How long does it take to Learn to Code on average?

Learn to Code / Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels
Learn to Code / Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels

There are more than 400,000 computing jobs waiting to be filled in the United States. These jobs pay very well, but many of them require a specific skill set. You need to learn how to code. You might be starting from scratch, but the time it takes to learn to code is well-spent. You can still learn to code and beat the competition to your dream job. How long does it take to learn to code? Keep reading to find out and how you can get a job in programming.

How Long Does It Take to Learn to Code?

Let us get right to it because there is not a simple answer to this question. It depends largely on your current coding ability, your chosen programming language, your learning method, and how much time you have to devote to your new pursuit.

Starting with your current coding ability, if you already have some basic knowledge, you can learn to code a bit more quickly. Someone who is starting with no coding knowledge has to learn the basics first. It can take anywhere between 3-6 months to learn coding basics. You can then jump into a programming language.

What Programming Language Do You Want to Learn?

Some programming languages are much more complex to learn. For example, C++ is harder to learn for beginners than Python. You should also align your goals with your programming language. If you want to learn to build websites, then you should learn JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. If you want to create apps, then you will want to learn Swift and Python. You need to keep your end goals in mind as you are learning to code.

How Will You Learn to Code?

There are plenty of ways to learn how to code. You can go the self-study route, which means that you watch videos and read books on your own.

You need to have the discipline to make self-study work. What often happens is that coders get a good start, then life gets in the way. That sets them back months in learning to code. It is possible to get a college degree in computer science to learn to code. These usually take 4 years to complete, but you might be able to find a program that offers a two-year program.

Do you want to learn how to code without taking out a student loan, but you want the accountability? Then take a look at coding boot camps. Coding boot camps give you instruction, activities, mentors, and sometimes job placement. These boot camps do not take four years to complete. These boot camps last about five months.

Your coding environment impacts your ability to learn to code. If you have a hard time focusing on your environment, you will not be able to do much. The learning environment needs to be a quiet space where you have no distractions. You also need to have the right tools in your environment. A good computer that can handle coding computations and a code editor similar to Notepad++ OSX are tools worth having.

How Much Time for Coding?

Even if you go for a 4-year computer science degree, it could take 5-6 years if you take classes on a part-time basis. If you study code 6-8 hours a day, you can learn almost any programming language in just a few months.

If you do that for a year, you will have a firm understanding of several programming languages. Realistically, you probably have a job, and you need to pay your bills. That gives you less time to learn to code. Let us say all you have is an hour or two a day to devote to coding. Then you will need to give yourself more time to learn the material and become a proficient programmer.

Getting a Job as a Programmer

OK, so you learned how to code. How can you land your first job? If you learned through a Bootcamp or degree program, you could get help through the program's placement center. You will also want to start building your networks (personal, not technical) to connect with hiring managers and other programmers in the community.

You can find a Meetup for coders in your area. You can also reach out and build professional relationships over LinkedIn. There might be other IT associations that you can join to network and get yourself out there. You also want to utilize your existing connections. If you are still on Facebook, write about your coding adventures. Talk about how you are learning to code and what you want to accomplish. You never know who is connected to a hiring manager that can make an introduction.

It helps to have clarity about the type of job you want. That makes it easier to communicate and for people to keep you in mind for specific opportunities. Do not forget to polish your resume to reflect your experience as a programmer. Be sure you mention the other skills that companies look for beyond technical abilities. Companies are always looking for people who are problem-solvers and excellent communicators. If you can demonstrate these skills, you will get a job in no time.

Do not Wait to Learn How to Start Coding

There is a hot job market out there waiting for you to fill up one of those high-paying positions. You should want to make learning how to code a top priority.

How long does it take to learn to code? It can take about five months if you devote all of your time to coding. Otherwise, you can expect to learn the basics in a few months and learn how to program in about a year.

The sooner you can begin, the sooner you can land that dream job. Do not put it off any longer!

Check out the Tech section of this site for more inspiration.

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