How Long Does it Take to Learn Coding?

Interested in a career in coding? It's a versatile field with high demand and offers opportunities in various industries. Learn how to code with no prior experience and break into this lucrative career with classes and bootcamps that fit your needs.

Key Insights

  • Coding is a sought-after skill in today's job market with applications in numerous industries such as education, fashion, finance, medicine, entertainment, and marketing.
  • Learning to code can take anywhere from three months to six years, depending on the extent of the program and the individual's commitment level.
  • Careers requiring coding skills include Software Engineer, Full Stack Developer, Cybersecurity Analyst, Machine Learning Engineer, and more.
  • Certificate programs and bootcamps are shorter alternatives to conventional degree programs and can be completed within six weeks to six months.
  • Continual learning is a part of coding, with programmers always adapting to new resources, tools, and approaches to enhance their skills.
  • Noble Desktop offers a range of coding classes and bootcamps, with the option to retake courses at no additional cost for up to a year after completion.

Coding is one of those topics people assume takes a tremendous amount of schooling to learn, but that’s not necessarily true. The time it takes to learn to code depends on how much effort the person in question can put into it. It can be as short as three months or as long as six years, depending on the program. Even if someone only puts in a little bit of practice each week, that is still more than most people would have done otherwise.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how long it may take to learn to code, but there are several ways to determine how long specific components may take for each person. Here are a couple of insights that will help.

What is Coding?

Coding is currently one of the most in-demand skills dominating today’s job market. In simple terms, coding is the language that tech professionals use to tell devices how they should operate. There are several coding languages that are used for different purposes; some of the more common languages include Java, Python, and JavaScript.

Coding skills are required in many positions, including Software Engineer, Full Stack Developer, Cybersecurity Analyst, Machine Learning Engineer, and many others. The main upside of coding is that it’s also adaptable to nearly any industry, including education, fashion, finance, medicine, entertainment, and marketing. While it may seem complicated to break into a coding career, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Nowadays, anyone can become a coder and obtain an entry-level position after taking a coding bootcamp or two.

Read more about what coding is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with Coding?

Coding is an incredibly versatile field that covers a wide selection of topics. You’ll be able to create websites, algorithms, and programs that have uses in every industry on the market. Even if your chosen career operates primarily in-person, you’ll be able to take creative approaches to coding that will make everyone’s lives easier.

You can make your own video game, build an online presence for your small business, or code simple programs that automate your mundane tasks. There’s no limit to what you can do with coding. This impressive skill will always serve you well if you have an imaginative mind and a willingness to learn more.

Average Time it Takes to Learn Coding

On average, it takes about three to six months to learn how to code a simple programming language to its full extent, and that’s if you start with no experience. More complex coding languages will require more time. Depending on the variety of programming languages you want to learn, it can take up to four years full-time or six years part-time. Most computer science college degrees fall under this category.

Certificate programs and bootcamps are typically shorter in comparison. If you’re planning to focus solely on the programming languages for a specific career, it will take the length of the certificate program or bootcamp in question. Most of these programs last between six weeks and six months.

For specific examples, the Python for Data Science Bootcamp takes about six weeks for a part-time student to focus on that subject. In contrast, the Software Engineering Certificate program takes about six months but includes twelve different courses as part of the package.

It’s important to note that your education doesn’t end because you’ve become proficient in coding. Programmers are always learning new resources, tools, and approaches to coding that will make their lives easier.

Other Factors

There’s no cookie-cutter approach to learning to code because everyone’s situation is different. You might have obligations that will slow down your progress. Here are a couple of factors that might affect the length of your coding education:

Work & Family Obligations

You’ll naturally need to work for survival reasons, and if you’re taking care of your family in any capacity, you’ll undoubtedly need to prioritize them. No one will blame you for taking longer to learn a subject because you have to focus on projects at your job or look after your kids.

Sometimes you might need to spend more time in one area of life than you would prefer, and that’s perfectly okay. Time is a valuable resource, and when you can, try to reduce any unnecessary time spent that you could put towards your education. For example, if you’re able to shorten or remove a commute, that would be a tremendous time saver. As long as you take small steps to continue learning despite obligations and obstacles.

Prior Programming Experience

Your experience before your coding classes will affect how quickly you can learn new concepts. Suppose you’ve ever taken a high school computer science class or learned a few helpful tricks from a colleague or family member with coding skills. In that case, you’ll immediately have the edge over anyone learning for the first time.

If you have no experience yet, you’re still in good shape. Plenty of free, pre-recorded coding seminars are available to quickly give you an overview of your desired topic before your class starts.

Your Learning Speed

Everyone learns at a different pace and has their learning style. Some people can absorb information quickly, while others need to hear it a few times before it sticks. Most instructors understand that and are happy to work with you to ensure that you’re learning at your most optimal level. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Thankfully, many live online classes offer free retakes, which means you can review the same subject matter after you’ve completed your class the first time. You know yourself best; as long as you communicate your needs, you’ll be okay no matter how long your education takes you.

Distractions & Stressors

Even if you have no obligations or time commitments, you might be continually distracted for other reasons. Information overload can also cause stress, and that’s common for people who are learning a new subject, especially coding. Coding has many different avenues to explore, which may be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.

When that happens, choose one subject and stick with it. It’s recommended to seek advice from an expert while weighing your options—they may have insight into which subjects are best for someone with your interests and skill level.

The Hidden Factor

This information may feel stressful to read, but rest assured that it’ll give you an advantage in the long run. That’s because of one hidden factor: awareness. Now that you’re aware of the potential struggles, you can plan for obstacles before they arrive.

Read more about coding tips for success.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost

The topics you need to learn before coding depends on the specific coding language you plan to use. In general, you can learn most coding languages with no experience in others. When it comes to ideal languages to start first, most people enjoy HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Python due to their overall accessibility and range of uses. Learn about typical coding prerequisites for more details.

Coding languages themselves are generally free to use and learn. Specific tools may require a fee to install. Luckily, many applications and tools, such as React, are open-source, meaning that it’s freely available for modification and community interaction. For more specifics about the costs associated with coding, check out the guide on coding costs.

The difficulties that come with learning to code are often subjective. Still, most people without experience can gain entry-level coding skills within six months through bootcamps and certificate programs. No matter how you approach learning to code, it’s essential to have a mentor who can give you feedback on your work. Read about how difficult it is to learn coding.

Watch a Free Coding Online Course

You might feel a little overwhelmed when looking for coding classes and bootcamps, which is perfectly understandable. You’ll likely want to start with something that matches your interests or aligns with your career goals.

It’s okay to hesitate when you’re starting the process of learning to code. Try some free courses first to see which topics appeal to you, and then you can go from there. Many pre-recorded lectures cover the fundamentals and will give you enough knowledge to gauge if it’s right. All these free courses are intended to let you test the waters and make an informed decision before committing.

Websites are where most people start when they’re first learning to code, and the Intro to Front End Web Development class by Noble Desktop shows you which programming languages are needed and how to use them. From there, you can look into WordPress, one of the internet's most-used Content Management Systems (CMS). WordPress is highly customizable, and the Intro to WordPress for Developers course teaches you how HTML and CSS knowledge can enhance its interface.

Another side of coding is data science. General Assembly's free Intro to Data Science class teaches you the essential practices data scientists use. They also have an Intro to Data Analytics course that covers Google Sheets and other standard tools.

Read about more free coding videos and online tutorials.

Key Insights

  • The amount of time needed to learn coding skills depends on the level of investment.
  • On average, it will take about three to six months to learn to code
  • Free seminars and pre-recorded classes are available in-person and online
  • Self-paced classes are available online for those that are adjusting their schedules
  • Coding classes and bootcamps will take less time if they’re on topics that interest you
  • Choose topics you think you’ll enjoy, and the time will fly by!

Learn Coding with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop has a robust collection of coding classes and bootcamps that fit various learning needs. They offer in-person classes in Manhattan as well as live online classes internationally. All classes have relatively small class sizes and are taught by coding experts who have practical knowledge in the field. After completing your classes, you’ll have the option to retake those courses at no cost for up to one year, allowing you to practice, review subjects, and receive insights from instructors for free.

If you’re eager to learn a collection of coding languages and applications, the Software Engineering Certificate will give you a taste of three notable ones. You’ll start with Front End Web Development, allowing you to create websites through HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Once you understand these subjects, you’ll shift focus to JavaScript’s various frameworks and databases, including React, Node.js, and Express.js. Finally, you’ll learn Python Development with Django, which is helpful for server-side programming, among other topics.

The Full-Stack Web Development Certificate provides a comprehensive education in coding designed to take you from coding novice to career-ready. You’ll first learn to develop the front ends of websites with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and WordPress. After that, you’ll dive into a JavaScript back end stack known as MERN: MongoDB, Express.js, React, and Node.js.

Anyone interested in algorithms and data collection should look into the Python for Data Science Bootcamp. It’ll show you the fundamentals of Python and everything that it entails. The possibilities of uses with Python are vast. Companies such as Netflix and Amazon use Python, and this bootcamp will teach you how to start writing your own Python programs.

How to Learn Coding

Master coding with hands-on training. Learning how to code in JavaScript, Python, and other popular languages can pave the way to a job in tech, such as web development, data science & analytics, or software engineering.

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