How Long Does It Take to Learn Python?

Edited and approved by: Stefan Bradstreet

A lot of determinants have to be explored before the question of how long it will take to learn Python programming can be answered. Also, chances are that this question may not have the same answer for all that ask depending on your objectives such as do you want to be a freelancer or just improve your skills.

But from the discourse of the answer determinants, all those who asked how long it would take to learn Python programming should be able to get accurate, suitable individual answers. However, one good and certain fact is that years of long study hours aren’t required to start a career in Python; so, relax. No scary info is coming!

Determiners of python learning duration

Core Determiners of the duration to learn Python programming include:

  1. Learning Purpose.

The purpose for which The Developer is learning Python programming language is a great determiner of the learning duration. Are you learning to understand the writing of basic Python programs? Do you want to go deeper and specialize in one area that can fetch a job paying tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars per annum? Your answer has a lot to say, because it will narrow down your area of focus, and the energy you need to input into your field of choice to become so good people can’t ignore you and people come asking you to work for them.

  1. Learning Pace

It’s no secret that people’s speed of learning differs from an individual to another, generally. Our speed of comprehension of new knowledge isn’t at the same level. Moreover, the learning field of focus plays a part in the learning speed, as some people learn fast in some fields but are slow in others. This is a very pivotal determinant of the time taken to learn Python. There are fast learners and there are those on the average. Also, there are people who can be classified as slow learners. The time taken to master Python by each of these learner categories will definitely differ, one from the other. If the average learner spends 2-3 hours every day consistently, he/she should be able to write a basic Python program in about three months. The slow learner is expected to take longer time while the fast learner is expected to complete this task earlier. Which category of learner do you think you belong to? The answer you give to this takes you closer to answering the main question

  1. Commitment to learning.

Programming demands time, attention, and consistency. All these are offshoots of commitment. The quantity of time and quality of attention given to learning Python also dictates, to a large extent, how long it will take to master the act. This fact isn’t only true of Python but also of other programming languages. Something about programming is, a few days break from the learning process, many times, can result in the need for an almost complete refresher of previous knowledge to get back into shape. The art of coding slips so easily from human memory; therefore, consistent practice is key.

  1. Lack of availability of programming background

This is another important determining factor that dictates time taken to learn Python. Even though there is no need for having a programming background before the aspiring Python developer can start learning, he/she definitely can’t master the stuff in the same time frame as someone who’s already got a good knowledge of another programming language like Java, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, etc. a newbie in programming may learn for three weeks, something that will take someone with previous knowledge a week to master. Therefore, the answer you give about the category you belong to here also takes you closer to answering the main question.

  1. Available learning materials

Another great influence of Python learning time is the learning materials available. There are various sources to learn from, especially in this day and age, where the world has become a global village. The internet is awash with soft book copies, videos, and coding tutorial websites. Also, an individual can go to an available programming school around or get a mentor to learn from. The choice made among all these knowledge sources greatly determines the time taken to learn. A person just reading the stuff on paper or soft copies but doesn’t really have the chance to put to practice what is read from time to time won’t learn at the same pace with a person who does not only have the books but also access well-taught videos at will and has made such a good arrangement whereby gathering the knowledge and putting it to use go hand in hand.

  1. The mentor Factor.

There is no doubt that learning from a mentor and learning on one’s own is also a great determining factor of the learning duration. Things do get tight in the programming world. Difficulties can be solved with time, though, but someone under the guidance of a mentor is sure to have a faster way around debugging and cracking hard parts than someone who’s learning without a mentor.

Conclusion

So, we go back to answering the big question, how long can it take to learn Python? Well, with all discussed so far, it solely depends on the learner. The determiners identified above are all still determined by the aspiring Python developer. However, here is an idea that can help each individual reading this to arrive at a close answer.

If you take 3 hours every day to learn and practice Python consistently with a relative learning pace, in 3 months, you should know the basics, but maybe not enough to take on a job. To specialize in an area and get enough knowledge of Python for a job may take you another 4-6 months or more, factoring in the determiners discussed above. For example, if you are learning Python with the aim of becoming a web developer, you will also need to learn a web framework such as Django or Flask and other fields like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. So do your math from all these bits of information provided. Do you think you can arrive at your answer now?

Good luck!

About Stefan Bradstreet

Stefan is a software developer engineer II at Amazon with 5+ years of experience in tech. He is passionate about helping people become better coders and climbing the ranks in their careers.


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