SQL is currently the second most used programming language, being beaten only by JavaScript. In fact, it’s used by over 50% of developers! This is a massive achievement for a programming language that’s 45 years old, especially when you consider how quickly technology changes. But with so many other technologies available, why is SQL still in popular use? Let’s take a look.

1. It’s Been Heavily Battle Tested

Relational database management systems have been around for decades and they’ve been used in many different scenarios. From heavily modified SQL databases, like those used in social media apps like Facebook, to offline databases that were used in the pre-web days, both SQL and RDBMS have proven to be reliable, no matter what their intended purpose. There’s a lot to be said for reliable software that works no matter what you throw at it, which is why a lot of developers choose to use SQL even when they could opt for a newer software.

2. There’s a Large Knowledge Community

When a piece of software is around for a while, communities tend to develop. These communities share tips and tricks, knowledge, tutorials and more with others enabling them to develop their own knowledge. There are tons of courses, tutorials, books, and blog posts online that explain how to use SQL to its full potential, and a lot of people really like how easy it is to access this information. While other programming languages do have a similar community, the SQL community is large and ever growing.

3. It’s Simple to Use

Some programming languages can take years to understand, but SQL is different. It was designed with simplicity in mind, making it one of the easiest languages for new developers to learn and implement. In fact, even people who work in roles that are not development orientated, such as marketers and C-level executives, can learn the parts of SQL that could benefit their roles. While having a deep understanding of the language isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight, simple rules and data queries can be understood within a day or two.

4. You Can Avoid Creating Code

There’s a saying in the development code that goes something like “why create code when a program can do all the hard work for you?”. This is true of SQL. While developers could create their own code to perform certain tasks, much of the time SQL can do a much better job of this, and in a much more efficient way. SQL was designed to be expert at filtering and joining data, selecting columns and more. Creating custom code could do the same thing but it’s completely unnecessary and a waste of time. This is another reason that many people still choose to use SQL.

With all the benefits of SQL, it’s unlikely that it will disappear any time in the new future. Will we see it survive for another 45 years? No-one knows, but it’s definitely possible.

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