The simple answer?
As few as six months of individualized, self-paced learning, or as many as four or more years in an accredited Bachelor’s program.
The more complicated answer?
It depends on you, your learning method, and your motivational support systems.
You have what it takes to become a computer programmer. You’ve already taken your first step in coding for beginners just by reading this article. Keep reading to learn about some of the common factors that can impact how long it will take you to become a programmer.
#1 What Kind of Programmer Do You Want To Be?
Computer programming is a way of telling a computer what to do using instructions—known as code—to complete a task.
Let’s break down how you might utilize those skills in a computer programming job:
Both job types require a full understanding of coding and software, but they typically rely on different primary coding languages, which take more or less time to learn. Front-end developers also require a more intuitive, creative eye.
#2 What Qualifications Does The Role Require?
The neat thing about computer programming is that many positions only require that you prove your coding proficiency. Stack Overflow concluded that nearly 70% of developers claim to have at least partially taught themselves to code and 13% said that had been their only form of education.
Each individual job’s requirements will undoubtedly impact how long it takes you to obtain the programming job you want. So what are some common qualifications you may or may not need to secure a computer programming position?
Some—not all—jobs will require, or at least “prefer,” a Bachelor’s degree. These programs take an average of four years to finish.
Programmers typically receive degrees in:
- Computer Science
- Information Technology
However, many students graduate with entirely different majors and find their way to programming later in life. University programs are useful, but they also overload you with many extraneous classes and projects.
Your portfolio is especially important when you haven’t received a formal education in computer programming. This is your chance to prove that you can still problem solve and code.
No matter how you learned, you can work on independent projects before landing an in office position or remote tech job, such as:
These freelance projects are perfect for coding for beginners because they have no timeline. You can fit them into your schedule in conjunction with your other responsibilities as you plan your coding career path.
The age-old catch-22: you can’t get a job without experience, and you can’t get experience without a job.
Luckily, computer programming is an extremely democratic profession. Similar to learning how to become a web developer, you do not necessarily need an undergraduate degree-- you just need to be able to prove your coding skills and knowledge of computer systems. Hiring departments tend to focus on a candidate’s knowledge and demonstrable skills—which you can teach yourself—rather than on formal education and prestigious job titles.
When recruiters don’t see a degree listed on your resume, they’ll look instead at experience. But this experience doesn’t need to be a high-level position at a top-tier tech firm.
Many people who go through coding boot camps or online educational programs can secure a Junior Developer position within six months.
#3 What Skills Do You Need?
With programming, knowledge is everything. Rest assured: there are endless ways to achieve this.
Yes, the traditional way has typically been a college or university program. But four-year degree programs require about 120 credits, or 40 classes, to graduate. Only a fraction of the degree requirements teach computer programming.
Self-taught learning tools cut out the frills and bureaucracy. If all you want is specific computer programming skills, there are cheaper, easier, and faster ways.
So what are some of those skills?
Different Coding Languages
No one expects you to know every coding language. Not only is it close to impossible, but it’s also highly unnecessary.
Depending on what kind of computer programmer you want to be, you’ll need an understanding of different primary languages.
For front-end (“waitress”) developers, you may want to focus on programming languages that cater to the design, layout, and navigational aspects including but not limited to:
With the right work ethic and learning tools, you could learn each of these languages in the span of a few months.
Most back-end (“chef”) developers also have a grasp on front-end programming tools, but they have their own specific languages as well including, but not limited to the following:
You don’t need to master all of these languages to be a successful computer programmer. It’s much more beneficial to focus on two or three specific programming languages that you can dig into, rather than have a minimal understanding of all of them.
Computer programming requires a general understanding of how databases operate—these collections of information store data collected by the website.
In addition to knowing how they work, you should be able to:
- Create and insert entries
- Update, edit, or delete records
- Organize the database for optimal use in a project
Foundational Mathematics Skills
At its core, programming is a form of math. The code (the equation) reads the inputted information (the variable substitutions) and performs a function based on the outcome (the answer).
Basic math is used in nearly every program. Whether it’s simple addition and subtraction or the more complex creation of algorithms, you’ll need to apply logistic and mathematical principles.
#4 What’s Your Learning Style?
This may be the most critical factor in answering the question, how long does it take to become a computer programmer?
If you work best in a university classroom’s highly structured environment, you’ll likely spend at least four years completing classwork and another six months or so securing a job.
However, other options will significantly decrease the time it takes for you to reach your programming goals:
How Can Disney Codeillusion Help?
No waiting around for some far off (and expensive) bootcamp start-date. No year-long university application process only to wait another six months for Fall enrolment. Advance your coding skills and programming skills at a pace and timeline that work for you.
If you want to begin your journey towards a computer programming career, you can start whenever is best for you with Disney Codeillusion.
Becoming a computer programmer takes time, but it shouldn’t take forever.
Don’t delay, start today!
Career Karma. How Long Does it Take to Learn Coding? https://careerkarma.com/blog/how-long-does-it-take-to-learn-to-code/
UserSnap. Is a college education necessary to become a great web developer? https://usersnap.com/blog/education-web-development/
GeeksforGeeks. Frontend vs Backend. https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/frontend-vs-backend/
Stack Overflow. Developer Survey Results 2016. https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2016