How long did it take you to learn to code well enough to get a job?

I’ve been trying to establish the commitment required to be able to learn to code well enough to get a job.

I’m interested in hearing from people who:

  • Have learnt in the last 10 years
  • Set out to learn in order to get a job (so not learning as a kid for fun etc)
  • Have succeeded in getting a coding job (or being comfortable enough with programming to get a job but not yet found work)

What was the amount of energy you had to put in to get to a point you felt you were employable? Was it a consistent x hours per day, or more stop/start? Any stories you can share would be really appreciated :slightly_smiling_face:


I started in 2015 and originally looked into bootcamps.

Unfortunately I wasn’t even able to raise the $1000 necessary after qualifying for a full scholarship.

But I said “well… what are they actually giving me anyway?” All the information is freely available on the web, and I am ridiculously self-motivated, so if it’s indeed possible to go from zero to job in a matter of months, I should be able to do it myself in, say a year just to be super-safe, if I completely beat myself up and do nothing but code all the time. I wouldn’t recommend anyone try this, but I have an autistic superpower that seems to enable me to fixate on something without burning out if I find it truly worthwhile.

I eventually came to believe that the entire idea that anyone could learn anything in that short of a time, especially tech, is an absolute fallacy.

Any successful bootcampers want to respectfully argue? I’d love to hear how it’s possible! Perhaps I’ll concede that at least it wasn’t for me. I am rather extreme in that I go depth first, and refuse to move to a new topic until I am able to teach the one I’m currently learning.

I was offered a Junior Clojurescript position in Cambridge, England in 2018 which included a relocation package, which was a dream come true! But… then they took it back! They were legally unable to justify hiring a foreigner when they could get better talent on their own side of the pond. I was devastated.

My first actual work didn’t happen until 2020, so it took me about 5 years. It was helping a friend with her C# app developing intake forms for the medical industry, really cool stuff! And I translated the forms into Spanish as well, giving me valuable experience in internationalization.

Unfortunately it only lasted a few months, and she had to end the project for personal reasons that had nothing to do with me. It was sad.

Then I got COVID, and I believe it gave me brain damage that I’m still recovering from. And I also have to factor in a whole bunch of personal issues of mental health, and a long-term housing crisis (I ran out of money when I was in university in 2015 and was mostly homeless until just last week), so it’s still a work in progress!


I never really learned anything to get a job.

Everything I did was because I had fun in doing it. Or at least I expected it to be fun.

What I did to get a job though in a field where I expected the fun to be (programming) I started to study at an university, as 120% of job offers visible to me expected a degree or “comparable experience”.

During this studies I realized that networking is much more important than a degree and the willingness to learn new things is more important than knowing the old.

Still a certification here or there might help as well.

It took me ~3 years to come to this insights and I got a part-time job during studies, which I converted into full-time as soon as possible and then missed lectures and exams until I dropped out.

In the past 6ish years I had some interviews, and no interviewer asked about the studies at all.

So it’s not learning to get a job, but get a job to learn.

PS: of course it helps knowing the basics.