It’s no secret that coding is a highly valued skill, one that could help you advance or start a brand new career path. But even more so than any other acquired skill, coding is a laborious learning process that could be intimidating to anyone who is just starting out. You might be wondering just how long it takes someone to learn to code, and the answer to this will depend greatly on your existing skill level as well as your goals for the future.
For instance, if you’re already familiar with some coding methods and are simply looking to increase your knowledge, you’ll likely do it much faster than a complete novice who wants to break into the industry as a professional. Here is the breakdown of options you have when approaching learning how to code. Each option has its positives and drawbacks, so it’s important to factor in your individual needs and situation when making a choice.
The Fastest Route
Generally speaking, coding is like learning a new language. It’s up to you to decide your timeline and the level of immersion you will need to succeed in achieving your goals. As a rule, the greater the immersion and intensity of curriculum, the less time you’ll likely spend learning. However, these immersive courses also require that you absorb and retain much of this information at once, making them that much more difficult for someone just starting out. Nowadays there is no shortage of immersive coding “boot camps” that are designed to prepare you for the workforce in just six to 13 weeks.
You should be aware, that these immersive experiences require upwards of eight hours daily to be dedicated to learning and practicing your coding. If you’ve got other things in life that cannot be put on hold, you might find this set up very challenging. On the flip hand, only 13 weeks after beginning your journey, you can be qualified to start a brand new career in coding!
Maybe the boot camp options sound great, but you don’t have all day to dedicate to the task of coding. Or you just don’t enjoy the idea of living and breathing coding for an extended period of time and want to give yourself more freedom and space to complete your studies. You have the option of signing up for a less intense, afterhours version of coding boot camp, or simply finding your own resources online to take learning into your own hands.
This might be the best option for you if you’re currently working, caretaking, or have an existing busy schedule. By taking the pressure off of yourself and your time constraints, you can still learn your desired skill without the added stress. If you can dedicate one to two hours daily to your coding, you’ll likely learn the skill within three and six months.
The Long Route
There are plenty of people who choose to dedicate two to four years (or even more) studying coding within a collegiate setting. A formal university education obviously has its advantages, but you might be surprised to find it also has some drawbacks. For starters, four years is a long time to retain any information, especially technical skills that have to be put to practical use daily in a professional setting.
Then there’s the financial burden that a four-year education brings along with it. It also may not be a viable option for working professionals or those with a family, who need to balance their daily life with coding. A college degree in coding might be right for you if time isn’t an issue, and you value the added structure and variety of subjects available for study.
The End Game
We hope your decision to learn coding is a rewarding one. Even after you’ve learned how to code, you’ll likely spend a lifetime practicing and evolving your skills to match the advances in technology. There’s really no telling what kind of changes are in store for coding, but looking at it as an evolving skill can help you stay abreast on best practices and separate yourself from the competition.