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Jessica Wilkins
Jessica Wilkins

Posted on • Updated on

3 Reasons why I hate the "learn to code quickly" narrative

When I first started learning how to code, all I kept hearing was "Learn to code in 3 months and get a job".

My initial reaction was confusion.

"Isn't programming hard? How can I learn this in 3 months?"
"Who is going to hire me after only three months?"

For the record, I don't hate anyone who did land a job really soon after starting to learn how to code.

But I think the narrative sends a dangerous message to those looking to enter into the industry.

Here are the 3 Reasons why I hate the "learn to code quickly" narrative.

1. It encourages people to rush through the learning process

For most people, learning how to code is a process and it takes a while to get comfortable with. Very few people can go from 0 to job ready in 3 months.

For those with STEM backgrounds, or previous coding experience, the process will probably go faster then those who are complete beginners.

In a couple of months of coding, you probably have a basic understanding and can build basic apps. But you need more time to absorb the material and build more complex projects.

To become a good programmer, it takes years of study and practice.

I have seen a lot of people rush through online courses and try to apply for jobs in a short period of time. But rushing through the learning process will just create serious holes in your foundation.

I see no benefit to learning how to code quickly.

My advice to beginners is to take your time and learn it well.

2. Organizations use this narrative to prey on people

There are a lot of courses that will guarantee you a job in 3 or 6 months for a fee. But unfortunately, a lot of those courses cannot produce the results.

I have seen so many people on forums and discords talking about the struggle to get a job after only a few months of study. But unfortunately, their quality of work is still on the basic side.

My advice for beginners is to be leary of courses that can guarantee you a job in a short period of time.

3. People put all of their focus on getting a job quickly and it doesn't work out

I have seen a few people quit their jobs and spend all day learning how to code in hopes of getting a job in a few months.

If they are able to get a job, then that's great. But if they are not able to land a job, then things get really scary financially.

My advice to beginners is to explore all of your financial options and don't just quit your job in hopes of landing a programming job in a few months.

Try to build in a financial safety net so if the process takes longer, you don't end up in financial trouble.

Plus, plenty of people have worked while learning how to code.


Are there individuals that land programming jobs within a few months after learning? Yes.

Is it the norm? No.

The junior developer market is very competitive. When you are learning and looking for a job, you have to take into effect that it might take longer than you expect.

I hope you enjoyed my post and let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 😄

Top comments (3)

code4joe profile image
Joseph Johnson

LOL. I watched these immersive programs spring up over the years. Yes, it's the same thing with any industry where there's a potential to reap real reward. The only problem is... as you previously stated, it does take years (in most cases) to become an accomplished programmer -- regardless. I'm a member of Mensa and have had trouble navigating my career path at times (and staying abreast of what's relevant rather than whatever is more marketable) though I've been writing code for web apps since 1995 (self-taught JavaScript guy). The thing that these companies are trying to capitalize on isn't "your" salary but rather the salary of the top 2-5 students in the class who manage to land a near 6-figure income out the door. Unfortunately, these courses and programs will not focus on you in the amount you need to be truly successful out the door in a majority of cases. However, one thing I do tell students it's that, before beginning an immersive program, come up with an idea for an app that means something special to them (leave the money-maker idea for the class project though there could be overlap) and work on building that app as you go through the class. As you progress, you'll be able to better reinforce everything through redundancy but in this case, even if you don't get the job, you'll likely still work on this in your spare time eventually leading up to an app your excited about and you can showcase in your future interviews.

code4joe profile image
Joseph Johnson

What kind of instrument do you play (or vocalize)?

codergirl1991 profile image
Jessica Wilkins

oboe :)