How long does it take to self-teach coding?

Many people around the world are either learning or planning to learn skills that will help them get into the tech industry. 

If you happen to be one of these people who are interested in tech jobs. You may be considering looking into learning about coding and programming. If you do in fact want to learn how to code, there are many ways you can go about it. 

Decades ago, the only way to learn how to code was by sitting in a classroom and taking lessons from a college professor. But thanks to the internet that method is not your only option anymore.

People still do go to college and a traditional education is still a very common way to get a career in tech. But why should you pay huge amounts of money to learn how to code when you can save a lot of time and money by using free videos and online resources to teach yourself from anywhere in the world?

It just makes more sense — even if you need more motivation and tenacity to see it through until you gain a proficient understanding of software development. 

A question that many people who do decide to self teach coding often ask is “how long does it take to teach yourself coding?”

The exact amount of time will vary and It can take any time from three months to three years or longer. Truth is the world of software development is ever changing and you will constantly be learning. 

Even after you’ve become a programmer and have been working in the tech industry. New programming languages, frameworks and tech stacks pop up all the time and the learning never really ends.

Factors that determine the duration of self-taught coding

Since the time frame in which you can learn coding when you teach yourself is so wide and varies for everyone there are certain factors that determine where you will fall within that range.

What’s the fastest path to learning how to code?

You’ve probably heard of people who learned to code on their own and got jobs in 3 to 6 months. It is very possible for you as well, but it all depends on what that person specialized in during those six months.

You need to know what you want to focus on, because the tech industry and software development jobs are really broad. 

That self-taught programmer who did it in six months is most-likely working as a frontend web developer using HTML, CSS, and Javascript at his place of work, and is likely learning React and other languages on the job as a junior developer.

From the illustration above, the person started out with a clear path in mind and worked towards it. 

So if you want to also learn to code and get a job in six months, learn the languages that will qualify you for an entry level role in that field you are interested in.

For frontend development that will focus on creating user interfaces and web page layouts you will need HTML, CSS, Javascript as starting points and you can definitely learn them in six months if you put in the work.

Backend development will require a lot more. You will need a basic understanding of HTML and some javascript in order to get data from the frontend but you will also need to learn a backend language as well. 

Many people decide to stick with Javascript as a backend language using Node JS because it’s easier to just learn one language when you’re first starting out. But there are many other languages that you can learn for backend development, some popular languages include Python, Java, C# and PHP.

After you’ve learned the basics of the backend language that you decide to focus on you will have to learn about databases and how CRUD functionality works. CRUD stands for Create, Read, Update, Delete.

Because backend development requires a deeper understanding of the ins and outs of how applications work many people choose to learn frontend development because it’s generally easier and requires less things to learn overall. Making it the “faster” option when learning to code.

How many hours a day should you be learning to code?

Learning how to code is not about speed, it is really about consistency. The reason many people don’t accomplish the goal of learning to code and landing a developer job is because of the amount of time and effort it takes to achieve that.

If you want to be a coder and you want to stand a chance of getting a job in 6 months, you’ll need to dedicate at least an hour or two to self teaching coding everyday. The reason why we recommend this is because it is very doable.

Of course, someone who dedicates more hours to learning everyday will learn faster than people who are only able to dedicate an hour or two. Plan your coding journey with the time you can keep up with, and as long as you are consistent, you will learn!

Join online communities to help you learn faster

One of the best things about the tech industry — the communities . . .  no one is ever alone. 

As long as you have a computer and internet connection you’ll never be alone. You can find different communities that you can join to help you along your coding journey. Joining a good community can really help you along your journey and can definitely help you learn to code faster.

You can find Youtube videos, learning websites, and even social media sites like Twitter and Reddit that have great developer communities and there’s hundreds of Slack groups and Discord servers that you can join as well. 

Make sure to look into these online communities to find other individuals that share the same passion who can provide you with encouragement, daily coding tips, and the ability to answer questions you might have as you’re learning to code.

Can you learn to code fast if you have previous knowledge?

Most people start learning how to code as 100% newbies, but there are many others who may have come across programming at some point in time. 

You can’t compare the speed of a complete newbie to that of someone who already started coding before and stopped due to certain circumstances.

So if you already know a thing or two about computer science or how websites and applications are built, the chances of you becoming a qualified coder after self-teaching for six months are very high.

Will knowing math help you learn to code faster?

A lot of beginners ask this question and we understand why it is a source of concern — most of the successful programmers you know today were probably geeks in school who performed excellently well at math, but you don’t need all those skills to be a good coder.

In fact, many developers today do not have a computer science or math degree, they just understand basic logical processes and apply it to the rules of each programming language that they learn — you can do the same thing.

Now that we have cleared the air about math not being a necessity for coding, we can focus on speed. 

If you are proficient in mathematics, you’ll have a slight edge over someone who’s not very good at math and you will be able to grasp some concepts faster when self-teaching coding.

When you solve math problems, you use variables and functions similar to structured formulas that you need to apply. 

Besides math, if you have done any other thing that requires you to think and apply rules for a solution, you will also be fast at teaching yourself how to code.

Do you need to know math to learn how to code?

There are many areas of expertise in the tech industry, and some actually need you to actively apply calculus, algebra, and other mathematical formulas. 

These areas include data science and machine learning. If these areas are the main reasons why you want to get into software development, then you’ll need math more than someone who is just learning web development. 

But at the beginner level, learning to code won’t require you to have a deep understanding of mathematics.

What skill will help me teach myself coding fast?

All things considered, your problem-solving skills will help you learn faster and will help you grasp concepts better. This is because your problem-solving skills and logic will help you think like a programmer and will be directly applied to the things that you build.

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