest programming languages ​​to learn today. Concepts, queries, and data formats are easy to remember and have clear names.

It is very unlikely that the functions will be confused. Plus, you’re free to choose between different RDBMS tools and tables to solve organizational problems.

The language’s query syntax is also derived from common English words, making learning easier.

You can even speed up the learning process if you already have some programming experience.


Becoming a SQL developer is not a difficult thing. The key here is to keep learning and honing your personal skills.

Technology will always develop, leading to the advancement of the database system. Regularly updating new knowledge is always the first choice of employers.

Good luck with your SQL development career path!