One of the biggest questions we get from prospective students is “how long does it take to learn to code?” They’re often asking to compare coding bootcamps or programs—naturally, they want to know how long it will take to become a successful Software Engineer.
We get it. You’ve got options when it comes to coding bootcamps and tech academies, so you want to find one that will be the best value for you. After all, you’re not just committing your money, you’re also committing your time.
So, should you do a 6-month or year-long coding program? How long does it take to learn to code? Here are some factors to consider when choosing a program so you can set yourself up to be successful.
Focus on Quality
When someone asks whether they should do a 6-month or year-long coding bootcamp, they’re often asking something else: how can I get the best value for my time and money? First of all, more important than program length and cost, the quality of the program is going to be a major deciding factor.
That’s why it’s essential to do your research (if you’re reading this, you’re already on the right path so props to you). First, look at student reviews and outcomes. Are students getting hired after completing the coding bootcamp? Then, see what people are saying about the school on Reddit and Twitter. You may even be able to respectfully reach out to former students on social media to learn more about their experiences (just don’t be creepy). And finally, be sure to look for news about the coding school or bootcamp. How are their programs portrayed in the media? This will clue you into what their reputation is like and if your certification will be regarded as high quality by industry leaders and potential employers.
Consider Your Individual Learning Style
Still wondering how long it takes to learn to code? When choosing an education program, you want to do everything you can to set yourself up for success. The truth is we all learn differently. Some of us need a little more time to master the material, while some of us learn quickly and get bored easily. Here’s where “know thyself” becomes an essential phrase to keep in mind. If you’re not sure what environments and teaching styles suit you best, it’s time to do some reflection.
Think about past learning experiences, both the successful and the not-so-great times. Did you prefer to have more time to learn something or was that not an issue for you? Were you able to remember information you learned over a short period of time? These questions can get you started in your reflection.
One benefit of a 12-month program is that you’ll have more time to get to know your classmates and instructors. You’ll also come out of the program with more projects to show off to future employers. Currently, we offer a full-time Software Engineering program that runs for 12 months. Because our coding program is 12-months long, students are able to earn 2 certifications (Front-End and Back-End) instead of just 1, which can make graduates even more attractive to future employers.
Factor in Your Current Commitments
Your current commitments are going to play a big role in the time you can dedicate to a coding program. If you’re hoping to start working as soon as possible and feel a 12-month program would be too long, maybe you should consider a 6-month program. Thankfully, these programs are often still long enough that you’ll learn to code well.
A big reason you may want to consider a 6-month bootcamp is for the cost. Oftentimes, the shorter the program, the cheaper the tuition. If you’re strapped for cash or don’t want to shell out the big bucks to invest in a longer program, you may want to consider this route.
On the flip side, if you have the time and want to invest the cash, you should really consider the benefits of a 12-month program. Taking on a 12-month coding program will show future employers your dedication to truly learning the ins and outs of Software Engineering. It will also be more likely to get you more prepared with the right skills.
It’ll also give you more time to establish your network and get to know classmates, mentors, instructors, and the school’s industry connections. If cash is an issue, you could fund your program using an Income Share Agreement or payment plan— there are options for you, baby! This also means more time to attend events, learn to network, and practice your soft skills. You should never feel rushed when it comes to learning, so if you want to truly give yourself time to perfect your skills, a 12-month program could be for you.
Ultimately, you’ll make the best decision for you. With a little research and diligence, you’ll be on your way to kicking ass and taking names at the coding school of your dreams!