Commonly asked questions

Not sure if SQLPad is right for you? Wonder why you need to take the course?

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we hear from our customers

Picture this: you're scrolling through LinkedIn when suddenly, a message pops up, "Do you have time for a chat this week?"

It's a recruiter from none other than Google, your dream company. Your heart skips a beat.

You manage to impress in the initial call with the recruter, and then you're onto the technical round 3 days later.

This is it, your moment to shine.

But the task is to write a SQL query to identify top search terms by country.

Despite being a SQL wizard at work, without your trusted code editor, the familiar auto-complete, and the usual business context, you find yourself floundering.

Minutes tick by, and you can sense the interviewer's interest waning as he started looking at his phone.

You cobble together a semi-optimized code and present it, only to be met with a quick glance and a glance at the watch.

"We have 5 minutes left, do you have any questions for me?" he ask, signaling the end.

The next day, an email arrives from the recruiter.

It's polite, regretful—they've decided not to move forward. Those words sting, leaving you wondering, "What went wrong?"

Does this scenario sound painfully familiar?

It's a story we've heard too many times, and it's exactly why SQLPad was created.

SQLPad is more than just a learning platform; it's your end-to-end career launchpad.

Beyond our expertly designed courses and interactive coding challenges in SQL, Python, R, and machine learning, SQLPad brings an innovative suite of AI tools to elevate your job application process.

From crafting the perfect resume to penning compelling cover letters, our AI-driven assistance ensures your first impression is as impressive as your skills.

But we don't stop there. Our AI-powered mock interview feature simulates real-life interviews with hiring managers, allowing you to practice your responses, refine your delivery, and gain valuable feedback in real-time.

This unique tool is designed to build your confidence, ensuring you can articulate your value and tackle any question with poise and assurance.

Ready to transform your job application from a point of stress to a point of strength?

Dive into SQLPad's offerings now and land your dream job!

Yes, we now offers one time annual passes. Pay once and forget about it. No surprises, no hidden charges. 

Save up to 70%, and there is NO RECURRING CHARGES

Check it out: SQLPad Annual Pass here.

Certainly, many customers have had their subscriptions reimbursed by their employers, enabling them to study SQL and Python without incurring personal costs.

Most companies allocate a specific annual budget (thousands of dollars) for employee training and learning, both for tax advantages and other benefits.

Furthermore, numerous companies automatically approve expenses under $100 without the need for managerial consent.

Here is a sample invoice you can use to get reimbursed.

sample sqlpad invoice for reimbursement

Need some help convincing your manager? Here is a draft email for your reference:

Dear Elon,

I would like to request your support in reimbursing my SQL and Python training at SQLPad.io.

By learning SQL and Python, I can improve my productivity and work more efficiently in managing and analyzing large datasets.

I have reviewed the course materials and believe that the interactive tutorials and real-world projects would provide a comprehensive learning experience. This investment will benefit not only me but also our team and the organization as a whole. Thank you for considering my request.

Best regards,


You are given 10 FREE SQL/Python coding questions to try out, after that, your account will be locked.

Upgrade to a paid plan will unlock it immediately and also give you access to all questions and solutions, as well as the SQL, Python, Machine Learning Courses.

On average, it takes about 3-4 months to finish all the coding questions.

Since we have already provided you a FREE tier to practice a limited set of questions, we cannot refund you once your subscription starts.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

1. Monthly/Quarterly subscriptions
Once your subscription starts, you CAN NOT get a refund for any payments you've already made.
If you don't want to subscribe anymore, cancel your subscription.

You will have access to the subscription until the end of the period you have paid for.

2.  One time purchase

Unfortunately, we can not refund one-time purchases, including but not limited to EBook, Ultimate Bundle, and Job Search ultimate bundle.

Absolutely, congratulations, and we totally understand you need to take a break and celebrate.

To cancel your subscription, simply:

1. Sign in to your account, go to your account dashboard, then click Manage Plan.

2. A customer portal page will pop up (Hosted on Stripe). Follow the step-by-step instructions to cancel your subscription.

What happens after?

You will still have access until the end of your subscription period, similar to your other subscription like  Apple Music or Netflix.

If you want to delete your account permanently, shoot us a message with your username and email, and we will delete your account within 24 business hours.

Leon Wei, SQLPad founder Hi, my name is Leon Wei. Most recently, I was a senior manager of machine learning at  Apple. I am currently building an AI data analytics tool: skills.ai while running sqlpad.io. You can read more about me at my linkedin profile.

I’ve been using SQL for over 10 years, and it is still my go-to programming language to prepare data.

Before that, I lead a team of data scientists and engineers at Chegg, helping students or young professionals to improve their performance at school or work.

I also worked as a research scientist at Amazon, focusing on building a large-scale real-time pricing optimization engine for their online retail business. 

We created the cracking the SQL interview for the data scientist course with a beginner's mindset, and we assume our audience has 0 experience with SQL.

That's why the first 10 questions may seem to be very easy for experienced users, but you will find more and more challenging and tricky hard level questions as you move along to later questions.

The goal of sqlpad is to help people in data analytics/science quickly learn or refresh their SQL, Python/Pandas skills.
It could be for a job interview or be more productive at work.

We offer 20% off for students, educational institutions and startupsEmail us (hello at sqlpad dot io) from your .edu or work email to request a discount code.

We do not offer any other discounts.

Unfortunately NO.

We have designed and created the entire SQL course and curated all 200 SQL coding questions single-handedly, which took us more than 3000 hours of hard work, therefore you are not allowed to use any of those questions outside of this website, without our written permission.

If you represent a company and are interested to acquire a license to use our coding questions and solutions, please feel free to contact us.

From sqlpad's founder Leon wei.

After launching the Cracking the SQL Interview for Data Scientists course, I realized the need for my students to easily follow the course and practice SQL coding problems.

Since I can't find a solution online, I built SQLPad.

All the SQL exercises can be practiced in a browser, and my students don't have to waste hours configuring the database on their own computers.

As of March 21, 2023.

Those are the major version of our online playground.

PostgreSQL: 13.9

MySQL: 8.0

Python: 3.10

Pandas: 1.5


SQLPad is the Leetcode alternative that makes learning and mastering SQL for data analytics professionals instead of software engineers. It creates a complete SQL mastery path for all data scientists.

🧑‍💻 Our approach to tackling a SQL interview is to first teach you SQL fundamentals with the cracking the SQL Interview for data scientists course before asking you to jump into the coding war.

📹 More than 20 video lectures to learn SQL fundamentals and tips and tricks help you understand what a SQL interview is about.

🏋️‍♀️ After you grasp the basics, you then jump into SQL coding questions that challenge you and make sure you mastered those SQL fundamental concepts.

😱 Leetcode jumps directly into some super long, hard-to-understand SQL coding questions that may frustrate you, especially if you just started.

📈 Instead, SQLPad has a more gradual, more user-friendly learning experience for all SQL skill levels.

🍿 The first 80 SQL coding questions are based on the same Movie rental database, which resembles a real-world commerce business.

🤗 From easy-level questions to challenging ones, you gradually build up a good understanding of the database schema by practicing those questions.

👩‍💻 And by the time you are to solve some of the most advanced SQL interview questions (#58-80), such as WINDOW functions and LAG/Lead, you are already familiar with those tables. You can jump right into the coding environment after learning the concepts.

The Cracking SQL Interview course is a comprehensive course but is really focused on improving your SQL interview skills, with tips and techniques that I've learnt from interviewing thousands of data professional candidates. It saves time by concentrating on things that really matter.

We have seen satisfied customers ranging from fresh college STEM students searching their first industry jobs, and young professionals who want to switch their career track to work on data science.

SQLPad and the SQL interview course significantly improved their hands-on data processing capabilities, with laser-focused learning materials, to help land their dream job offers.

(Update 01/26, 2022, we now also support MySQL and Python, more info.)

Great question, SQLPad's online playground, and the coding challenge's online judge is currently based on the latest Postgres.

Its query syntax is similar to other databases such as MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server, one of the major differences is on Postgres's DateTime related functions.

More details can be found here: https://www.postgresql.org/docs/current/functions-datetime.html

For example, there is no datediff function in Postgres, but you can subtract one DateTime column from another directly using the minus '-' operator, which is actually quite convenient and easier to type once you get the hang of it.

If you would like to see other database engines implemented on SQLPad, please let us know.



There is definitely a lot to prepare for your first job hunt, especially given the current COVID-19 situation, hiring managers to receive a lot more applications from qualified candidates, and it pushes the hiring bar significantly higher than before.

If you are interested to know more about how to prepare a data scientist interview, I wrote a blog to explain different types of data scientists tracks.

And if you are interested in finding a job search mentor to help you get started with a concrete plan. Feel free to email us if you have any questions.

Yes, we now support dark mode!

To switch between light and dark mode, simply click the toggle button located at the top right of the navbar.

Yes, you totally can.

SQL interview questions and  SQL Playground work in all modern web browsers, including Chrome, Safari, Firefox in  Mac, Windows, Linux  and other operating systems.

Good question, I created the solutions in a specific style/format (e.g., using IN instead of JOIN), so my students who take the Cracking the SQL interview for Data Scientists Course can follow along.

I have been gradually adding more solutions (optimized) and will indicate if that solution is for more advanced users.

If you have a better solution than mine, please feel free to let me know!


SQL is a must-know programming language for any analytics track data scientists, it is the lingua franca for processing and managing data in the industry. I’ve been using SQL for many years, and it is still my go-to language to prepare and manage data.

However, it is not a strong-typed language, and there are many popular database systems with different syntaxes and built-in functions, it could be very confusing for first-timers.

As a hiring manager or part of the hiring committee, I often ask a lot of SQL questions during a data scientist job interview, and to make sure the candidate will be hands-on at work.

However, in my 15 years career, I have met so many fresh college graduates or young professionals starting their job searches without solid coding skills in SQL, and in the end, they didn’t get a job offer.

The SQL interview can bear other names and may be called  Technical Analysis or Data Interview during a FAANG company interview, you might be asked to perform a series of SQL operations to extract data and insights, and answer follow-up questions about their products.

(*) FAANG: Facebook, amazon, apple, Netflix and google

Have more questions? Please feel free to contact us, we read and respond to every email you send us, just give us some time. 😃