How Long Does Coding Take to Learn?

How Long Does Coding Take to Learn? Coding is the process of writing instructions in a language that computers can understand and execute.

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by Bethanny Parker

Updated September 16, 2022

Reviewed by Monali Mirel Chuatico

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What is coding? Coding is the process of writing instructions in a language that computers can understand and execute.

There are over 700 coding and computer programming languages in existence. Fortunately, most computer programmers only need to know how to code in a handful of languages. The University of the People recommends that programmers try to learn at least three languages.

So how long does it take to learn coding? This depends on the programming language and the method you use to learn coding. The easiest programming languages, such as JavaScript and Python, take much less time to learn than more complicated languages, such as C and C++.

Many people take coding bootcamps to learn to code. Most coding bootcamps last 3-4 months and teach enough coding skills to qualify graduates for entry-level coding jobs. It typically takes 6-12 months to learn to code on your own. Likewise, a bachelor's degree in computer science or computer programming usually takes four years.

Coding Languages

Ways to Learn Coding

There are three main ways to learn coding. You can teach yourself to code, go to college to earn a traditional bachelor's degree, or attend a coding bootcamp through a university or another bootcamp provider.

How Can I Teach Myself to Code?

Start by considering which coding languages you want to learn. Then look for courses that teach coding for beginners with a focus on those languages.

Try to work through a single course from beginning to end rather than jumping from one course to another. Once you have finished the first course, pick another that complements it. In addition to working through the assignments, try creating your own projects for more practice.

Here are a few courses to consider:

Benefits of a Coding Bootcamp

Frequently Asked Questions About Learning Coding

Is it hard to learn coding?

Some programming languages, such as Python and JavaScript, are fairly easy to learn. Others, like C++ and C#, are more difficult. If you are willing to dedicate the required time to attend a bootcamp, take online courses, or pursue a bachelor's degree in computer programming, there's a good chance you will be able to learn to code.

If you are worried you might not be able to learn coding, start with one of the easier languages. Once you have a firm grasp of your first programming language, you can move on to something more difficult.

Does coding require math?

Whether you need to know math depends on what you are coding. For a typical webpage, you don't need math. You'll be coding the page's layout, including headers, paragraph breaks, and pull quotes. None of these tasks require math skills.

You may or may not need to know math for programming that uses algorithms. If you are using algorithms from a library, the math may already be done for you. However, if you are doing technical things with your computer program, you may have to write your own algorithms, which could require extensive math skills.

How much do coders make in a year?

Your salary potential may vary based on job title, location, and experience level. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), web developers earned a median salary of $77,200 as of 2020. Computer programmers earned $89,190 per year, and software developers earned $110,140 per year.

Most coding bootcamps focus on web development. However, once you get your first entry-level web development job, you can work on building additional coding skills so you can move up to a higher-paying position in the future.

Are coders in demand?

One benefit of learning to code is job security. A search for "web developer" on Indeed returned over 63,000 results as of March 2022. A search for "software developer" returned over 259,500 job listings. The BLS projects that web developer jobs will increase by 13% from 2020-30. Software developer jobs will grow by 22% during the same time period.

Unfortunately, not all coding jobs are expected to grow. For example, the BLS projects that jobs for computer programmers will decrease 10% from 2020-30.

Feature Image: Rohane Hamilton / EyeEm / Getty Images

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