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Should sysadmins learn SQL?

Clearly SQL is an important skill in the tech world, but is it something that every system administrator needs to know?
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Is SQL an essential skill for sysadmins?

Choices

A couple of weeks ago, an interesting discussion popped up on the r/sysadmin subreddit:

"Learning SQL - Yay or Nay? I'm looking into which area I should be studying next and I often see SQL mentioned on job listings. I'd love some advice if it is the correct thing for my current skill set, or If I should be focusing on different skills."

Without interjecting too much of my personal opinion, I thought the commentary was interesting and definitely interjected some considerations I hadn't made before.

While of course it's helpful to know more about nearly any technology you might encounter in your day job, what to learn has to be a matter of priority. But I've always found querying and filtering to be critical: Whether you're using SQL, regular expressions at the command line, or just some basic filters in a spreadsheet, it's essential to know how to break down big piles of data into something digestible, or just find that one thing you need.

But that's just my opinion.

SELECT `opinions`
FROM `sysadmins`
WHERE `topic` = 'querying data';

What do you think? Is learning SQL a critical skill for a sysadmin, a nice-to-have, or not even of real value?

[Are you a SQL buff? Learn all about how Microsoft SQL Server now runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.]

Topics:   Poll   Database  
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Jason Baker

Red Hat Certified Engineer. Linux desktop enthusiast. Map/geospatial nerd. Raspberry Pi tinkerer. Data analysis and visualization geek. Occasional Pythonista. More about me

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