How Long It Takes to Learn Programming

29 Jun 2021

Many people, especially those who do not come from a technical or computer science-based background, falsely assume that coding is too tough and that learning how to master them will take years.

This assumption often becomes a reason for people to give up before they even get started on their learning journey.

In reality, learning programming may be challenging, but it is not a task that is too complex or impossible achieve. Even a beginner can become an expert programmer in a matter of 3 to 6 months.

Language Basics Advanced
Python 4 weeks 2-3 months
Java 4 weeks 3-4 months
JavaScript 2 weeks 5-7 months
C++ 3 weeks 6-12 months
C# 3 weeks 2-3 months
C 3 weeks 8-12 months
R 2 weeks 1 month
SQL 2 weeks 6-8 months
PHP 3 weeks 6 months
HTML&CSS 1.5 weeks 1 month
Ruby 2 weeks 6 months
Swift 3 weeks 2 months
Kotlin 4 weeks 3-4 months
Go 3 weeks 2-3 months
Perl 3 weeks 3 months
Rust 2-3 weeks 2 months
Scala 2 weeks 2 months
MATLAB 1-2 weeks 1 month
Objective-C 2 weeks 3 months
Visual Basic 2 weeks 2 months
Assembly 4 weeks 6-8 months

Coding is a skill that is booming in terms of demand. It will only be a matter of a couple years before this skill will be a mandatory one. Therefore, people are now keen on learning it.

Other than being a profitable and marketable skill, knowing how to program is also important for one to be able to automate tedious tasks.

1. Python

Python is a language that anyone can pick up, irrespective of their age. It is fairly easy to learn thanks to its simple syntax. Training is available for kids, youngsters and even professionals.

On average, it only takes 4 weeks to grasp the most basic concepts while 2-3 months is an ideal period to learn advanced techniques. Python has its applications in many domains, hence the learning period also depends on your area of expertise.

2. Java

Java is the most popular language when it comes to android development and it only takes a few weeks to get familiar with it. If you have any programming background, then you can easily learn the basics in about a month.

If you are entirely new, then four weeks is an ideal period to learn theoretical concepts. However, these language concepts are a bit complex. It may take months for a non-technical newbie programmer to become fluent.

3. JavaScript

If you are going for web development then you must learn JavaScript to create interactive web pages. The language is widely used, along with HTML and CSS. Moreover, it is also used in the creation of web-based games.

The syntax is simple and it will only take around 2 weeks to learn for a complete beginner. For complete web development with JavaScript, you may need around 5-6 months to master it.

4. C++

C++ is a powerful language that is derived from C and has many applications, especially in graphics-based programs, such as games and browsers. Also, it is excessively used in embedded systems and OS kernels.

Comparatively, C++ is also a bit difficult to learn. It has many concepts that are not easy to grasp. While a beginner can learn the basics in just 3 weeks, they may need up to 1 year to truly master it.

5. C#

This language was officially developed by Microsoft Application. It has numerous uses in a range of domains such as desktop and mobile development and cloud services. Another reason for C# being so popular is the Unity gaming engine, where it is used to develop high-graphics games.

C# is an excellent start for most beginners, and many universities teach it to their newcomers. The concepts are fairly easy and the basics of the language are coverable in just 3 weeks. However, it may take 2-3 months for advanced learning that might be helpful in the Unity engine.

6. C

Many programmers consider C as an initial start in their programming career. However, it is not very useful because many better, powerful and easier languages such as Python have already been introduced to the market. The only reason to learn C should be to strengthen your programming fundamentals.

The syntax only has 32 keywords, which clearly depicts that it is easy to learn. This general-purpose language has simple data structures and it will only take you around 3 weeks to pick up the basics. However, advanced concepts may take up to 8 months to truly understand.

7. R

R deals with visualization, statistics and data sciences. It has limited applications in these domains but it is still powerful, albeit a bit difficult to learn for new programmers. The language is extremely flexible and powerful in its stated domains.

The basic concepts of R are learnable in 2 weeks despite the difficulty. The more advanced ones can also be practiced in about 1 month, but it takes years to master R with respect to your domain.

8. SQL

This language has to do with databases. It creates, maintains and retrieves data from them, and the insertion, modification and deletion of data is made easy with SQL. It is used in our website backends to store, retrieve and manage data.

SQL is counted as a query language. It is much easier to write queries than code. The syntax includes simple dictionary words and anyone can easily learn it in 2 weeks. However, to work with real-time databases, you have to master advanced concepts which may take up to 6 months.

9. PHP

Over 75% of all the websites on the internet are powered by PHP. It is a strong backend language that also powers big Content Management Systems such as WordPress. Additionally, the core team keeps releasing better and improved versions.

PHP is full of rules, abbreviations and algorithms. It normally takes 3 weeks to learn the basic concepts. However, it is also dependent on your method of research and how you approach it. 6 month is an ideal period to pick up the more advanced concepts.

10. HTML & CSS

HTML is a structural language while CSS is considered a design language and both of these play an important role on web pages. Both are further complemented by JavaScript to create interactive web pages.

You can easily learn most of the HTML and CSS tags in less than 2 weeks, but you should only opt for these if your aim is to become a web designer. To achieve an expert level in these languages, it only takes 1-2 months of practice.

11. Ruby

This language is more famous due to one of its frameworks, known as Ruby on Rails, an extremely powerful web development framework that is still being used to this day.

The basic concepts of Ruby are quite simple and straightforward. Anybody can pick them up in just 2 weeks. However, when we move onto the Ruby Blocks and Procs concept, then things start getting difficult, and it can take around 6 months to master.

12. Swift

Apple developed Swift in 2014 to improve the performance of their iOS and other applications. The language was exclusively made for all Apple platforms, such as iOS, MacOS and WatchOS. It is better than Objective-C (which was previously used by Apple) in almost every aspect.

Being a modern programming language, Swift is fairly easy to learn due to its simpler concepts. It normally takes around 2 weeks to grasp the basics while more advanced applications may take 2 months or more.

13. Kotlin

Kotlin is a general-purpose language with widespread applications. It runs on JVM (Java Virtual Machine) and has excellent interoperability features and tool support that make it easier to work with other high-level languages.

If you are already familiar with Java, then Kotlin is pretty easy to learn, but for complete beginners, this might not be the right choice. With some prior programming experience, you can learn the basics in about 4 weeks while it can take up to 6 months to master.

14. Go

Many big companies use Go, along with other languages, for their performance-critical factors. Go is extremely fast, and Google Cloud is a great example of the capabilities that this language carries.

It has a small syntax when we compare it to other modern languages so it only takes around 2-3 weeks to strongly grasp the basic concepts. Go can be used as a starting point for beginner programmers before moving onto more advanced languages such as Java and C++.

15. Perl

Perl is widely used in system administration and network programming. It is also titled as “the Swiss Army chainsaw of scripting languages” due to its flexibility. However, it also has an ugly structure and is often criticized by the programming community.

A beginner programmer can grasp the basics in just around 3 weeks. Most of the Perl programs only use a small subset of the entire language and that’s why you can also learn important advanced concepts in just 3 months.

16. Rust

Rust is a popular language for file and operating systems and gaming engines. It was developed by the Mozilla Research team in 2010 to provide a solid foundation for new software applications.

Many people find Rust to be difficult due to its confusing concepts. However, for some people it might be an easier choice than C or C++. Still, you can learn the basics in just about 3 weeks while it can take up to 2 months for advanced practices.

17. Scala

Scala is inspired by Java and it covers many of the flaws of its predecessor. The language also uses JVM to run code so the two merge well, and many Java libraries can also be used by Scala programmers.

Above all, it is easy to learn, with a simpler syntax than Java. If you are already familiar with other languages, then it will only take 2 weeks to cover the basics while a 2 month period is ideal for learning some advanced concepts.


Matlab is sort of an academic language because most of its users are from engineering or scientific backgrounds. It is most often used to create applications for evolving tech domains such as machine learning, deep learning, video processing and control systems.

They offer their own customized framework, which makes development pretty interactive and easy. Students can learn the basics of Matlab in just about 1 or 2 weeks while advanced concepts are learnable in a month or so.

19. Objective-C

Objective-C used to be the go-to language for various Apple’s operating systems, but the structure was pretty confusing for developers. Hence, there were many loopholes and vulnerabilities left in the programs. It has been declining in usage since the release of Swift.

The language is still worth learning if someone wants to understand the basics of programming. It only takes 2 weeks to learn the basic concepts while advanced learning may take up to 3 months.

20. Visual Basic

This language was not built to deal with heavy complex functions. Hence, Visual Basic has limited applications in automation of different tasks. It is very useful to use in Excel for automating sheets.

The language is taught in schools to strengthen the fundamentals of programming. Anybody can learn Visual Basic in a 2 week time frame while all advanced concepts are learnable in 2 months.

21. Assembly Language

If someone wants to know how computer architecture works, then Assembly Language is worth learning. It is relatively low-level but some programmers still consider learning some part of it to develop a deeper understanding of how everything works inside a CPU or other component at machine level.

Assembly is extremely difficult to learn and it is not for beginners. If you are already an experienced programmer then it may take just 4 weeks to understand the basics, while advanced concepts are learnable in over 6 months of continuous practice and efforts.

Leave a comment if you have something to share with us

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *