A Live Developer Journal

Getting an overview of SQL topics by scanning multiple table of contents

I am going to look for a bunch of SQL books and get their table of contents. For the first book, I'll write a list of topics covered in them, with a number next to them to indicate that they have appeared once so far. Then I'll do the same for all of the other books. Each time the same concept is introduced, I'll increment the number next to it. If a new concept is introduced, it'll be added to the list.

After doing this, it should be clear which concepts seem to be fundamental to the languages, and which topics appear to be more niche/advanced. Then I will rate how comfortable I am with each of the concepts listed, with the aim of focusing on getting comfortable on all of the basic concepts first.

I have included a list of all of the books I studied the table of contents for at the end of this post. All of the table of contents (and not the books themselves) were available for free online with a quick Google search.

Also, you could do this for multiple languages and get a quick overview of the similarities and differences between them. It will also give you an indicator of how 'familiar' the content of a new language will be based on how many similar concepts you have learned in other languages. This will also help you identify how the different concepts are expressed in different languages, and possible give you an inkling of what they are suited for (or not).


The first thing I did was Google SQL books to get a list to start with. Then for each of the books that interested me, I Googled them to try and find their Table Of Contents section, which is usually free to find online. In some cases, I searched for them on Amazon and clicked on the 'see inside' link to find the table of contents.

Resources used to curate the SQL concepts: