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  • Writer's pictureTim Buchalka

How Long Does It Take to Become a Software Developer?

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to become a software developer? Are you sitting around calculating or trying to calculate the number of hours you need to spend studying to become a programmer? If so, then this video is made just for you.

A common question that I get from my students goes something along the lines of this, they’ll say something like, “Tim, how many hours do I need to put in to study this material so that I can get my first programming job?” Well I’m here to say that unfortunately, you’re looking at things around the wrong way.

Really, the focus shouldn’t be on how many hours it’s going to take. You should just be focusing on actually doing the work and completing the course. If you try and figure out or say to yourself, “Well, I need to spend 50 hours to become a programmer”, you’re gonna be focusing on trying to compact everything down into that 50 hours no matter what. So, you might not put in the time that you need to put into complete a coding exercise. You might not watch a video two or three times to truly understand it. And that’s because you’re continually looking at your watch all the time to make sure that you’re finishing at a certain time.

The reality is that people learn at different speeds. Some people absorb content and learn things at a faster rate than other people. Some people have got more hours to spend each day learning material. That’s just the way it is. So, my suggestion to you is don’t try and figure out down to the hour, how many hours you need. Rather say to yourself, “When I take this course, or when I start this study, I wanna be doing it to become a programmer, I’m gonna complete it no matter what. And I’m gonna make sure that as I go through the process I’m gonna completely understand those concepts taught in a particular video or an e-book or whatever it is before I move on to the next stage.”

If you do that, and get right through to the end of the material, you will be or will have the skills basically to be a really productive programmer because you’ve understood the concepts. If you’re rushing through trying to beat a deadline invariably you’re going to miss things, you’re gonna miss important things and that may well really sabotage your future learning. So, take your time, make sure you go through all the study material and really absorb it and learn it. Just think of the analogy of learning to drive a car, or learning to ride a bike. When you start learning to ride a bike for the time, you don’t immediately say to yourself, “How many hour or minutes is this gonna take before I can learn to ride a bike?” What you do is you get on the bike and you start riding. And you get better and better at it, and over time you become very competent and a very good bike rider.

Same with driving the car, the first time you actually do it, you’re probably fairly slow, and things are hard you can’t remember where the clutch is, you’re trying to change gears and so forth. It’s hard to absorb everything, and you’re often stalling the car etc. So, take a step back with your programming and just say to yourself, “Okay, I’m just going to take as long as I need to really understand this material.” By doing that, ultimately, then putting that amount in your study, you’re gonna become a more productive programmer and get that programming job.

Alright, so, that’s my tip for today. I hope you got a little out of it, and I’ll talk to you again in the next one. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

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