How Long Does It Take to Learn Coding?

Wondering if you can learn to code? We think you can, and we'll help you figure out how long it might take.
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Published on Apr 19, 2022
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  • There are many coding languages; you'll need to determine which languages you want to learn.
  • You can learn to code at school, on your own, or through a coding bootcamp.
  • Because of the variety, there's probably a language and method that's right for you.

Although it might seem daunting, anyone can learn to code.

The International Society for Technology in Education asserts that elementary school is a great time to begin learning to code. The basic concepts are accessible to six- or seven-year-olds, which means they are accessible to you.

If there's a voice in your head saying you can't learn to code because you don't have time or you're not good with science, technology, or math… stop.

Instead, ask yourself:

  • Am I interested in learning to code or a career in tech?
  • Do I work hard to complete projects?
  • Do I enjoy problem-solving?

If you answered yes to those questions, a coding bootcamp might be a great option for you. How long it takes depends on what you want to do!

Coding Languages


HTML is the basic code web developers use to create webpages. Every page on the internet uses HTML to tell the web browser how to display its content. HTML creates headings, paragraph breaks, links to other websites, and more.


JavaScript is used to make webpages interactive. This language expands upon basic HTML to add features such as sliders and images that change sizes when you hover your mouse over them. Both front-end and back-end web development can use JavaScript.


Ruby is an open-source programming language that focuses on productivity and simplicity. It balances imperative and functional programming. Learning coding with Ruby is relatively easy due to its natural syntax. Even though Ruby seems simple, the language can handle complex tasks.


Python is one of the most important coding languages for data science and machine learning. It is a high-level, object-oriented, interpreted programming language that can be easy to learn. Python is known for boosting productivity due to its fast edit-test-debug cycle.

Coding Bootcamps You Should Consider

Ways to Learn Coding

There are three main ways to learn to code. 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.

  • Self-Taught: If you're curious about how to learn coding on your own, there are plenty of online courses, tutorials, and YouTube videos that can teach you how to code. Through many of these resources, you can learn to code for free. The downside: By taking various courses instead of sticking to one structured program, you could get sidetracked. It typically takes 6-12 months to get a firm grasp on 3-4 programming languages.
  • Traditional Degree: It takes about four years to complete a bachelor's degree in computer programming or computer science in a traditional college or university setting. Your first year or two will likely consist of general education requirements, with your last two years focusing on programming in various languages.
  • Coding Bootcamp: Coding bootcamps typically last 3-4 months, although some run for six months or longer. Bootcamps provide structured curricula to prepare students for entry-level coding jobs. Many coding bootcamps require students to complete projects to add to their portfolios.

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:

What Is a Coding Bootcamp?

A coding bootcamp teaches coding skills through intensive instruction during a concentrated period of time. One bootcamp can't teach every coding language in a few months, though.

Often, bootcamps create their curricula around the language and skills needed for a specific field, such as front-end development, user interface (UI), or cybersecurity.

Full-time bootcamps typically run from at least 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with instruction and group work. There is normally additional individual work and study after class hours.

Part-time bootcamps may meet in the evenings or on weekends or run on a self-paced timeline. They typically take twice as long to cover the same material as full-time bootcamps.

Benefits of a Coding Bootcamp

  • Structured Curriculum: Bootcamps offer structured curricula that take you from being an absolute beginner to being ready for your first coding job. As long as you attend all of your classes and don't fall behind, you'll be ready to start submitting job applications as soon as you graduate.
  • Instructor Feedback: Another benefit of coding bootcamps is that instructors teach bootcamp courses. Part of the bootcamp experience is being able to ask your instructor for help when you get stuck. Some bootcamps also have mentorship programs, providing additional help through your program mentor.
  • Cost: The average cost of a bootcamp in 2020 was $13,579. Although this is quite a bit more than many self-directed online courses, it also costs less than an average four-year college degree. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition and fees for a four-year college or university cost $16,618 per year as of the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Time: Coding bootcamps provide an intense learning experience, allowing students to learn coding in just a few months. This is the fastest way to learn how to code in most cases. The typical coding bootcamp teaches HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, giving students the training they need to pursue front-end or full-stack web development jobs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Learning Coding

Is coding hard to learn?

Some programming languages, such as Python and JavaScript, are fairly easy to learn. Others, like C++ and C#, are more difficult. However, what is easy for any one person to learn may be hard for another. 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 simpler 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 varies based on your job title, location, and experience level. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), web developers earned a median salary of $78,300 as of 2021. Computer programmers earned $93,000 per year, and software developers earned $109,020 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 28,040 results as of April 2023. A search for “software developer” returned over 107,170 job listings. The BLS projects that web developer jobs will increase by 23% from 2021-2031. Software developer jobs will grow by 25% 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 2021-2031.

Can you teach yourself coding?

Of course, you can! But if you want to learn to code in order to launch a career in tech, a bootcamp may be the better option.

Two key components you can't get on your own are pair programming and career support. Most jobs require you to collaborate on code with other people. As a result, bootcamps build collaboration into their curriculum.

Most coding bootcamps also offer career services of some kind. Many offer one-on-one coaching from a dedicated staff member, resume review, interview practice, negotiation support, and more.