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MySQL - what is it used for

Beginnings in the IT world are always difficult. You constantly come across new terms, strange sounding abbreviations and ask yourself if you have to learn it all. Of course not! The IT industry is extremely broad and nobody will learn everything because it is physically impossible. What is important is that you know in what direction to develop and what skills you will need to do so. Today we will take a look at a part of the IT world that is MySQL databases.

Relational database management system

This above definition of "relational database management system" sounds a bit stiff but can be understood more simply. MySQL is just a very popular database management system. Imagine an online store and think for a moment what kind of data is needed in such a store:

  • we need some place to store and edit product data;
  • we have to save customers data somewhere;
  • we need to store orders elsewhere;

To be able to work with this data you need some kind of system that allows you to save and edit data. In reality we very often use MySQL for such tasks.

Where is this being used?

Online stores are just one of many examples of MySQL database usage. This system is very often used in various Internet applications. For example, the popular WordPress, which is used by about 25% of the world's websites, is based on the MySQL database. Anyway, you can look for such examples literally endlessly.

What should you know

To get started with MySQL you need a certain set of basic skills. Of such fundamental ones, we can certainly mention:

  • pulling data from a database using various criteria;
  • adding data to a database;
  • editing and deleting data;
  • managing database relationships;
  • managing users and permissions;

The skill set needed for the job depends a bit on what direction you are going in. For programmers, you need the ability to create queries to the database. For administrators, on the other hand, you will need the ability to manage the database server with all the nuances.

What good is it to me anyway?

You already roughly know what this is all about. And now you're probably asking yourself if it's worth getting the skills we just wrote about. Take a moment to look at the job offers on the web and just see how many of them require the candidate to know MySQL. There are sure to be quite a few because it's a very common database system. MySQL is mainly used in web applications. These in turn are often written using languages such as PHP, C# or JAVA. In practice, there are rarely offers focused on MySQL alone. Usually candidates are required to have a combination of skills such as MySQL + one of the above programming languages. So if you would like to develop in this direction it is definitely worth starting learning now.

MySQL and SQL - what's the difference

There's a question that keeps coming up: what's the difference between MySQL and SQL? SQL is a language with which we write queries to the database. MySQL, on the other hand, is a database management system (application) that uses this language to write queries. Simply put, working with MySQL databases is largely based on the practical use of SQL language.

Other database systems

MySQL is one of many database systems. In fact for different applications, different systems are used. We have such databases as SQLite, PostgreSQL, SQL Server, etc. There are also databases that do not use SQL language such as MongoBD. Each of them has its strengths and weaknesses and its specific purpose.

A few final words

Cool! Now you know what this slice of the IT world called MySQL is all about. You know where it is used, and you know what skill set is necessary to get started with databases like MySQL. There is nothing left to do but start learning. Good luck!

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