How Long Does it Take to Learn to Code

 

A coding education can help you build new digital worlds, create stunning websites, or even design action-packed games. But, you may look at your schedule and wonder if you have enough time to explore coding. 

This guide will show you what determines a coding education’s duration, how long it takes to learn coding through the typical coding education programs, and their pros and cons.

The Skills You Want to Practice

Coding is a multifaceted medium that combines technology with creativity. The possibilities of what you can create are limitless—it all depends on your coding goals. By taking the time to understand how you want to apply those coding skills, you can save time and learn the skills required for your unique aspirations.

What jobs can I get if I learn to code? Do I want to become a digital media artist or work as a software developer? Once you determine if you’re simply looking for a new creative outlet, or you’d like to lay the groundwork for a career change; the answer will determine which languages you need to learn.

Coding Languages You Want To Learn

Boiled down, learning to code is a lot like learning to “talk” to a computer. Programming tells a computer what to do and how to do it. Coders program computers using various languages, each with their own set of benefits, uses, and characteristics. But there’s more than one way to “talk” to a computer—in fact, there are hundreds. Here are just a few:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • C++
  • PHP
  • Perl
  • Processing
  • JavaScript
  • Java

So when wondering “how long does it take to learn code languages?”—it really depends on the language. It may only take months to learn a simpler programming language, while many say it takes years to master the complex languages.

The Effort You Put Into Your Learning

How long does it take to learn how to code? Truly, that depends on your schedule. The effort you put into learning a new skill determines how long it takes to learn it. Whether you enroll in a coding program, bootcamp, or college course, how long it takes you to learn coding depends on your focus, time-investment, and, most importantly, motivation. 

Your Motivation

Motivation drives you to continue learning even in the face of difficulty, and for some, coding can be especially challenging. In fact, most coding courses only have a 10% completion rate, meaning 90% of students leave the course before finishing the program.

Here are just a few reasons the coding course completion rate may be so low:

  • Overly complex instruction – Coding has obstacles every step of the way. And if your instruction and course materials aren’t accessible, you may struggle to grasp key coding concepts and stay invested in the course.

  • Limited support – Learning from mistakes strengthens your understanding of coding. However, not all programs offer step-by-step guidance to help you build knowledge from your coding mishaps. Whether you’re in a huge university lecture or in a rushed coding bootcamp, your mistakes might become a source of frustration and diminished confidence instead of a learning opportunity. 

  • A lack of engagement – No matter your age, people tend to learn better when they’re excited by what they’re learning. But some programs struggle to present coding in a fun and engaging way. Some may even lead you to question your aspirations, and ask “why should I learn to code to begin with?” If you’re not engaged in the learning process, your motivation may dwindle. 

  • Inflexibility – Acquiring new skills takes time. But your busy day may require a more flexible educational setting. Struggling to attend long classes or make time for rigorous bootcamps can chip away at your dedication. 

  • So just because coding programs say you’ll learn to code in just a few months, doesn’t mean the curriculum will keep you motivated enough to complete the course. The question of how long it takes to learn to code changes to:

    Does your coding course set you up for a successful learning experience? 

    Typical Coding Class Durations

    In the following section, we’ll take a look at how all of these factors play into the most popular code-learning programs, including: 

    • Computer Science Degree
    • Coding Bootcamp
    • Disney Codeillusion

    A Computer Science Degree

    Duration: 4 Years

    A four-year degree program teaches vital skills to launch a coding career. Most computer science degree programs will teach you computer architecture, algorithms, a variety of programming languages, and the essentials of software engineering. 

    You’ll likely have several different teachers in the various aspects and applications of coding, and may be challenged with a consistent battery of assignments, projects, and exams. 

    Pros:

    • Education – In-depth and comprehensive, college courses will give you a thorough coding education and practical skills.

    • Resources – Depending on the university, access to free tutors, libraries, and other resources may be included in your tuition. 

    Cons:

    • Expense – Yearly tuition for a computer science degree can range between about $3,000 and $10,000 at public universities. Private universities average about $40,000 a year. To complete a degree program in computer science, you may wind up spending tens of thousands of dollars. 

    • Time – Four years of full-time classwork can take its toll on your day-to-day life, especially if you’re juggling work and family. 

    • Requirements – Most universities will require you to take courses outside of your computer science major in order to graduate with the degree. A significant chunk of your four years will be spent on topics completely unrelated to your coding goals. 

    Coding Bootcamp

    Duration: 3-6 months

    Coding bootcamps are intensive training courses that teach computer programming. They last between three to six months and, depending on the course, require around 20-80 hours of class and coursework every week. Coding bootcamps focus on the most commonly used programming languages and instruct students in how to apply coding skills to real-life issues. 

    Pros:

    • Practical Skills – Coding bootcamps can instill comprehensive and in-depth coding knowledge to their students. Instructors teach both the fundamentals and practical coding skills to help students become developers. 

    • Online or Offline – Unlike many university degree programs, coding bootcamps are available online or offline.

    Cons:

    • Inflexibility – Coding bootcamps demand huge time commitments weekly from each student. That doesn’t leave much room for anything. If you spend 80 hours a week immersed in a difficult program while balancing the rest of your life’s demands, you may experience severe burn out and may drop out of the course. 

    • Rigid Pace – The fast-paced bootcamp environment leaves very little room for error. And if you don’t have time to learn from your mistakes, it may be difficult to keep up with the rest of the coursework. 

    • Curriculum – Coding bootcamps try to maximize your coding education in a small amount of time. This information-packed approach does not leave much room for fun, engagement, or one-on-one support from instructors.

    • Expense – While not as expensive as a four-year degree, typical coding bootcamp tuition costs around $11,000. That’s a serious chunk of change for a course that you may struggle to complete. 

    Disney Codeillusion

    Duration: It’s up to you! (60+ hours of curriculum)

    Built from over ten years of coding education research and experience, Disney Codeillusion is a comprehensive learning program that teaches students the fundamentals of coding. 

    Through self-propelled lessons, students practice computer programming in four core coding languages—HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Processing. Students start their coding journey in an interactive learning world from the minds of Disney. Instead of tests or homework, students will put their skills to work in exciting ways, such as:

    • Web Design
    • Game Development
    • Media Art

    Bonus? Disney Codeillusion’s program has the highest completion rate of all of these coding education offerings... and definitely the most magic.

    Pros:

    • Comprehensive and accessible – Disney Codeillusion’s detailed step-by-step guide and accessible approach helps students make connections to even the most complex coding concepts.
    • Your education at your pace – Disney Codeillusion’s program consists of 125 coding lessons, each 30 minutes long. And class is in session... whenever you want! With Disney Codeillusion, you’re given lifetime access to the program, so you can learn at your own pace. 
    • Support and guidance – Turn coding errors into learning epiphanies with Disney Codeillusion’s robust hint and guidance features, including a virtual mentor. You are offered hints and tips with every project for a “no-stuck” experience.
    • Extraordinary engagement – Disney Codeillusion takes the stale and stuffy academic approach to coding and turns it upside down. Through a role playing game-style format, you are immersed in the colorful worlds of Disney as you learn. You can practice your coding skills in engaging and comprehensive puzzles, games, and more!

    • Motivation boosts with every lesson – The minds behind Disney Codeillusion understand the importance of motivation in a coder’s education. Through progress-tracking features like mini-goals and milestones, you can celebrate your education every step of the way.
      • Affordable – The cost of Disney Codeillusion is a fraction of coding bootcamp and college degree programs. Plus, with helpful financial options through Affirm, you can pay in smaller installments. 

      Cons:

      • High expectation of coding – You’ll practice coding skills that have real-world applications. Be warned, once you learn with Disney Codeillusion, you’ll experience the true joy of coding, and all other coding opportunities will now have a high expectation to compete with.

      Disney Codeillusion: A Coding Course at Your Pace

      By combining education with entertainment, Disney Codeillusion immerses you in an engaging learning world filled with familiar Disney characters and exciting coding challenges. Plus, this flexible program allows you to learn at your own pace, so you’ll fully absorb each coding lesson.

      Ready to learn how to code? Start your free trial today with Disney Codeillusion!


      Sources: 

      College Tuition Compare. Computer Science Program 2020 Average Tuition Costs. https://www.collegetuitioncompare.com/career/computer-science/#:~:text=Computer%20Science%20Program%202020%20Average%20Tuition%20Costs&text=For%20academic%20year%202019%2D2020%2C%20the%20average%20tuition%20costs%20of,out%2Dof%2Dstate%20students.

      NerdWallet. What is a Coding Bootcamp? https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/loans/student-loans/what-is-a-coding-bootcamp/

      Medium. How Long Does It Really Take to Learn How to Code. https://medium.com/@KeepCoding_/how-long-does-it-really-take-to-learn-how-to-code-7c38390686a7