I get this email three or four times a month:
I’ve recently had a thought that I should learn how to code. I have a full time job. Can I learn to code? How long will it take me?
I often hesitate to respond since it often results in a series of exchanges that leaves me frustrated and the original author unsatisfied. So I hope to clarify or extend my almost two year old post How to get a Job as a Developer in Less Than Six Months with this one.
Can You Learn to Code?
I have no idea.
Slightly longer answer:
Yes. I emphatically stand behind the idea that almost anyone has the mental facilities needed to comprehend programming.
However, when reading my post my circumstances are easy to forget. I had no job. I had just graduated from college. I had three months of money saved up. I was living at home with my parents.
Not everyone has those privileges.
I was able to devote all of my available time to learn to code.
There is a reason that the Flatiron School and schools like them encourage students to not be employed during while they are attending.
learning to code is hard work.
Even now, when I am learning something new I find that I need to block off at least two hours at a time in order to be productive.
So ask yourself some questions:
- Can you reduce the amount of hours you work?
- How many (consecutive) hours can you devote each day to learning how to code?
- How long can you sustain that pace?
Your answers to those questions still won’t help me answer your original question because this will be different for every person reading this post.
The resources are out there, the community is out there. I am happy to pair with anyone on almost any project. I will review your code. I will recommend code schools – Flatiron School – but at the end of the day I cannot decide if you are capable of learning how to code.
Only you can.