Can You Learn Code in 1 hour

Can You Learn Code in 1 Hour?!

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Is learning to code a full-time occupation? Do you have to quit your job and dedicate your entire life to it? Or is it possible to learn code in as little as an hour?
 
I am sure you already know that it’s going to take a little longer than 1 hour to learn code.
 
But with an hour a day, some consistency and the right mindset, it is more than possible, it’s INEVITABLE.
 
My aim with this article is to change the mind of anyone who thinks they don’t have the TIME to learn code. So let’s get into it by first asking that all important question that everyone seems to want to know the answer to.

How long does it take to learn code?

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Oh, now that’s a tricky question! A lot of it comes down to you as the individual, what you’re learning and you’re aims and aspirations are. It’s almost impossible to put a definitive number on it.
 
For me, I honestly couldn’t tell you how many hours I put in. I can give you a rough number of months. But that won’t be very helpful. You need to know the specifics. You need the HOURS!
 
To solve this let’s take a look at some coding bootcamps. These places specialize in teaching you how to code in a specific amount of time.
 
On average, most bootcamps offer a 12-week course, made up of 40 hr weeks, which equates to 480 hrs. That should then mean after 480 hrs, you should be able to code well enough to land your first job!
 
It’s worth mentioning that the 480 hrs is the average for coding bootcamps. Some specify more time, and some specify less time. This also doesn’t account for students learning outside of the bootcamp. Or breaks during the day.
 
So this 480 hrs is very much a BALLPARK. But at least we have something to work with. This can at least add a little perspective.
To be less specific, we can probably think of it as around 500 hrs.
 
Assuming it’s going to take you 500 hrs. If you spent an hour every night it would then take 500 days. Or, 1 year, 4 months, 1 week, 6 days, 5 hours, 46 minutes and 39 seconds…to be precise.
 
That may seem like a long time but it’s not when you consider people go to university for 3-4 years. Also, bear in mind that all stems from just 1 hour a day. Imagine if you did 2 hrs??
I know 1 hour doesn’t seem a lot, but the thing you need to remember is it all adds up.

Consistency is key

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Whether you spend 10 hours or an hour, the deciding factor won’t be time! Instead, it all comes down to consistency.

You can have all the time in the world. But if you’re not consistent you will find yourself taking two step forward, and one steps back.
 
I’ve been there, I used to have loads of time before my life was controlled by a mini dictator (love you son!).
Back then time was never an issue, but being consistent was! I’d spend a few days learning, followed by weeks of nothingness. And surprise surprise, this amounted to a whole load of nothingness.
 
The issue was that every time I returned to study, I’d have what is technically known as a brain fart! Almost everything I had learned disappeared. This meant going back over the material, ALL…OVER…AGAIN.
See what I mean, two steps forward, one step back.
 
Inconsistency has the potential to unravel any progress you make. It is far better to strive for a consistent, little and often approach. Rather than an inconsistent approach filled with big learning binges and gaps.
 
While I don’t have any formal qualifications to back up my claim (who needs a degree nowadays anyway, right?!). I do, have years of experience in how to learn code, by which I mean, HOW NOT TO LEARN CODE.
 
When you have a full-time job, kids or other commitments, and zero time in general. Keeping up that pace of binge binge binge for hours at night can be hard. Imagine a marathon runner trying to run a marathon while sprinting! That pace soon becomes unsustainable.
 
The danger then becomes that you flame-out and need to take a little break, but then begin to lose focus. Soon the cycle becomes binge. Flaming-out. Taking a break for a week. Then return, trying to remember where you left off. If you return at all!
 
I’m sure you see how counterproductive that can be.
 
This is not to say learning binges are bad, breaks are bad, or forgetting what you learn is fatal. Binges are ok in moderation. Breaks are necessary for well-being. And you can always recap what you have forgotten.
 
Instead, the point I’m making is by pacing yourself to 1 hour, you’re less likely to flame-out. That means you can get on making daily progress. Progress, no matter how small, is still progress!
 
The added bonus of consistency, besides continued progress, is the forming of habits. And I always say to turn coding into a habit.
 
Why? Because if coding becomes a habit it’s 10 times easier to remain consistent.
Habits are ingrained in us, something we naturally do. If coding is something you naturally do, you don’t have to force yourself so much. It’s just part of your routine.
 
*If you want to know more about building routines and turning coding into a habit, check this post!

You need to have a winning MINDSET 

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Being consistent isn’t easy. Especially at the start when it’s going to be a little while before you see any results. Even more so for someone who can only commit an hour a day.

Speaking from experience, it can be very disheartening to see such minimal progress. But, don’t fall into the trap of thinking there is no end in sight. There is!

The trick is not to let that negative mindset derail you. Stop trying to define WHEN it’s going to happen and rest assured that it WILL happen.

As long as you remain consistent! Whether that’s 2 hrs, 1 hour, or even 30 mins. If you’re doing something every day, you’re making progress.

My advice is to play the long game. Give it a year, or even 6 months, and you will see a difference. I promise.

A big part of this game is mental. Mindset can make or break you. If your mind says you can’t, then you can’t. Simple. So a positive mindset makes all the difference when you come up against a few “home truths”.

HOME TRUTHS about learning code

  • Some days you’ll feel like you know everything, and some days you’ll feel like you know nothing.
  • Some days you will love it, and some days you will hate it, and want to smash your computer.
  • Some days you’ll be really productive. Others you’ll barely muster enough energy to attempt 1 Codewars challenge.
  • Some days you will know exactly the next step to take. Other days you will be filled with confusion and self-doubt.
  • Some days you’ll feel within arms reach of your goal, and some days it might as well be on the other side of the world!
  • AND OF COURSE…One day your consistent coding streak will end, and you may even fall off the bandwagon.

I’m sorry if that sounds pessimistic, believe it or not, I am an optimist. I just wanted to be real with you, and also to let you know that the road will be full of ups and downs, but it’s OK. It’s normal.

It will be tough at times, and that’s why a winning mindset is vital. If you can remain positive. Stay focused on the long game. Keep coming back with every knock. You will EVENTUALLY succeed.

To help shape your brain to have that winning mindset I thought I would throw a few recommended reads your way.

Get a winning brain with these books

You’re never truly finished learning 

graduation cap and diploma

I want to leave you with this parting thought…The learning is never done.

At the start, I gave you a ballpark figure of around 500 hrs as an average time it takes to learn code. But the truth is no real end. 500 hr will come and go and you will still be learning.

*So I guess that 500 hrs is slightly redundant.

When I first started I imagined a day when I no longer felt like a student. Now I realize that I will always feel like a student.

There is always more to learn!

It may be another language, another framework, another library. Whatever it is, there will always be something. At which point can I finally say I’m done? I suspect, NEVER.

This is yet another “home truth”.

Don’t go in with the sole goal to learn code, thinking one day you will finally be able to put all the books down for good. Learning to code is less like running in a race, and more like running on a treadmill.

For that reason, it doesn’t make sense to focus on the destination of “learning to code”. But rather the journey. So my last bit of advice…Focus on the journey.

Feature image designed by Freepik

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About the Author Owen

Creator of Code Dad, father and self-taught programmer. My mission is to balance life, work, family, all while learning to code, and hopefully help others who want to do the same.

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