How Long Does It Take To Become A Programmer?

How long does it take to become a programmer? The answer to this question isn’t so straightforward. Where human skill development is involved, it gets tough to specify a time frame.

It can take about 3 to 6 months, or more than four years, to become a programmer. The duration depends on what method you choose and how motivated you are. If you’re learning by yourself and devoted enough, you can become a programmer in 6 months. However, completing a bachelor’s degree in computer science will take 4+ years to complete.

Let’s elaborate on how it works.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Programmer?

Learning programming is a continuous process. If you’re a beginner, you’ll need a lot of patience and the will to keep going. Let me tell you how long becoming a programmer can take, depending on the method you choose.


People who specialize in one field and want to learn to program for expanding their skill set can do so in between 3 to 6 months. The time duration depends on three factors in this case.

First, how fast you can learn. Second, how much time you spend on learning. And third, how committed you are.

If you spend one hour a day and have an average learning speed, you can become a programmer in 6 months. The duration becomes half when you’re more committed and spend two hours a day.

One more thing to mention here is, this duration will allow you to learn one coding language. If you wish to become efficient in multiple languages in this duration, you’ll have to spend a lot more time daily. 

The upside of learning coding on your own is you get to personalize the structure of the process. You can spend time according to your convenience, and you can choose what to learn and what not to learn.  

There are lots of free resources you can use to become a programmer. Free videos, pdfs, online courses, apps, and websites will help you get started without spending a single penny.

There are also a few downsides, though. It can be tough to stay focused without any help from a mentor. You need to be extraordinarily disciplined and patient if you wish to become a programmer on your own.

College Degree

Completing a bachelor’s degree from a college will take four or more years. There are both upsides and downsides to choosing this path.

Let’s talk about advantages first. You’ll get complete professional training from highly educated mentors. You will have help structuring your learning timeline, and someone will be there to keep you focused.  Moreover, you’ll have enough time to become more efficient in this field.

On the downside, it’s a lengthy process. It’s best for someone who’s starting college. But someone who’s changing profession may not want to invest four years in becoming a programmer. Besides, you can’t choose what you’ll learn and what you’ll not.

Let’s not forget about costs. Higher education will cost a fair amount of money. So, it may not be suitable for everyone.

Other Methods

There are other methods you can learn programming. Short-term learning camps can help you become a programmer. They don’t cost as much as a bachelor’s degree, and you get a mentor to teach you.

While the self-learning method won’t let you interact with the resource you’re using, camps will.

Another way you can try to become a programmer is to get someone to teach you. It can be anyone who is already a programmer. It can be your friend, teacher, or any other relative who knows their way around coding.

These methods will also take about 3 to 6 months, depending on how much time you’re investing in them. The downside of these learning methods is that there’s no surety of the resource. You may not find a camp, or there may not be anyone you know who’s a programmer. 

Programmer Type

Before you get into programming, let me tell you that there are two types. Front-end developers and back-end developers. Decide which one you want to go for first.

Someone explained the difference between these developers straightforwardly. Let me try to rephrase it for your easy understanding.

Front-End Developers

Imagine you went to a restaurant as a customer. The waiters serving you can be thought of as front-end developers. They interact with you and monitors how your experience with the service is.

Everything you see on the web is related to front-end development. That is why front-end developers need innovative thinking and an intuitive personality.

Back-End Developers

Back-end developers are more like the chef cooking behind the curtains. You don’t interact with them, but they prepare the things front-end developers present you with.

Both programming type requires learning to code. However, different coding languages are used in these two developments. So, the duration you’ll need to learn these depends on the coding language. and how long have you been on your programming chair

Programming Is A Continuous Learning Process

You must remember that you’ll keep learning your whole life you decide to become a programmer. Even the best programmers are still learning. There’s always something new.

So, be prepared to keep learning if you want to become a good programmer. If you’re not a patient person, coding might be for you.

Bottom Line

Whenever you ask, ‘how long does it take to become a programmer?’, remember that every human is different from one another. Everyone won’t require the same amount of time to learn to program. But, if you’re dedicated enough, you’ll undoubtedly become a programmer in 3 to 6 months.

Have patience, ask for help from people, and never stop wondering. No skill you build goes to waste. But if you decide to quit halfway through, don’t even bother starting. Because in the end, you’ll have learned nothing and wasted your valuable time.

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