This question was asked many times, and yet, it’s difficult to answer.
But, let me try to put it in simple words: learning basics of coding can take 1-2 weeks, mastering it will take years.
If you want to learn some stuff about coding and have fun, then it shouldn’t be much challenging. There are many videos on Youtube that can help you to start.
However, if you want to learn coding to make your livelihood with it, then consider mastering it.
So, the question could be: how long does it take to master coding and make living with it? My answer will be 4-6+ months to land your first job or internship. And, a minimum of 2.5+ years to master it.
Just keep in mind, you don’t need a university certificate to land your first job. The best programmers I have ever worked with didn’t have any degree.
So, let’s look at some important steps to take towards mastering coding.
Have a Passion in Technology
It’s not a secret that software engineers are paid well. Might be that’s the reason that many people want to become software engineer. Anyhow, without a passion, it would be challenging to master coding.
So, make sure to have a passion, before starting your journey in developing software.
To sum up, enjoy solving issues with coding. Let it be your motivation rather than making money. Once your motivation will become solving tech issues, eventually, you’ll land a well-paid job.
If you’re still here, it means you have the passion and right attitude to master coding.
In the next paragraphs, I’ll provide you with insights on how you can start coding.
Choose a Programming Language to Study
The first and most important thing is to choose a programming language that you want to learn.
I can’t emphasize more on how important it is to start with one programming language rather than trying with many. Choose the one which you like more, and start learning concepts and mastering it. You also should learn the libraries and frameworks of that language.
Once you have enough knowledge with one programming language, it should be easier to learn others.
I started with Java. It’s been an amazing experience.
So, which programming language should you choose?
This is something which you can decide, but I’ll try to help you here and provide some languages which are more popular.
The below programming Languages are the most popular ones, and it makes sense to start learning one of them.
My advice would be to choose one of these languages. There are more projects with these languages that mean there will be more jobs for you if you know one of these languages.
But if you want to be a backend guy, then mastering Java, Python or C# is a good option.
Let me also give you some important tips to not make mistakes when you will learn and master programming.
Never Give Up!
Mastering coding is a difficult task to achieve. You’ll have though times learning lots of stuff, but never give up.
I saw many people start learning to code but they give up after 1-2 months. I believe all of them would have succeeded if they have had the right attitude. Could you guess why they failed?
Because their only motivation was making money rather than understanding technology and enjoying the study process.
So, I’m again coming to the same point. To not give up, motivate yourself with learning about tech and solving issues. Money, you’ll eventually earn, and a lot.
When I started studying Java, it took me 1 year 3 months to land my first internship. But, I’m sure you’re gonna be luckier and you will not need to wait for such long. If that time I knew how to study effectively, then I would probably be luckier.
So, let me share my tips how to study, and which resources use.
How to Study Effectively?
There are two options to study. Watching videos or reading books and articles. Or, both of them combined.
I’d recommend that you use both options. Read and watch videos, but whatever you do, make sure to code at that time. Just reading and watching really will not give any knowledge and after a day or so you’ll probably forget what you read or watched.
For example, when you read about something which shows some code samples, make sure to open your code editor, and write the same code. Then, start changing that code, break it, and experiment. And, make sure to enjoy the process!
Don’t learn only the language itself, learn related libraries and frameworks. If you only know Java without any frameworks or libraries, then you have almost no chance to get a job. But if you know related libraries such as Spring then you are in a better position.
Make sure to learn the language most famous libraries and frameworks. It’s the part of mastering the language.
Engage in Different Communities – Make Yourself Present
There are many communities out there where software engineers share their knowledge, ask each other questions and grow.
From the first day onwards, make sure to show yourself in these communities so that you’ll be visible as a software engineer.
So, now let’s look at some communities where you should be present.
GitHub is the most popular version control hosting system. There is a huge community of software engineers who contribute to open-source projects and ask each other questions. The first step, register in GitHub!
StackOverflow is another popular community of software engineers where engineers ask each other questions and try to get answers. When you start learning and searching on the internet for answers, you’ll understand the power of StackOverflow.