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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?

418 votes tallied
Yes, every sysadmin should know the basics.
249 votes
Maybe. It's useful but not critical.
134 votes
No. Only learn it if you need it.
35 votes

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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