A quantitative study of the relative difficulty for novices of writing seven different types of SQL queries

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Conference Proceeding
Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE, 2015, 2015-June pp. 201 - 206
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Copyright © 2015 ACM. This paper presents a quantitative analysis of data collected by an online testing system for SQL "select" queries. The data was collected from almost one thousand students, over eight years. We examine which types of queries our students found harder to write. The seven types of SQL queries studied are: simple queries on one table; grouping, both with and without "having"; natural joins; simple and correlated sub-queries; and self-joins. The order of queries in the preceding sentence reflects the order of student difficulty we see in our data.
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