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How long does it take to learn JavaScript?

Published on: April 17, 2023

JavaScript retained its position as the most used programming language for the tenth consecutive year in 2022. As a result, demand and compensation for JavaScript developers have increased in the last decade. JS developers are reported to be paid $71,263 remotely.

If you're considering to learn JavaScript, this is the best time. But before starting, you might be thinking, how long does it take to learn JavaScript?

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the factors that can influence the time it takes to learn JavaScript and provide great tips and resources for you to learn JavaScript effectively.

Factors Affecting the Time to Learn JavaScript:

Let's examine some of the key factors that can shape your journey to JavaScript proficiency-

1. Your Background in Programming:

Your prior experience with programming languages such as Java, C, C++ etc. will affect how long it takes to learn JavaScript. Familiarity with concepts like variables, loops, and functions will enable you to focus on the unique aspects of JavaScript. For someone without any programming experience, learning these fundamental concepts might take longer.

2. Time Investment:

The amount of time you can dedicate to learning JavaScript will impact the duration of your learning process. If you can allocate 3-5 hours a day to learning, you may be able to master JavaScript in just a few months. However, if you can only spare 5-10 hours a week, it may take you more than a year to become proficient.

3. Learning Resources:

The quality and type of learning resources you use can also influence how long it takes to learn JavaScript. Some people may find success with online tutorials and videos, while others may prefer attending coding boot camps or taking formal classes. It's essential to choose the right resources that cater to your learning style and needs.

How long does it take to learn JavaScript?

Everyone learns at a different speed. But based on our own experience, that of our friends, and resources available on the internet, we suggest the below rules of thumb for experienced developers and newbies:

Experienced Developers

If you are a programmer experienced in another stack, you might be able to get to coding in vanilla Javascript in 10-20 hours. Consider adding ~2X of that time to pick up the basics of some modern JS frameworks, such as React or Vue. This way, you can start building basic, but functional frontends within a week or two using a JS framework.

Using a component library like Material UI, Chakra UI, etc., can reduce your learning curve even further, as with them, you won't have to write most components from scratch anymore.

If you are in this group, consider learning from examples once you have got the basics of Javascript as a language. You can find many examples of working fully frontend code using: Material UI and Chakra.

Reviewing these codebases, and trying to find how they have implemented the particular things you need to implement (e.g. a menu or a login page), can be a great way to ramp up quickly.

Newbie Developers

On the other end of the spectrum - if you have little to no experience in programming and want to pick up Javascript well enough to qualify for the frontend roles - you'd need anything in the range of 400-800 hours of effort. That's 3-4 hours daily for 5-9 months.

This should include learning from resources such as courses/ books/ online videos, but perhaps even more importantly - lots of practicing and building stuff. Choosing a well-structured course, either online or offline, can be beneficial because then, you won't have to worry about structuring your learning path, i.e., what topic you should pick up after what.

If you are choosing to go with a self-driven learning path (e.g. lots of disparate videos on youtube), try to follow the course outlines of one other structured courses (e.g. this or this). Either way, remember to spend at least half of your time coding and building side projects.

Tips to learn JavaScript efficiently

Overall, it will take you at least 6-12 months of learning and practice to become a proficient, employable JavaScript developer if you have never coded before. Follow these tips for smoother learning experience:

  • Break down the learning process: Divide the JavaScript learning process into smaller, manageable goals. This will make the learning process less overwhelming and help you track your progress more efficiently.

  • Practice regularly: Consistent practice is crucial for mastering JavaScript. The more time you spend coding, the more proficient you will become. Try to dedicate time every day or week to practicing JavaScript. Follow challenges like JavaScript30 and #100DaysOfCode to build consistency.

  • Seek support from the community: Engaging with fellow learners or experienced developers can provide valuable insights, feedback, and encouragement. Join online forums, JavaScript related Discord and Slack communities, local meetups etc. to connect with others and share your learning experience.

  • Work on real-world projects: Apply your JavaScript knowledge to real-world projects. Building your portfolio with practical projects will not only help reinforce your learning but also demonstrate your skills to potential employers.

  • Stay up-to-date with industry trends: The world of JavaScript is continuously evolving. Keep up with the latest developments in libraries, frameworks, and best practices to stay relevant and informed.

Best Resources to learn JavaScript

To help you on your journey to learning JavaScript, we've compiled a list of some recommended resources along with the average time it would take for you to finish these courses. Here is a brief description of each resource to help you decide which one is best for you:

  • Codecademy - Learn JavaScript (10-20 hours): Codecademy offers an interactive and structured JavaScript course that is suitable for beginners. The course covers the basics of JavaScript programming, including variables, control structures, functions, and more. With quizzes, coding challenges, and projects, you will get hands-on experience as you learn.

  • Eloquent JavaScript (Book) - (100-150 hours): This well-regarded book provides a thorough introduction to JavaScript and programming in general. Eloquent JavaScript covers fundamental concepts and more advanced topics, such as working with the Document Object Model (DOM) and handling asynchronous programming. The book is available for free online and includes interactive code examples and exercises to help solidify your understanding.

  • FreeCodeCamp - JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures (300 hours): FreeCodeCamp offers a self-paced JavaScript course that focuses on algorithms and data structures. The course is designed to help you build a solid foundation in JavaScript and improve your problem-solving skills. With hundreds of coding challenges and projects, this resource will help you gain practical experience and prepare you for real-world programming tasks.

Note: Keep in mind that these times are approximate and can vary depending on your prior experience and learning pace. Remember to complement these resources with hands-on practice and personal projects to solidify your understanding and improve your skills.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, learning JavaScript is a valuable investment for anyone interested in programming and web development. While the time it takes to become proficient may vary depending on your background, time investment, and learning resources, it is important to focus on the learning process and set achievable goals.

By breaking down the learning process, practicing consistently, seeking support from the community, working on real-world projects, and staying up-to-date with industry trends, you can develop the skills necessary to become a successful JavaScript developer.

Remember to choose learning resources that cater to your needs and learning style, and complement them with hands-on practice and personal projects. With dedication, perseverance, and the right resources, you can master JavaScript and unlock a world of opportunities in the exciting field of web development.

Happy Coding!