After reading this chapter, you might think that SQL looks pretty simple (at least the DML portion). At a high level, it is fairly simple, and you now know enough about the language to go write some code. However, you will learn over time that there are numerous ways to arrive at the same end point, and some are more efficient and elegant than others. The true test of SQL mastery is when you no longer have the desire to return to what you were working on the previous year, rip out all the SQL, and recode it. For one of us, it took about nine years to reach that point. Hopefully, this book will help you reach that point in far less time.
While you are reading the rest of the book, you might notice that the majority of examples use SELECT statements, with the remainder somewhat evenly distributed across INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements. This disparity is not indicative of the relative importance of SELECT statements over the other three DML statements; rather, SELECT statements are favored because we can show a query's result set, which should help you to better understand the query, and because many of the points being made using SELECT statements can be applied to UPDATE and DELETE statements as well.